Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Walberg Releases First TV Ad
On the same day that "Freedom's Watch" released a radio ad attacking Mark Schauer on energy policy, Congressman Tim Walberg released a television ad touting his own energy "plan":
First, I think Tim Walberg is the first person I've ever seen wear an orange polo shirt while riding a motorcycle. I don't have anything against motorcycles, I just feel like if you're going to do it, especially on television, you should have a little style! It just looks as awkward as, say, John Kerry hunting.
Besides that silliness, it's an ad that plays to the base while trying to come across as moderate. It's pretty light on content, but hey, that's a television ad.
The big question is about timing. It's a logical time to release an ad-- right after the Democratic primary, to frame himself early before the general election coverage heats up. But it coincides exactly with the release of the "Freedom's Watch" ad and deals with the same subject. Energy is a big issue and the release of both ads makes sense. Even so, it's a little suspicious.
The Walberg for Congress campaign and the "Freedom's Watch" group are not allowed to coordinate their message and spending like that. It's illegal, and it's something that Walberg has been accused of in the past. Joe Schwarz filed an FEC complaint against Tim Walberg for doing exactly that with the Club for Growth in 2006:
The FEC complaint contends the Club for Growth coordinated expenditures from its political action committee and 527 organization, listing common political strategists and pollsters who were paid by the Club for Growth, Walberg and three other campaigns: Senate candidate Steve Laffey in Rhode Island, and congressional candidates Sharron Angle in Nevada and Bill Sali in Idaho.And "Freedom's Watch" isn't exactly clear of such accusations, either. During a special election in Louisiana this year, the group aired an ad whose script appeared to be written by the NRCC. That was called an "innocent mistake," but, if actually written by the NRCC, is absolutely illegal.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that anyone has broken the law. I'm saying that this is something to watch closely as both Walberg and "Freedom's Watch" release more ads.
Hey Fitzy, thanks for staying on top of all this stuff... The shirt Walberg is wearing has the Harley logo on it and I guess the color goes with their campaign colors... Unfortunately, unlike Kerry in all his new hunting gear, I understand Walberg has been riding bikes since high school... Also, wasn't that Schwarz complaint was thrown out sometime last year by the FEC? If I have time I'll have to try to look it up on their website... I think Schwarz filed two complaints and both of them were thrown out...
Hi anonymous,Post a Comment
I noticed the Harley logo afterwards, but the orange still just looks awkward. I know that Walberg has been riding motorcycles for quite some time, but I'd be surprised if actually wore orange polo shirts while doing so. It's a silly complaint, but then, people attacked John Kerry and Michael Dukakis for looking silly, so apparently it's not off-limits.
As for the Schwarz FEC complaints, they were dismissed, as were the Walberg counter-complaints. I don't mean to imply that an accusation alone means wrongdoing, though re-reading what I wrote, I can see how that's implied.
I do, however, think that this is something worth paying close attention to.
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