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June 21, 2006

McGavick says Cantwell attack ad goes too far

Posted by David Postman at 8:14 PM

Republican Senate candidate Mike McGavick issued a statement tonight saying the new TV commercial criticizing Sen. Maria Cantwell for voting against repeal of the estate tax is a personal attack and he says the Free Enterprise Fund should take it off the air.

"I have said over and over that my campaign will be a civil one that does not attack Senator Cantwell personally. While campaign finance laws prohibit me from coordinating on advertising with organizations such as the one sponsoring this particular ad, nothing prevents me from stating publicly that I disagree with the personal nature of it and I hope that it is taken off the air."

The ad, which I wrote about below, features Cantwell's head superimposed on a vulture's body.

It is not unheard of for a candidate to call on an outside group to pull an ad attacking an opponent. I can't recall an instance, though, of an ad actually being taken off the air in response.

Cantwell spokeswoman Charla Neuman said Cantwell will not support a full repeal, and said of the senator:

"She's taking the issue more seriously than how this group is treating it. Fortunately, the creepiness of an ad isn't going to be a factor for her while trying to come up with the best estate tax reform policy Congress can."

UPDATE: Phil Kerpen, policy director for the Free Enterprise Fund, says the group has no plans to take the ad down. He says the TV spots have nothing to do with the Senate race, and he doesn't think they are personal attacks.

He said versions of the vulture ad have run in other states with no complaints. "Certainly nothing like this where a Republican complained," he said.

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