Ad backing Reichert edited for accuracy
Seattle Times staff reporter
The first outside advertising in the heated race for U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert's seat has been changed amid accusations of inaccuracy.
The TV ads, purchased by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, suggested that Reichert, a first-term Republican, voted in 2003 for the expansion of Medicare's prescription-drug benefit.
Reichert was not elected until 2004, prompting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to contest the veracity of the spot.
A new version, now airing, was edited to eliminate the suggestion that Reichert voted for the law. The editing changed the phrase "Reichert supported Medicare Part D" to "Reichert supports Medicare Part D."
But the edits were not made as a result of the Democrats' protests, said Bill Miller, the chamber's political director. "I'm certain all the ads running now are accurate," he said.
KING-TV and KCPQ-TV representatives said the stations received complaints about the ads and substituted the contested pieces with amended versions.
The chamber made similar errors in three other races nationwide, said Kate Bedingfield, a DCCC spokeswoman. In Pennsylvania and Indiana, congressmen praised for supporting the law were not in office at the time of the vote; a third ad praised an Ohio congressman for supporting a law he voted against.
Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Reichert's opponent, Darcy Burner, did not see the ads as doing much harm to the Democrat's campaign.
"Every senior we've talked to is completely frustrated with that program," she said. "The chamber can tout that all they like."
Federal election law prohibits candidates from coordinating so-called "third-party" ads bought by independent groups. But Reichert's spokeswoman, Carol Beaudu, said he indeed supports the prescription-drug plan and has held 16 workshops to explain the benefit to seniors.
Jonathan Martin: 206-464-2605 or email@example.com
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