Speaker John Oceguera’s congressional campaign not only won’t pull down an ad that has been universally condemned by the media, but he put out a release today again attacking Rep. Joe Heck on women’s issues.
The spot implies Heck voted against funding for a rape crisis center – it actually says on screen he “voted against rape crisis center,” which, actually, is about as true as saying he wants to “end Medicare.” He voted against an omnibus appropriations bill that included funding for a rape crisis center, so they think it is fair to pluck that line item out of the measure and have a rape victim imply he doesn’t care about rape victims. Seriously?
The ad also says Heck “tried to restrict rape victims access to abortion,” which is patently false. (Notice in the backup I have attached here that Team Oceguera talks about what “could have” happened. But rape victims were excluded in the bill.)
Even if you could argue that the first part is technically true – and what is on screen is not – the second part is not. And no one who has looked closely at the ad, from Elizabeth Crum and Hugh Jackson on “The Agenda” this week to Steve Sebelius to David McGrath Schwartz has found it to be less than outrageous.
I asked Oceguera campaign boss Adam Weiss today if he was going to pull the ad after its condemnation by the media:
“No, we’re not.”
“Why would we? We believe in the back up.”
Later, Weiss put out a news release headlined, “Congressman Joe Heck’s Long Record of Wrong Priorities on Women’s Health and Safety.” It repeated the same charges and more.
This is a desperate and revolting attempt to make women believe Heck is monstrous. And, I suppose, it just might do the trick. And I mean trick.
Here’s what I think: Oceguera and friends know they are behind. They don’t care about the media criticism. They revel in it, in fact, and don’t much care about the veracity of the spot. Indeed, the more attention it gets, the more people might believe all of it. And there are plenty of Gross Ratings Points behind it that will more than compensate for us Fourth Estate whiners.
It’s the same strategy the Democrats used in 2008 to oust Heck from the state Senate. Just make people think he doesn’t care about women getting cervical cancer, and women will vote against him.
I wonder if it will work this time.