Hartford Courant: Bysiewicz Must Fix False AdJuly 25 2012
For the original article, please visit the Hartford Courant.
Shame on Susan Bysiewicz. This seasoned politician admits that a key element of her latest ad attacking Chris Murphy, her rival for the DemocraticU.S. Senate nomination in the Aug. 14 party primary, is inaccurate. Yet she insists on letting the error stand.
How can a candidate who asks for the voters' trust while at the same time intentionally misleading them with inaccurate advertising be taken seriously?
The Bysiewicz ad says Mr. Murphy is the top recipient of campaign contributions from hedge funds among all Democrats in Congress. That's untrue. He's fourth on the list. The claim is simply inaccurate.
According to the Murphy campaign, the ad also incorrectly classifies several Murphy donors as Wall Street contributors.
Ms. Bysiewicz admits that portions of the ad are "incorrect." The mistake can be attributed to sloppy research, says a campaign aide. Yet despite the admissions of the Bysiewicz campaign, the flawed ad will remain on television, warts and all.
Mr. Murphy wants the four local TV stations running the ad — including FOX CT — to take it off the air. But stations are generally prohibited by law from censoring or refusing to run political ads — even inaccurate ones — from bona fide federal candidates. The Federal Communications Commission has said that stations have a duty to protect the public from false commercial advertising but that political speech should not be suppressed.
It's Ms. Bysiewicz's duty to correct the error in her ad or end its run.