Skip to comments.Group Led By Iraq War Veteran Will Air Ad Attacking Allen (Will Target Others in Congress too)
Posted on 09/13/2006 10:26:11 AM PDT by areafiftyone
RICHMOND An obscure new political group headed by an Iraq War veteran will begin airing television ads today that accuse Republican Sen. George Allen of voting to withhold lifesaving body armor for U.S. troops.
The bluntly worded 30-second ad by VoteVets.org is significant because it's the first attack ad of this year's hotly contested Senate race between Allen and Democrat Jim Webb.
It's also the first of many likely to be aired this fall not by campaigns but by so-called 527 organizations similar to 2004's anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the pro-Democrat Americans Coming Together.
The ad's tone is aggressive from the start. It opens with Peter Granato, an Army reservist who served in Iraq in 2003, standing in a desert holding an AK-47 assault rifle. He fires the weapon at two mannequins, one outfitted with a Vietnam-era flak jacket, the other wearing modern body armor.
"The difference is life," Granato says, opening the new bulletproof vest to show an unscathed mannequin, "or death," he says, opening the old vest to reveal four bullet holes.
"Senator George Allen voted against giving our troops this," Granato says, holding one of the new vests up to the camera. "Now it's time for us to vote against him."
The ad's shocking claim that Allen deliberately denied troops lifesaving equipment outraged Allen's campaign.
"This ad is deceitful and a lie," Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams said.
Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said the ad seemed to go "way too far."
VoteVets.org chairman Jon Soltz said it is not endorsing Webb, a Vietnam combat veteran who opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion, just opposing Allen. He said Allen is the first candidate the ad will target, but that it will be run against other House or Senate candidates as the organization's finances allow.
Soltz defended the claim, based on a vote Allen cast in 2003 against an amendment Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., offered to boost National Guard and Reserves equipment funding by $1 billion.
Landrieu's amendment died on a 52-47 vote with Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., and every other Republican voting to table Landrieu's bill. One Democrat, Zell Miller of Georgia, voted with the GOP majority.
"This was a life-or-death vote, and he voted death," said Soltz, an Army Reserves captain who served with the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad.
He said in a telephone interview that many in his unit were issued the Vietnam-era jackets, while others were given the vests for the modern system, but not the armor plates to insert in the vest to make it bulletproof.
"In fact, we put Iraqi plates in our vests after we got there because we found a bunch of them abandoned at the Baghdad airport," Soltz said.
Wadhams angrily denied the claim, saying the Defense Department issued none of the dark olive flak jackets used in the '60s and '70s in Iraq's desert environment.
The ad's scandalous charge and its adamant tone could boomerang if voters find it too outrageous, Sabato said.
"Say what you will about George Allen, but I don't think you can credibly say that he voted not to protect American troops," he said.
VoteVets.org is among a growing number of tax-exempt, nonprofit political advocacy organizations formed under Section 527 of the IRS code. They can influence federal elections through voter mobilization and issue advertisements. In 2003-04, they raised more than $400 million for their activities.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also will begin airing so-called "independent expenditure" ads benefiting Webb.
FYI, the Virginia blogs are reporting that Rasmussen has:
I can't get to it on Rasmussen because it's for "premium" members.
See post #40.
This has just come out. Give 'em time.
I just confirmed. There's more on the way.
This Peter Granato could actually be dangerous. Just try a simple Google search. It looks like he's from FL and one article describes him at a Sheehan event, in another blog posting (which may or may not be him) in a FL he slurs FL GOPer Crist and in another FL article he tried to 'inoccently' get into a Bush event without pre-screening. Here's that article
The Boca Raton News 9/13/06
"One other person from Boca wasnt as lucky Friday. Samuel Sisisky, a local veteran and supporter of Democrats John Kerry and John Edwards, said he had a ticket to get in. So did a companion, Peter Granato of West Palm Beach.
"But when they got to the barrier outside the Miami Arena, a volunteer who was checking tickets said they couldnt go in.
"'They didnt have tickets,' insisted the volunteer, John Ludwig. But the Palm Beach County pair swore they did.
"A cop came over and backed Ludwig. Granato and Sisisky didnt get into the arena.
"Ludwig said the event was free, but people needed an advance ticket. And those who got tickets had to be screened. He said neither Granato nor Sisisky had gotten the once-over.
"And it wasnt the sun that made them hot under the collar. 'I just wanted to see my former commander-in-chief,' said Granato, who said he just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Sisisky is a veteran of the Korean War."
>Many women appear to be having problems with their sexuality
What kind of woman would seek out the Academy routine? (pg. 282, Women Cant Fight, Washingtonian Magazine, November 1979)<
Well, it's becoming more and more clear why Mr Webb left the Republican party, and is running as a Democrat. There is no way on the planet he'd be elected, with quotes like this!
It's no wonder the Rats have beaten the Macaca drum so incessantly!
The ad cites Senate Vote #116, 108th Congress, 1st Session as proof of this accusation. True, Allen did vote to table this motion to an amendment. He voted that way because it was April of 2003, the amendment was specific ONLY to National Guard and Reserves, and the appropriation for it was ONE BILLION DOLLARS.
Remember what was going on April 2, 2003 when that vote was made? Well, on March 20, 2003 the Iraq war started. On April 9, U.S. ground forces occupied Baghdad. Landrieus amendment for ONE BILLION DOLLARS was an honorable intent to support our military, but given the timing it seemed fiscally questionable since our forces were beating the $*@t out of Iraqi forces and racing to Baghdad. McCain, Hagel, and Warner voted with Allen to table. [John] Kerry did not even vote.
Of course we learned later that our forces would need more funding and better equipment because of the insurgency. What the most comical thing about this is that Allen did vote to appropriate funds for body armor and better equipment in an emergency supplemental appropriations later that year (vote #400). That vote #400 is the same vote that got Kerry into so much trouble. He voted no on #400, and later told a crowd that I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it,
Oh, dear!!!! George Allen has a most distinguished endorsement at this link:
And I have a new tag line!
That's good. I figured there was something on this Bill Allen did not like.
Oh, my! It gets better:
Yep, ol' Jim's a staunch Democrat, the most democratic Democrat in the nation, that he is (snicker, snort).
in the long run, I see this as a PLUS for Allen.
First, it's absurd on its face. PUtting out a false statement by a 527 is not the way to go, especially on its first ad.
Second, Virginians really DO despite that level of negative advertising. It will backfire on Webb.
The article makes it seem that these ads are using the same loophole that the Swift Vets did, so I'd guess it's not illegal.