I previously blogged on an ad campaign on the debt debate launched by Concerned Women for America. The ad has now more than 1.3 million views nationwide, according to a CWA spokesperson. In addition to a national ad, a state-version is running in Montana, which adds a pointed message for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who faces a tough election in 2012:
Not exactly a harsh personal attack on Tester, but Tester responded with a campaign fundraising e-mail blast, a copy of which Right Turn has obtained. It reads, in part:
I saw an attack ad the other day that made my blood boil. It was paid for by a special interest group calling itself “The Concerned Women of America” — and the actor on the screen was trying really hard to make me sympathize with her accusations about Jon’s record. But know what that ad actually did? It showed me just how devious these groups attacking Jon are — and that we need to do everything we can to help him stand against them. Show your support for Jon by joining me in pitching in $10 to his campaign right now.
More than anything, I’m angry at their nerve. I did some digging around, and here’s an interesting fact: this same special interest group attacking Jon right now also lobbied Congress against child pornography protection. If you ask me, that’s something the women of Montana (and all of America, for that matter) should be concerned about. And now they’re out here spreading lies and smears about the Senator who stands up every day to protect our communities, our families, and our children’s futures. So I’m fighting them back with all the dollars I can. Will you join me?
It is signed by Stacy Rogge-Senterfeit, co-chair, Women for Tester.
Well, this a bizarre and flat-out false attack. A simple visit to the group’s Web site would have told the Tester campaign that CWA is a staunch opponent of pornography and has been visible in advocating for anti-pornography laws.
Not surprisingly, CWA hit back at Tester:
“Senator Tester’s smear attack on Concerned Women for America is a complete disgrace,” said Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America LAC. “The Tester campaign’s assertion that CWA lobbied Congress against child pornography protection is absolutely false. To the contrary, CWA strongly supports tough penalties for those who peddle in child pornography. And Senator Tester should have known better—it is publicly known that I was personally the victim in an attempted sexual attack by a suspected pornography addict while I was pregnant with my daughter. I was rescued by a passing motorist, and have spent the last 15 years as a champion against child pornography and indecency—including more than 3 years of public service working on this issue at the FCC. Concerned Women for America demands an apology from Senator Tester for this false and unseemly attack.”
Ouch. As of this writing, a CWA spokesperson tells me that there has been no response from the Tester campaign.
This episode suggests that CWA, as I had anticipated, is going to have a higher profile in the 2012 elections. Tester’s response evidences a degree of panic that the ad might catch on. (So far, it has had about 17,000 pages views.)
Right Turn has not received comment from the Tester campaign. If I do hear back, I’ll be sure to pass any response along.