WASHINGTON – A new television ad that links embattled Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to corruption is scheduled to air in the Houston area beginning Sunday. The stations’ decision to air the spot marks a turning point in the controversy which began when Rep. DeLay threatened to sue media outlets if they aired an earlier ad. The new spot highlights “the ad Tom DeLay doesn’t want you to see” and addresses the same facts.
After considerable public pressure and negotiations with the stations, at least two stations, KPRC-NBC and KRIV-FOX in Houston, agreed to begin airing the new spot during Sunday’s morning news programs.
Campaign for America’s Future co-director Roger Hickey hailed the decision of the stations to start running a modified version of the spot.
“This ad simply lays out the facts about the corruption allegations against DeLay that go way beyond the campaign finance charges he is facing in court,” said Hickey. “Rep. DeLay cannot intimidate stations to prevent public discussion of the serious charges leveled against him.”
Public Campaign Action Fund national campaigns director David Donnelly said there should be no place in Congress for corrupt politics.
“Rep. DeLay doesn’t want the people of Houston to know what he’s up to with corrupt lobbyists in Washington,” said Donnelly. “There should be no place in Congress for the corrupt pay-to-play politics of Tom DeLay and Bob Ney. No more lip service. Congress must address real reforms that drain the money swamp of Washington.”
The Campaign for America’s Future and the Public Campaign Action Fund, the two public interest groups that joined forces last week to run the ad, vigorously fought back after Houston television stations pulled it under pressure from Rep. DeLay’s Washington lawyers. Tens of thousands of people on the Internet protested with emails and calls to station managers after the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center’s independent website, FactCheck.org, said the ad contained nothing false.
One of the stations, KPRC-NBC asked its viewers to vote on its website on whether the ad should air. Seventy-three percent of the respondents, a total of 2,360 people, said they “do not agree with the TV stations’ decision and feel the ads should be broadcast.”
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 last week, kicking off a yearlong campaign to clean up Congress. Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked Rep. Ney to leave his leadership post as chair of the House Administration Committee after the ads aired in southeastern Ohio.
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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in a copy of the new ad should visit www.ourfuture.org or www.pcactionfund.org. KPRC-NBC’s online poll results can be found at http://www.click2houston.com/politics/6023647/detail.html. Script of the ad follows.**
“Out of Sight”
ANNOUNCER (VO): Here’s the ad Tom Delay does not want you to see. And what does Tom Delay not want you to know?
ONSCREEN: “…received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.” – Associated Press, 01/05/06 floats out of black screen towards viewer.
ANNOUNCER: That he received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associates.
ONSCREEN: “He visited cliff-top Caribbean resorts, golf courses designed by PGA champions and four-star restaurants … all courtesy of donors who bankrolled his political money empire.”– Associated Press, 12/20/05 floats out of black screen towards viewer.
ANNOUNCER: That he took trips all over the world at his donors’ expense.
ONSCREEN: “Russians contributed $1 million to the group in 1998 specifically to influence Delay’s vote on legislation…” – Washington Post, 12/28/05 black screen.
ANNOUNCER: That a group related to Delay received $1 million dollars from Russian tycoons to allegedly influence his vote.
ONSCREEN: “TOM DELAY” fades into black screen. “TIME TO RESIGN FROM CONGRESS” fades in.
ANNOUNCER: That’s what Tom Delay doesn’t want you to know. Is there more?
ONSCREEN: TOM DELAY, TIME TO RESIGN, A MESSAGE FROM PUBLIC CAMPAIGN ACTION FUND AND CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE
ANNOUNCER: It’s time for Delay to resign.
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