WASHINGTON -- The board of directors of YWCA Cass Clay, a nonprofit group backing women, has asked North Dakota Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rick Berg's campaign to remove a television ad that the group said may be interpreted as a YWCA endorsement.
The request comes one day after Karl Rove-backed advocacy group Crossroads GPS pulled a TV ad attacking Berg's Democratic opponent, Heidi Heitkamp, with a false claim.
Berg's campaign ad, titled "Make A Difference" and released on Wednesday, features ex-YWCA board chairwoman Tammy Miller giving a testimonial for Berg, a congressman on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. The ad focuses on Berg's help in securing millions of dollars toward a new YWCA rescue shelter for women and children in Fargo-Moorhead.
“When we first met with Rick, we thought we would just ask for a financial contribution,” Miller says in the ad. “That’s what we were expecting. Rick so strongly believed in the mission and wanted to do more.”
A Grand Forks Herald report said an online version of the ad was posted with a disclaimer that Berg had received no endorsement from the YWCA. The actual video did not include the disclaimer.
"This advertisement is being perceived as a YWCA endorsement of the Rick Berg campaign,” the YWCA said in a statement. “As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the YWCA Cass Clay did not, cannot and will not endorse, support or engage in political campaigns or elections.”
Alison Kelly, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party, released the following statement:
"Rick Berg is trying to hide his long history of toeing the party line at the expense of North Dakota's women, even voting to allow insurance companies to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence. North Dakotans won't forget that Rick Berg voted with his party leaders and against the bipartisan Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act in Washington, leaving VAWA another victim to Washington's partisan gridlock."
Berg's office did not immediately return a request for comment. The campaign has since removed the ad from its YouTube page.
"Politically, I think that would help him," Paul said in a interview with <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78599.html#ixzz20w7ycTBE" target="_hplink">Politico</a>. "In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want."
"I have no idea on why he has restricted the number to this point," <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57474352/pressure-mounts-on-mitt-romney-to-release-more-tax-returns/?tag=socsh" target="_hplink">Lugar said</a>.
"I don't know why... he didn't get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest," Will said on ABC's "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/george-will-mitt-romney-bain_n_1674513.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HP%2FPolitics+(Politics+on+The+Huffington+Post)" target="_hplink">This Week</a>." "He's done nothing illegal, nothing unseemly, nothing improper, but lots that's impolitic."
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1674325.html" target="_hplink">Fox News Sunday</a>." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."
"I just believe in total transparency," Bentley told <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/gop-governor-calls-on-mitt-romney-to-release-additional-tax-returns-and-show-he-has-nothing-to-hide/" target="_hplink">ABC News</a>. "In fact, I was asked today that question -- do you think that Governor Romney should release his tax returns? And I said I do. I said, I release my tax returns. I may be the only public official in Alabama that does, but I release mine every year and I just believe that people should release their tax returns. And if you get them out and just get past that, it just makes it so much easier."
When asked on "<a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/barbour-romney-should-release-more-tax-returns-20120710" target="_hplink">The Situation Room</a>" if Romney should release more returns, Barbour said, "I would. But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly."
"If there's nothing there, there's no 'there' there, don't create a there,'" Steele said on MSNBC.
"Tax returns the next problem. Releasing returns under pressure: more weakness, more pain," Frum <a href="https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/224509505973661696" target="_hplink">tweeted</a>.