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Viagra for convicted rapists?: Bizarre false claim gets anti-Ed Perlmutter ad yanked (VIDEO)

Update: Leslie Oliver, campaign spokeswoman for Ed Perlmutter, says a recent attack ad inaccurately claiming that the 7th District congressman supported supplying Viagra to convicted rapists isn't the first time an outside group called the American Action Network has battered him with a false ad. She stops short of calling this a conscious strategy -- but just barely.

"This particular ad didn't start running until Friday," Oliver says. "But the same group had been airing a different false attack ad against Ed, falsely claiming that illegal immigrants could get access to health care under the new health insurance law."

The Perlmutter campaign asked stations like Channel 9 to stop airing the first ad, but it wasn't officially pulled "mainly because by the time the lawyers finished going back and forth, the AAN group apparently decided to change traffic." She points to a Denver Post article by reporter Lynn Bartels citing internal e-mails about replacing the first commercial with the one making the Viagra assertion. A note from Keith Wright, director of Old Dominion Research Group, reportedly read, "If this ad gets 'em this worked up, imagine what they're gonna do when the (Viagra) one goes live."

Regarding the second ad, "we knew it was coming late on Thursday, because someone forwarded a link to us," Oliver continues. "Our attorneys sent Channel 9 a letter late on Friday, asking them to pull the ad -- but, of course, lawyers don't work on the weekend. So the ad ran all weekend -- and then on Monday, our attorney learned Channel 9 notified AAN that they would not be running the ad after Monday. AAN subsequently canceled the rest of their buy, even though they told Lynn they were changing ads against us, and that they'd voluntarily pulled the ad. It's lie after lie with them..."

Does Oliver believe AAN has put together a series of demonstrably false ads and plans to air each for several days, knowing it'll take the assorted lawyers that long to work out the details of removing them? "You could certainly leap to that conclusion," she says. As for AAN's motivation, she guesses that the group's board members, who include individuals with ties to the George H.W. Bush administration and financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Wachovia, are pissed at Perlmutter "because he voted for the Wall Street reform bill."

Are these negative attacks working? After all, Colorado GOP boss Dick Wadhams recently argued that Republican Ryan Frazier was within striking distance of Perlmutter -- an assertion refuted by Wadhams's Democratic counterpart, Pat Waak, who predicted that Perlmutter would take the prize.

"We're looking good," Oliver replies. "The 7th has always been a swing district, but at the end of the day, Ed Perlmutter's going to win, because he's worked hard to bring good jobs into the district, worked against companies that export jobs overseas, and because he's effective, and people know they can go to him and he's going to do the best job he can representing them."

Still, she concedes that the victory margin will likely be smaller than it was in 2008, when Perlmutter beat John Lerew 63.48 percent to 36.51 percent. "It's going to be reflective of the mood of the country in some ways," she believes. "But at the end of the day, I think Ed is going to win."

Page down to see our original item, which includes the Viagra ad:

 

Original item, 7:22 a.m. October 27: Last week, we shared the attack ad on Betsy Markey pulled from the air by Fox 31, because it chided her for votes actually cast by Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey. But that's nothing compared to the spot intended to belittle congressman Ed Perlmutter for backing Viagra funding for convicted rapists -- which would be shocking if it wasn't completely bogus. See it below.

In a release about the commercial, which was funded by an outside group, American Action Network, not Republican candidate Ryan Frazier, Perlmutter is quoted as calling it a "whopper" -- probably not the best term to throw out when the subject is Viagra. Read the campaign's take after screening the ad that prompted it:

It's a "Whopper" -- KUSA Ch. 9 Pulls Attack Ad Running Against Perlmutter

In a rare move, KUSA -- Ch. 9 decided to pull the false and misleading ad against Ed Perlmutter which asserted that because he voted for the new health insurance reform law, he supported the ability for convicted rapists to access Viagra. Adam Schrager from KUSA did the fact check on this ad, declaring it completely FALSE and stated "Perlmutter never voted for it." Furthermore, the new health insurance reform law does not contain any provisions in it concerning this assertion.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTIRE FACT CHECK

This is the second attack ad run against Perlmutter that Schrager and Ch. 9 declared false. The ads, were funded by the shadowy, Republican-operative run American Action Network, which sunk more than $1 million into the false advertising.

"KUSA did the right thing," said Perlmutter spokeswoman Leslie Oliver. "These kinds of false and distorted ads are examples of what happens when these outside shadow groups aren't required to disclose their donors. This is an abuse of our political system and a disservice to voters who should be able to make a decision about the future of our country based on the truth -- not lies."

Oliver continued, "Despite these truth tests, Ryan Frazier continues to outsource his campaign just like his business outsources jobs. He refuses to denounce AAN and call for them to pull these blatant lies from the rest of the TV stations in Colorado. Clearly, Frazier is not only willing to be untruthful about what his own company does, but he is ok with having others lie on his behalf has well."

According to the Denver Post, one of Frazier's donors, Rich Beeson, who is a Republican political operative in Colorado, is connected to the consultants for the AAN, and was involved in the decision to run this ad attacking Perlmutter.

KMGH and the Denver Post have both declared the ad false as well.

The AAN is run by Fred Malek, who served under President George H.W. Bush and as the National Finance Chairman for John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign. On its board are also Wall Street executives and two former Republican senators: Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) and George Allen (R-Virginia).

More from our Videos archive: "Ken Buck & Michael Bennet, South Park-style: Who's the douche and who's the turd sandwich?"


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