Congressional Republicans were dealt a setback Thursday in their attempt to punish Democrats in swing districts for voting for climate change legislation in the House last week.
WDBJ-TV, a Roanoke television station, will not air a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ad attacking freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), citing factual inaccuracies, according to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee communications director Jen Crider. A source familiar with the station's decision confirmed Crider's account; WDBJ general manager Jeff Marks confirmed that the ad would not run, but declined to say why.
"The ad is not running, be we have not characterized why that is," said Marks. "We don't characterize why an ad is not running. We looked into the complaints [from national Democrats], but other than saying that, you really need to find out from the NRCC."
An NRCC source said that Democrats are mischaracterizing the station's decision. "One station has temporarily pulled the ad. The station manager has also informed us that he plans to notify the DCCC about their mischaracterization of what exactly has transpired. The ad is still set to run on the other stations in the local market," said the source.
Marks said the station has made no public statement saying that it rejected the ad for factual reasons. He confirmed that he notified Democrats that he had made no public statements about the ad. He did not reject the assertion that the ad was pulled because it was inaccurate, declining to comment instead.
Earlier, the nonpartisan organization FactCheck.org called the ad "wrong."
The ad says the bill will result in lost jobs and cost "middle class families" $1,870 a year. That sounds pretty dire, until you consider that this week we posted an item about the Office of the Republican Whip Eric Cantor's claim that the same bill would "impose a national energy tax of up to $3,100." So is the cost of the legislation going down? Did the NRCC make a mistake in its math?
Hardly. While it may seem curious that House Republicans would flog two different cost figures for the proposed legislation, it is indicative of the difficulty in determining how a cap on carbon emissions could affect Americans' electricity bills. The NRCC ad credits a Washington Times editorial for its claim that the Waxman-Markey bill would make electricity prices "skyrocket," costing families $1,870 a year. But the NRCC is wrong.
Here's the ad:
Ryan Grim's book, This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America, is now on sale