Cruz campaign to radio stations: Pull false attack ads running in Iowa

cruz-valuesOn Tuesday, the Cruz for President Campaign said in a press release that it has sent a letter to Iowa radio stations requesting they stop running a false ad placed by America’s Renewable Future, a lobbyist group the campaign says wants to keep taxpayer subsidies going to the ethanol industry.  The letter also reminds stations of their responsibility to not air false ads according to federal law.

The ad claims: “Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil, but want to end support for ethanol.”  The campaign, however, says this is false and misleading.

“It is blatantly false to suggest that Sen. Cruz wants to end the Renewable Fuel Standard while maintaining subsidies for oil,” said Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler. “Cruz has repeatedly stated that he would end all energy specific subsidies, both ethanol and oil among others.”

Earlier this year in a speech delivered at Heritage Action in Washington, D.C., Cruz said, “Big government energy mandates don’t stop with ethanol. There are tax credits for almost every form of energy. Each designed to give one industry a leg up over the other.”

He went on to say that we should level the playing field, end the special interest handouts, and stop the energy cronyism. He supported the Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act, sponsored by Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, which would eliminate all technology-specific energy tax credits.

“While Cruz stands consistently in support of the free market, Sen. Rubio champions corporate giveaways like the RFS and sugar subsidies that pick winners and losers in order to enrich lobbyists at the expense of the American taxpayers,” Tyler added.

The text of the letter to the radio stations can be seen below and may be viewed here:

December 1, 2015

Dear Station Manager:

On behalf of Cruz for President, I write this letter to inform you that, based upon available information, America’s Renewable Future, Inc. has purchased media time to publicly disseminate a false and misleading advertisement regarding Senator Ted Cruz.

The ad falsely claims, “Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil, but want to end support for ethanol.”

To the contrary, Ted Cruz has repeatedly stated that he would end energy subsidies for both ethanol and oil among other energy subsidies.

He specifically supports the Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act, sponsored by Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, which would do just that.

Because this advertisement makes a flatly false factual claim for which your station is ultimately responsible, we urge you to exercise your discretion as a licensee to refuse to continue to broadcast this advertisement, and, because it is already airing, immediately pull the advertisement from your rotation.

As an FCC licensee you have the legal responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment and discretion to oversee and protect the marketplace of ideas, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations and intentional libel. Political Programming Policies, 7 FCC Rcd 678, 685 n.54 (1991)(“licensees are not required to accept any political material that is not authorized by candidates”). Such obligations must be taken seriously because courts command broadcasters to “protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.” Licensee Responsibility with Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 FCC 2d 623 (1961). Your failure, as an FCC licensee, to fulfill this obligation, may be deemed an “underlying abdication” of your duties as such a licensee and result in the loss of your station’s license. Cosmopolitan Broadcasting Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978). With this letter, Cruz for President reserves all rights, remedies and recourse to which we are entitled in connection with the potential or actual broadcast of the advertisement referenced herein, and that no action or inaction by Cruz for President shall be deemed to constitute a waiver, relinquishment or other impairment of such rights, remedies or recourse.

Thank you for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Eric S. Brown
General Counsel

It’s about time Republicans started taking it to the dishonest Democrat-media complex.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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