West Virginia Republican Spike Maynard continued to drive a highly controversial line of attack targeting his 3rd District Opponent, Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, over what Maynard says are Rahall's connection to a group with "terror ties."
In a new ad, Maynard makes claims that Rahall, a West Virginian of Lebanese descent, "has taken campaign cash from a group with terror ties." This allegation is based on a report from February that points out that the Congressman has received donations from the National Association of Arab-Americans PAC, the National Muslims for a Better America PAC and the the Arab American Leadership PAC between 2000 and 2008. The report alleges that the latter committee is directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), which it says supports groups such as al Qaeda.
But there are a few problems with the brutally negative ad. It's worth noting, for instance, that most of the report's information appears to come from a book called "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America," a controversial and notedly anti-CAIR book published by Joseph Farah, founder of ultra-conservative website WorldNetDaily.
The ad's second allegation revolves around a campaign donation by Alamoudi, a "convicted terrorist."
As HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported earlier this month on a similar ad, this claim is a stretch:
The problem with the ad? Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall gave the money away years ago, although the same man gave money to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which has endorsed Maynard as one of its "Young Guns."
Alamoudi, who was highly active in American politics before his incarceration, also donated money to George W. Bush.
The third accusation revolves around an earlier report that covered a supposed conflict of interest in the fact that Rep. Rahall co-sponsored pro-Qatari measures in Congress while her sister, Tanya, was a paid lobbyist for the Middle Eastern nation.
Tanya Rahall denied this claims, saying at the time: "Everything I have gotten, I have gotten on my own...We have both been active on Arab-American issues. It is what we care about. I do it for a living."
UPDATE: Maynard Press Secretary Matt Dabrowski sent the following statement to The Huffington Post:
"As the evidence shows, Nick Rahall's record on Mideast issues is outside the mainstream of American politics. Some have called Nick Rahall one of the most anti-Israel Congressmen, because of his votes against Israel's right to defend itself and his friendship with Yasser Arafat. His sister Tanya Rahall is being sued in D.C. Superior Court for her inappropriate use of her brother's good offices, and for her connections to Mideast issues. West Virginia is one of the top states in military enlistment, so extremism in the Middle East results in casualties to West Virginia servicemen and women. We will continue to examine Nick Rahall's out-of-the-mainstream record on the Mideast peace issue."