At least three Houston television stations have declined to air ads
targeting Republican Rep. Tom DeLay, who is facing trial in Texas on
charges of laundering campaign funds.
Two liberal groups paid for
the 30-second ads, which address alleged links between DeLay and a
widespread congressional corruption probe of disgraced lobbyist Jack
The ads were to start Wednesday and run for one week.
But the DeLay campaign sent letters to the stations threatening legal
action, saying the spots are deliberately misleading.
“The ad is
reckless, malicious, and false, casting Mr. DeLay in a false light by
accusing him of unsubstantiated criminal conduct,” DeLay campaign
lawyer Don McGahn wrote the stations. “We demand that you refuse or
otherwise cease airing the advertisement.”
KHOU-TV, a CBS
affiliate, announced on its 5 p.m. broadcast that it was skipping the
ads because “not all the claims in the ad could be clearly
substantiated from the source material.”
ABC affiliate KTRK-TV
and Fox affiliate KRIV-TV also declined to air the spot, which was paid
for by Campaign for America’s Future and Public Campaign Action Fund.
Chaudhuri _ a spokesman for Campaign for America’s Future, one of the
groups that paid for the ad _ said in a statement that “threatening to
sue the media and desperately throwing dust in the eyes of his
constituents rather than answering the charges against him won’t help
Rep. DeLay’s defense.”
The ad lists money and travel that DeLay
allegedly received from Abramoff, who pleaded guilty this month to
corruption charges in connection with congressional wining and dining.
stepped down as House majority leader earlier this month. He had been
forced to temporarily relinquish the Republican leadership post after
he was indicted in September.