Ad Wars Continue
More trouble on the presumed freeze on campaigning by the Bush and Kerry teams during this week of mourning Ronald Reagan.
Aides to President Bush announced that they were shocked to learn that an independent Democratic political organization, the Media Fund, was running an advertisement questioning contracts that the Pentagon issued to Halliburton, the company Vice President Dick Cheney once headed.
“Now it seems Halliburton has been price gouging, and overcharged the federal government $27 million for meals they never served to our troops and $61 million for gasoline,” the announcer in the advertisement says.
Mr. Bush’s strategists cried foul, noting that Mr. Kerry’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter, had made a point of saying that Mr. Kerry was canceling his campaign appearances in deference to the death of the former president.
Ms. Cutter responded by noting that the fund, known as a 527 after a section of the tax code that covers such advocacy groups, operates completely independently of the Kerry campaign.
“Have they not read the campaign finance laws?” Ms. Cutter inquired. “The campaign finance laws prevent the John Kerry for President campaign from coordinating with 527’s. Which means we have no idea what’s up on the air, nor do we have any control of it.”
A spokesman for the Media Fund, Jim Jordan, similarly dismissed the Bush camp’s complaints. “We’re not remotely interested in the whining and crying of the most relentlessly negative and demonstrably dishonest campaign in modern political history,” he said.
Heh. So much for lowering the volume.
Hat tip: Taegan Goddard
Update: Megan McArdle thinks this may have a Paul Wellstone backlash.