Confusion Over O'Donnell Ad in Delaware

AP Photo

AP Photo

In the last hours of the 2010 midterm elections, Delaware Republican candidate for senate Christine O'Donnell hoped to get her message out with a huge television ad buy. The campaign produced a 30 minute television special, scheduled to air multiple times Monday and on election day Tuesday.

The O'Donnell for Senate campaign sent a press release Sunday night announcing the special would run on Delaware 28, a cable channel in New Castle County Delaware at 11am the next morning. But Monday morning, the ad never ran. The O'Donnell campaign blasted the TV network over twitter saying Channel 28 "forgot" to air it "even though we paid for the time slot last week".

Executive Producer of Delaware 28 Tim Qualls told Fox News, "We negotiated a deal with the O'Donnell campaign on Thurs to start airing [their ad] on Monday. I told them I needed tape in hand by 5pm on Friday. They didn't get us the tape till 6-something last night, it arrived at an employee's house. It just aired at 3pm today."

O'Donnell campaign spokesman Doug Sachtleben offered the following statement after the ad aired Monday afternoon:

"Delaware 28 Executive Producer Tim Qualls explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness, and was apparently unaware of the campaign's transaction last Friday between a local third-party buyer and Channel 28 employees. Mr. Qualls is being incredibly cooperative now that he finally understands the situation, and we cannot thank him enough for helping us get Christine's message out to the voters of Delaware. We are sincerely sorry for any misunderstanding that has transpired and that may have added stress to his family situation."

The ad which can be also be seen on the candidate's website will air on Delaware 28 at 11:30pm Monday and four times on election day (10am, 10:30am, 3pm, and 6pm) according to Qualls. The O'Donnell campaign announced in a press release that they are "also seeking broadcast opportunities into Delaware through Philadelphia and Salisbury, MD television stations."

Qualls tells Fox News the O'Donnell campaign paid $2,500 for the ad time. "I gave them a good deal and if Chris Coons had come to me, I probably would have given him the same price," he said. Qualls, who has been in the cable television industry for twenty years describes himself as a friend of both candidates.

Christine O'Donnell faces New Castle County Executive Chris Coons in the Senate race to fill Vice President Joe Biden's seat. The Real Clear Politics average gives Coons a 14 point lead in the latest poll matchups. Polls close tomorrow night at 8pm in Delaware.