- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2002

The Minnesota Republican Senate nominee is asking a group that produced rap music with conservative lyrics to pull a political TV ad calling incumbent Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone "communistic" and a liar.
Republican challenger Norm Coleman says the ad by St. Paul-based Citizens Opposed to Racism and Discrimination (CORAD) is inappropriate and should not have been produced on his behalf. But the group is refusing to pull the ad.
The ad says Mr. Wellstone supports "communistic health care" and is "a millionaire who has lied" to voters. The words "lied lied lied," which appear on the screen, are a reference to a pledge by Mr. Wellstone to serve only two terms. He is seeking his third term.
"We, of course, had nothing to do with this," Mr. Coleman said.
"We think the characterizations in the ad go too far in substance and style. That kind of irresponsible and negative campaign rhetoric should have no place in campaign discourse, anywhere, even if it emanates from an independent source," he said.
Keith Roberts, CORAD spokesman, said the group will continue to run the ad on MSNBC.
"It's our First Amendment right," Mr. Roberts said. "We respect Norm Coleman and his desire to pull the ad, but we feel so strongly about Paul Wellstone we need to keep this ad out he is a socialist elitist."
A spokesman for Mr. Wellstone said the ad is "full of lies" and is illegal because CORAD is a for-profit company advocating that voters support Mr. Coleman.
Mr. Roberts said they dissolved the corporation two years ago after releasing the rap CD "Racism Exposed" by conservative rapper Miss Zealand. CORAD now offers the CD free from its Web site.
Wellstone spokesman Jim Farrell said it is not enough for Mr. Coleman to call for the removal of the CORAD ad. Radio, TV and print campaigns by two other special interest groups also should be pulled, said Mr. Farrell.
"They are full of lies about Paul Wellstone's record," Mr. Farrell said.
Americans for Job Security is running ads attacking Mr. Wellstone for not voting to eliminate the estate tax. Mr. Farrell said Mr. Wellstone voted to exempt farmers and small-business owners but not to repeal the tax. United Seniors Association is also running negative ads.
"All of these ads contain falsehoods, all of these ads are being run by secret groups who do not reveal their funding, and all of these ads benefit Norm Coleman," said Jeff Blodgett, Mr. Wellstone's campaign manager.
Mr. Coleman said the ads could have been prevented had Mr. Wellstone accepted his offer for both sides to ban soft money and independent expenditures.
Mr. Farrell called the challenge "a fraud."
The Coleman campaign has asked for soft-money bans on several occasions, and after each refusal, a soft-money advertisement goes up attacking Mr. Wellstone, Mr. Farrell said.
"Whenever they are in the process of placing the buys, they issue a pious letter saying let's reject soft money. As soon as we get a letter, we know a soft-money buy is coming real fast. It is very cynical, and I think the voters will understand how cynical that is," Mr. Farrell said.
Ben Whitney, Mr. Coleman's campaign manager, acknowledged the request has been made several times to keep soft money out of Minnesota.
"The only thing that is a fraud here is this accusation, there is something unreal about it," said Mr. Whitney, adding that the Wellstone campaign is getting more than $2 million in soft-money donations.
"That angers me because what he is saying is flatly false and he knows it and should be ashamed of saying the offer was not genuine," he said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide