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O'Donnell faces obstacles in effort to air 30-minute TV ad in Delaware


Christine O'Donnell's half hour ad, which a local public access television station says they forgot to air -- twice.

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By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 1, 2010; 2:41 PM

Christine O'Donnell is taking a page from the playbook of Barack Obama. The Republican Senate candidate has produced a 30-minute television advertisement in the form of a documentary chronicling her connection with the people of Delaware.

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But unlike Obama's ad at the end of the 2008 race, the tea party insurgent's campaign has run into obstacles getting it in front of voters before Election Day. The campaign did not purchase advance time on networks in the Philadelphia or Delaware markets, said a source close to the O'Donnell campaign, and the networks did not have time available to air the ad on such short notice.

So O'Donnell turned to a public access television station, Delaware Channel 28. She told supporters at a Tea Party Express rally on Sunday in Wilmington to watch that night at 11:30. "Tell everyone to tune in," she said at the rally.

"1 minute until the premiere of our 30 minute feature. Tune in to meet all the heart warming people I've met on the campaign trail. Ch. 28," O'Donnell tweeted Sunday night.

But the ad never aired.

A few minutes later, O'Donnell tweeted: "Okay... this is NOT our show! Must be a programming mix up. We will get back to you..."

The source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive campaign operations, said the station "forgot to air it."

Then on Monday morning, O'Donnell's campaign issued a press release saying the ad would air on Channel 28 at 10 a.m. The candidate tweeted: "The Inspiring TV show about Delawareans will air at 10 aam and 3 pm today on Channel 28. Please watch this before you vote."

And again, it did not air.

"This isn't our show either! We are told channel 28 'forgot' to air it...both times... even though we paid for the time slot last week," O'Donnell tweeted shortly after 10 a.m.

Tim Qualls, executive producer at Channel 28, said in an interview the ad did not air because O'Donnell's campaign did not bring a tape to the production studio by the agreed upon deadline. She reserved the time on Thursday, for $2,500, and agreed to bring a tape by Friday at 5 p.m., Qualls said.

"I did not receive a tape until Sunday night at one of my employees' houses," Qualls said. "It has nothing to do with us refusing to air it. I just didn't get the tape by my deadline."


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