King campaign asks TV stations to pull RNSC ads

5:16 PM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Angus King for Senate campaign is trying to get two TV attack ads off the air. Both ads are sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat King and elect Republican Charlie Summers.

The ads that made King unhappy both target his Record Hill wind farm project in the western Maine community of Roxbury. King and his business partner have said they sold their interest in the project months before it received a $100 million federal loan, and more than a year before it was given a $33 million federal grant.

King's campaign called a press conference on Monday to say the ads should be taken off the air because they contain false and misleading statements. Campaign manager Kay Rand says the ads claim King got a "sweetheart deal" to help build the project, apparently a reference to the federal loan. Rand says news reports have shown that claim isn't true.

The ads also say King made "millions and millions" from the deal, but Rand says financial records show he made far less -- about $212, 000.

Rand says that's why the King campaign has decided to fight back against the negative ads. The campaign has called or sent letters to all Maine TV stations, asking them to pull the ads. Rand says if that doesn't work, the campaign may take more direct legal action.

For its part, the NRSC issued its own statement, saying, in part,"The simple fact is that the ad is accurate and King knows it, and these legal threats are nothing but a desperate PR distraction from that fact. "

The television stations are reviewing King's request. An FCC spokesperson says federal law prohibits censoring of candidate commercials, but does not provide the same protection for political ads by independent groups, including PAC's like the NRSC. Broadcasters are free to demand edits or changes in those ads, or even take them off the air.

As of Monday evening, the King campaign was waiting for answers from the television stations.

NEWS CENTER

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