Three TV stations have pulled a political ad created by a group funded by the Koch brothers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the three Wisconsin stations — WMSN-TV in Madison and WLUK-TV and WGBA-TV in Green Bay — stopped running the spot after receiving a letter from lawyers for former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.
The letter from Jonathan Berkon and David Lazarus of the Perkins Coie law firm, which represents Feingold’s campaign, calls the commercial “false, misleading and deceptive,” and adds: “For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station must immediately cease airing this advertisement.”
The spot comes from the Freedom Partners Action Fund, which is reportedly funded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch and is backing U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in his Senate race against Feingold. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the group is revising the ad.
At the center of the controversy is the ad’s claim that Feingold ignored a 2009 memo detailing allegations of prescription drug abuse at the Tomah VA hospital, the Journal reports. The ad features a whistleblower talking about alleged falsified records and other problems at the clinic.
“The original ad … includes an interview with Tomah whistleblower Ryan Honl, who claimed Feingold received a 2009 memo from a union alleging abusive overprescription of drugs was occurring at the hospital. The ad has been revised and will be worked into a $2 million ad buy, according to Freedom Partners Action Fund,” the Journal reports.
Here’s the original ad …