Super PAC tweaks anti-Frankel ad to make it TV appropriateby Andrew Abramson | September 25th, 2012
After WPTV-Channel 5 briefly pulled an anti-Lois Frankel ad from the airwaves, the Super PAC financing the ad says it made a minor tweak to please the NBC affiliate.
The ad was pulled after Frankel’s campaign disputed a line that said “Frankel went on a spending spree resulting in a budget deficit.” Frankel’s campaign argued that cities are required, by state law, to balance their budget each year. While West Palm Beach faced a large budget shortfall in Frankel’s final year as mayor, the city ultimately balanced the budget.
Brad Dayspring, a senior adviser for the conservative Super PAC Young Guns Action Fund, said the PAC has tweaked the ad to say “She went on a spending spree with our money. You? Higher taxes to pay for it.”
Lloyd Bucher, station manager for WPTV, said Monday that while campaigns often complain about political ads, it’s rare for a station to pull an ad. Bucher said it’s the station’s duty to corroborate claims made in the ads.
Today, Dayspring wrote in an e-mail that the PAC makes “a great effort to ensure the factual validity of our ads, including both a vigorous internal fact-check and an external legal review.”
“Apparently Mayor Frankel has the audacity to dispute the difference between a budget deficit and a budget shortfall,” Dayspring wrote. “…Regardless, WPTV made clear its preference to refer to ‘Frankel’s budget deficit’ as ‘Frankel’s budget shortfall,’ a request that the YG Action will happily accommodate to ensure that voters have absolutely no question about the facts presented in the ad. Lois Frankel may think there’s a difference between a shortfall and a deficit, but voters are smarter than that and can spot a slimy slight of hand when they see one.”
WPTV did not dispute the claims that Frankel used a police helicopter for personal use and installed a $13,000 bathroom in the mayor’s office when the new city hall was built in 2009.
“We didn’t think it was possible for an elected official to appear more out touch than flying around the city in a police helicopter or having interior decorators redesign the Mayoral powder room, but leave it to real Lois Frankel to outdo the cartoon version of Lois Frankel,” Dayspring wrote.
Frankel (D) is facing Adam Hasner (R) in the District 22 congressional race.
On Monday, Frankel called for a constitutional amendment to limit corporations from backing Super PACs and having undue influence on elections. Frankel called the Super PAC ads “shadowy” and “sleazy.”