Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Walberg Releases Another Attack Ad

Catching Up... -- Fitzy

Congressman Tim Walberg released his third campaign advertisement on September 17, 2008. The ad is harsh-- a mother appears on camera and tells us about the horrors of Mark Schauer. And yet, something seems odd to me about the ad:

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like this ad is trying to do to much. It ties together two attacks on Mark Schauer-- that he supposedly supports high taxes and that he supposedly supports sending pornography to children-- but those two attacks really don't fit together well. The narrative connecting them, which is that Schauer supposedly puts children's futures in jeopardy, strikes me as contrived and unnatural. The first time I watched the ad, my response was, "Huh?"

Then again, the last line sticks, and if you're not paying close attention to the whole thing, the two attacks seem effective. Unfortunately, as is often the case, Walberg's attacks have a casual relationship with reality.

The Schauer campaign released a press release in response to the part about child pornography:
"This latest attack from Tim Walberg is another boldfaced lie from a floundering candidate. Mark Schauer has repeatedly and consistently voted to protect Michigan children, including supporting bills that prevent children from being exposed to pornography. The truth is that while Walberg has done nothing to save Michigan jobs, he will say or do anything to save his own."


• Schauer voted in favor of a six-bill package in 1999 to strengthen the Sex Offenders Registration Act to protect kids from sex predators. [RC #571-576]

• That same year, he voted in favor of a bill to allow libraries to restrict use of the internet or computers from providing obscene or sexually explicit materials to minors. [PA 37, 1999, RC #232 and #491]

• In 2000, Schauer voted to pass HB 4327 so that minors would not be able to see or have access to pornography in stores.

• In 2002, Schauer co-sponsored and voted to pass legislation to strengthen child pornography laws and increase penalties for possession of child pornography. [HB 5296 & 5297, RC #981 and #982]

• This June, Schauer co-sponsored SB 1417, a bipartisan bill that would require public schools to develop programs designed to provide grade-level-appropriate instruction on internet safety for pupils in all grade levels. [SB 1417, 2008]

• An analysis provided to legislators in 1999 by the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency before a vote ever took place on the bill in question explicitly stated, "The bill is almost certainly unconstitutional and will likely be struck down if enacted into law." [SB 117, 1999]

• In 2001, the Eastern District Federal Court for Michigan found that the law violated the First Amendment, and was ruled unconstitutional.
In other words, Schauer did vote against one bill, because it was flagrantly violating our constitutional rights, and would be struck down by the courts... which it was. But Schauer has a long record of voting for laws that can actually do something to protect children.

Congressman Walberg, it takes a special kind of sleaze to accuse your opponent of wanting to send pornography to children. That's dishonest, disgusting, and just stupid.

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