Obama is trying to silence this video. He may disagree with his critics, but he will fight for their right to say it. Scratch that. He may disagree with his critics, but he will fight to keep their voices silent. That's right.
Obama not only aired a response ad to the spot linking him to William Ayers, but he sought to block stations the commercial by warning station managers and asking the Justice Department to intervene. The campaign also planned to compel advertisers to pressure stations that continue to air the anti-Obama commercial.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama supporters have inundated stations that are airing the ad, many of them owned by Sinclair Communications, with 93,000 e-mails. He called the ad false, despicable and outrageous. "Other stations that follow Sinclair's lead should expect a similar response from people who don't want the political discourse cheapened with these false, negative attacks," Vietor said. Sinclair offices were closed late Monday and officials there could not be immediately contacted. I
n a letter to station managers, Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer wrote: "Your station is committed to operating in the public interest, an objective that cannot be satisfied by accepting for compensation material of such malicious falsity." Bauer also wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Keeney, noting that the ad is a "knowing and willful attempt to evade the strictures of federal election law."
The American Issues Project is a 501(c)4 nonprofit corporation. It is permitted by law to air a political ad provided that the majority of its spending is nonpolitical. It cannot accept money from corporations and it must identify the donors that finance its ads in reports to the Federal Election Commission.
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