CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The of League of Women Voters of Virginia demanded Tuesday that Republican U.S. Sen. George Allen to pull a campaign ad in which the league says he improperly uses footage from an Oct. 9 televised debate.
Both Allen's campaign and that of Democratic opponent Jim Webb agreed not to use clips from the debate in their campaign ads - something the league insists on so candidates feel free to speak openly and to protect the league's status as a nonpartisan entity, said Anne Kanter, the league's voter development director.
The Allen ad shows a clip of Webb saying during the debate, "We kid ourselves if we don't say that we meed more revenues," and makes the accusation that Webb will raise taxes if elected.
Webb spokesman Kristian Denny Todd said Webb's comment refers to his desire to close corporate tax loopholes. "Jim knows we can generate billions of dollars in revenue without raising taxes on a single Virginia family," she said in a statement.
Allen campaign spokesman Dick Wadhams said the Webb campaign broke the agreement first because the liberal Raising Kaine blog, which receives funding from the Webb campaign, was providing links to debate footage. He said the ad will not be pulled.
Kanter said the blog linked to a youtube.com video that showed the entire debate, rather than clips that could be used out of context. Although Kanter said it was not clear that the blog link violated the agreement, the Webb campaign removed the link out of an abundance of caution.
"It's drastically different," Denny Todd said of the blog's link and the Allen campaigns television ads.