Congressman Jim Himes responds to anonymous funded attack ad on behalf of Dan Debicella.
Norwalk City Hall 10.19.10. Photo by ctblogger.
As in the case in the 5th district, anonymously financed ultra-right "shadow" groups have targeted Congressman Jim Himes in his race against Dan Debicella.
Because of the US Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, 501( c ) groups such as ANN are not legally required to disclose their donors, thus giving corporations the ability to donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously.
Recently ANN targeted Congressman Himes (along with Congressman Chris Murphy) with a 800,000 TV attack ad that accuses the congressmen of approving the distribution of Viagra to sex offenders and voting in favor of health care to undocumented immigrants.
At a rally at Norwalk City Hall, Congressman Himes responded to ad and called on Dan Debicella to demand AAN to cease advertising in the state.
Congressman Jim Himes held a rally with 4th District residents to call on Dan Debicella to demand that the American Action Network and 60 Plus, outside interest groups funded by secret money, cease the false and misleading advertising they are sending on his behalf. Due to a loophole in campaign finance law, organizations are able to deliberately hide the donors funding campaign ads, leaving voters and the news media no ability to question the agenda, motives, or objectives of these anonymous funders.
“Dan Debicella has run a campaign of utter deception, and these ads are just the most recent demonstration of his casual relationship with the truth,” said Himes. “He should demand these ads be removed so we can have a real discussion about how to improve the economy and create jobs. Debicella is simply trying to district voters from his reckless, radical record.”
The ad AAN is attempting to run is so false that local cable companies felt the need to seek legal advice on whether or not the ad could run. Thus far, the ad has not appeared.
Over the course of the campaign, Debicella has blatantly lied on several occasions. He grossly overstated the unemployment rate on numerous occasions, makes false promises about tax cuts paid for with money that doesn’t exists, and attacked Jim for votes taken before he was even a member of Congress. And Debicella's economic programs don’t add up; he’s called for cutting the federal budget by 25% but has yet to name any specific cuts.
Debicella’s unwillingness to call for the ad’s removal highlights once again his reckless, radical positions. While Debicella campaigns with Chris Shays and tries to lay claim to his moderate support, Debicella’s unwillingness to call for this ad’s removal highlights another difference between the two officials. Shays was a leader on campaign finance reform, having written the law that is now being abused by Debicella and his supporters.
After the rally, I had a chance to talk with Congressman Himes about the ad...