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Heath Harrison

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Source Cited In Maynard Attack Ad Retracts Story But Spot Still Running

Posted: 11/02/10 06:07 AM ET

A source cited by Republican Elliott "Spike" Maynard in an attack ad against Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia has retracted a story used as the basis of the racially-tinged spot.

The ad, titled "5 Things" cites a claim from a previously-debunked Maynard ad, as well as recycles footage used in a spot from an ad by the West Virginia Conservative Foundation that targeted Rahall's Arab-American ancestry. The spot makes the claim that Rahall took cash from a "convicted terrorist" and a "group with terror ties."

In an Oct. 27 report, the nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog site Factcheck.org found the charges of Maynard's "5 Things" ad to be based on "innuendos and half-truths."

Factcheck said Maynard was attempting to use a "guilt by association" fallacy and found no evidence to support Maynard's claim that the Arab American Leadership Council, whose PAC donated to Rahall, has "terror ties.

The group also took issue with Maynard's raising the issue of a donation Rahall received from Abdurahman Alamoudi, pointing out that Rahall gave the donation to charity when the activities that led to Alamoudi's conviction became known. Factcheck also notes Alamoudi gave money to George W. Bush and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

As Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post reported, the NRCC, who is backing Maynard, kept the donation from Alamoudi.

Maynard's ad cites an item from the conservative website West Virginia Watchdog for the claim regarding the Arab American Leadership Council.

The group called the author of the piece, Steven Allen Adams, to tell him they could not follow the logic of the article, pointing out that no evidence was offered to support the Watchdog's claim that AALC "has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."

"I'm not even following my own logic on it, which is a terrible thing to say. I must have gotten it from my research, but I didn't put it in the story," Adams told the group after rereading his article.

Following the publication of Factcheck's piece and, in response to criticism from the liberal blog West Virginia Blue, Adams issued a retraction for the story on Thursday.

Adams said if he could turn back time, he probably wouldn't have written the piece.

"To be clear I didn't make anything up, but the information that I based that story on wasn't as solid as I had thought it was," Adams said. "On top of that it's a poorly-written story that, had an editor read it and quizzed me beforehand the way Factcheck.org did after the fact, probably would have been spiked."

Despite Factcheck's findings and Adams' retraction retraction, it appears the Maynard camp stands by the ad, which was still airing, with Watchdog citation intact, on WSAZ in Huntington as of Sunday night. The spot is still featured on Maynard's Youtube channel.