Stations pull ad critical of Brown
The Republican Party is standing by the ad.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Several Ohio television stations have stopped airing a Republican ad because state documents contradict the ad's accusation that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown didn't pay an unemployment tax bill for 13 years.
A similar ad by Brown's GOP opponent, Sen. Mike DeWine, has been changed to remove a reference to how long Brown's tax bill was delinquent, DeWine spokesman Brian Seitchik said.
Cincinnati television stations WKRC, WCPO and WXIX said they stopped running the national Republican ad. The 726,597 ad was meant to help DeWine in the final weeks of his race against Brown, a Northeast Ohio congressman who had been expanding his lead in recent polls in a district crucial to the Nov. 7 election fight over control of the Senate.
The Republican National Committee "has not been able to verify the information so we pulled it off pending getting appropriate documentation to that effect," said WCPO General Manager Bill Fee. WKRC said it had been advised by its lawyers that the ad, which aired Wednesday, was inaccurate.
The RNC sent a letter to Ohio stations Thursday standing by the ad.
The Brown campaign had produced an Ohio Bureau of Employment Services document showing that the state placed a claim on the tax bill on Dec. 20, 1993, and released its claim four months later when the bill was paid in full. Brown spokeswoman Joanna Kuebler said Brown discovered last year that the claim of more than 1,700 was still listed as active.
RNC spokesman Aaron McLear said a 2005 state document seemed to indicate that the 1993 delinquency claim wasn't lifted until last year.
The Brown campaign said its lawyers were assured that three other television stations also pulled the ad Thursday.
The DeWine ad features older women berating Brown, including one who says she can't trust the Democrat because he didn't pay his "outstanding tax bill for 12 years." A new version was playing on stations, such as WTVG-TV in Toledo, in which the woman's statement is cut off after the word "bill."
Seitchik said the new version reflects that Brown did have a delinquent tax bill, even though the length of time the taxes were outstanding was disputed.
The DeWine campaign had to alter a previous ad when it was discovered that it contained doctored images of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.