Thursday, September 25, 2008

SoFla House races plagued by false TV spots from Republicans

The Diaz-Balart brothers have won a race, of sorts. Their TV ads have won the quickest condemnation as FALSE I’ve ever seen.

I’d like to hear from other congressional races around the country. How fast have your local media managed to examine and produce condemnations of TV spots run by your Republican incumbents?

Not that I could say exactly how many days and hours it took our brilliant Miami ABC outlet, Channel 10, to pronounce these ads as false. I hadn’t even seen the spot running against Raul Martinez, the Democratic challenger against Lincoln Diaz-Balart in FL-21, and here’s the condemnation already. And it was maybe a week from when I saw the spot run by Mario Diaz-Balart against Democratic challenger Joe Garcia in FL-25 to when it had been exposed as false. In both cases, it was pretty fast, and highly commendable of Channel 10 to have acted openly and forthrightly against the two Republican representatives of the supposedly invulnerable Miami Cuban exile hard-liners.

Here’s what Channel 10 reported on the ad against Raul Martinez:

As Channel 10 said, some of the charges were sort of accurate, since Raul Martinez had a long run of legal troubles two decades ago – political prosecutions similar to what took former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman into prison on dubious charges. Siegelman has been freed, and we’d oh so like to have Karl Rove reveal his role in this affair but he refuses to testify before a House committee.

House, you say? That’s the body we’re trying to elect Raul Martinez, Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo to join and help set it right.

And thank you, Channel 10, for pointing out who’s the only convicted person in that story: Lincoln Diaz-Balart, convicted and fined $30,000 for taking excessive campaign contributions.

It should be noted that the prosecutor who launched against Raul Martinez, Dexter Lehtinen, is the husband of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who soon thereafter was elected to the U.S. House seat that Martinez had planned to run for. Talk about sleazy politics.

Now we turn to what Channel 10 has reported on the whoppers told by Mario Diaz-Balart’s campaign ad against Joe Garcia.

I remember my reaction to seeing this spot a few weekends ago. It was shown among the Sunday morning talk shows, and I erupted in wild guffaws to see it claim that Joe Garcia was some creature of Enron. What a wild-hare story!

Thanks again, Channel 10, for wrapping it up so neatly. False, False, False.

Where in our wonderful system of government and society are the sanctions for putting such crap on the public airwaves?

While we’re thinking about these South Florida congressional races, anyone for a debate? Not if you’re a Republican. They have ducked and dodged, set some dates and then demurred, making the media mad and frustrating their Democratic opponents.

It behooves us to donate to the challengers, because they’ll need more money to run ads themselves to get their names before the public. Annette Taddeo, running against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in FL-18, has her first TV spot now running, and there must be more to help voters realize there’s a strong challenge to the FL-18 incumbent.

So please unhinge your Act Blue or other political donation mechanism, and give to Annette Taddeo, Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez.

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