WCCO scrubs attack ad against Chip Cravaack [VIDEO]

Cravaack, facing a stiff challenge from Nolan (right), took issue with a super PAC ad airing on WCCO.
Cravaack, facing a stiff challenge from Nolan (right), took issue with a super PAC ad airing on WCCO.

Last Friday, Chip Cravaack's campaign wrote to WCCO to complain about an attack ad that had been running during 'CCO's programming.

Cravaack's campaign characterized the spot, paid for by the liberal House Majority PAC, as "a blatant attempt to defame Mr. Cravaack." That same day, 'CCO execs decided to scrub the ad.

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Was there good reason to pull the ad, or did WCCO overreact to Cravaack's pressure? Check out the footage after the jump and judge for yourself.

The ad, entitled, "Strange," alleges that 8th District constituents have had to pay to see Cravaack since he was elected to Congress in 2010, citing a $10-per-person luncheon held in Duluth last year. Cravaack counters that the fee simply covered the cost of food, not admission.

The Star Tribune provides a few details about Cravaack's letter to 'CCO and the station's on-the-record response:

[H]is letter states that he held 17 town hall meetings, seven tele-townhall conferences, and provided "mobile office visits to 75 cities "in 2011 alone, all free of charge."

WCCO communications director Kiki Rosatti declined to comment on Cravaack's request, other than to say "we have no further airings of the spot scheduled at this station."

Here's the footage:

In response to the controversy, a spokesman for House Majority PAC told the Strib that the group "unquestionably stands behind the content of the advertisement," which continues to run on three other network affiliates in the Twin Cities.

Cravaack, a first-term congressman who pulled off an unlikely upset in the Democratic-stronghold 8th District over longtime incumbent Jim Oberstar two years ago, is feeling heat from Democratic challenger Rick Nolan. Late last month, an independent poll showed Nolan slightly ahead of Cravaack, though his advantage remained inside the survey's margin of error.

As MPR notes, "So far, outside groups [including House Majority PAC and the Norm Coleman-headed American Action Network] have spent more than $1.2 million on the race, which will help determine which party controls the House."

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