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WASHINGTON -- Three separate mock campaign ads linking Reps. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Boehner, R- Ohio, and John Shadegg, R-Ariz., to corruption emerged online today in the race to succeed Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, as House Majority Leader.
"Vote Roy Blunt for Republican Majority Leader," says one of the ads. "Because what's wrong with a little corruption among friends?" Another ad says, "Boehner for Republican Majority Leader. He knows K Street like the palm of his hand," referring to Rep. Boehner's handing out money on the House floor. The third ad says, "Vote John Shadegg for Republican Majority Leader. New leadership, old-fashioned influence peddling."
The ads were produced by two public interest groups, the Public Campaign and the Campaign for America's Future, and e-mailed to hundreds of thousands of their supporters today. Advertisements linking to the ads were placed on 80 websites with millions of combined viewers. The two groups announced a joint yearlong campaign earlier this month to clean up corruption in Congress with a comprehensive reform agenda including public financing of elections.
Public Campaign executive director Nick Nyhart said people across the country want reform.
"Americans want a clean break from Tom DeLay's leadership, and more," said Nyhart. "They want an end to the legacy of DeLay-ism in which the people's House has been transformed into an auction house where policy on health care, the environment and public safety is available to the highest bidder. The best way to get rid of DeLay-ism is to adopt far-reaching reform that sweeps out special interest money and raises up the voices of everyday Americans."
Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey noted that corruption won't go away under the new Republican leadership.
"Corruption will continue under the new leadership," said Hickey. "This Congress puts the special interests of contributors ahead of the interests of the people. It's time for change and congressional leaders must change our campaign finance system."
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