Factcheck.org: Controversial Tom Delay Ad Is Accurate

WAHINGTON – The ad targeting embattled Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, which Houston television stations decided not to air after Rep. DeLay threatened to sue them for playing it, contains nothing false, according to an analysis released today by FactCheck.org.

The ad “contains nothing that is strictly false,” and Rep. DeLay’s lawyer “mischaracterized” what the ad said, wrote FactCheck.org on its website.

Rep. DeLay threatened to sue the stations because the ad refers to “one million dollars from Russian tycoons to allegedly influence his vote.”

The Washington Post reported the allegation, quoting the former president of an advocacy group as saying Rep. DeLay’s former chief of staff told him that Russians contributed $1 million to the group in 1998, specifically to influence DeLay’s vote on legislation. Rep. DeLay had multiple political connections to the advocacy group, and his wife received a salary from the group’s founder.

Rep. DeLay’s lawyer also complained that the ad refers to a list of flights and trips Rep. DeLay took, citing a recent Associated Press article. FactCheck.org said “the AP story is accurately quoted, and not disputed.”

The two public interest groups that joined forces this week to run the ads are vigorously fighting back after Houston television stations pulled the ad under pressure from Rep. DeLay and his Washington lawyers.

The groups, the Campaign for America’s Future and the Public Campaign Action Fund, unveiled $115,000 in new television, radio and billboard ads targeting Rep. DeLay and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, for their ties to corruption this week, kicking off a yearlong campaign to clean up Congress.

FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and monitors the accuracy of what is said by major political players to reduce deception in American politics.

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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in FactCheck.org’s analysis can find a copy at www.factcheck.org.**