Published December 23, 2015
The war of words between the campaign of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell and a local Delaware public access channel ended with an olive branch on Monday after O'Donnell's camp issued a statement of appreciation following its criticism of the station's executive producer.
The dispute began after the campaign suggested that local TV station Delaware 28 was playing politics by refusing to air a 30-minute advertisement O'Donnell had wanted shown three times before Tuesday's Election Day. The ad features O'Donnell supporters criticizing the tax and regulation policies coming from Washington.
But when the ad hadn't aired by midday on Monday, missing two of its initial schedulings, O'Donnell questioned claims that the programming department had forgotten.
The Republican candidate sent messages to supporters on Twitter, urging them to tune in. She later sent a message saying the station "'forgot' to air it both times ... even though we paid for the time slot last week."
"Dirty politics again?" another message said.
But Executive Producer Tim Qualls said he just got the check Monday afternoon, and the ad ran at 3 p.m. ET. The only reason it didn't run Monday morning as originally planned, he said, was because O'Donnell's campaign did not submit the tape in time.
"The tape just didn't get here," Qualls told FoxNews.com, adding that he "had to pull a lot of strings" just to air the ad Monday afternoon. Qualls said O'Donnell was supposed to hand over the tape by 5 p.m. Friday, but that his station did not receive it until 9:30 p.m. Sunday night.
The ad is still scheduled to run late Monday night, as well as four times on Election Day.
Qualls, who voted for O'Donnell against Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary, added that he didn't want to take the blame for the confusion.
"I want something coming from her office saying something on this," he said. "Don't make me look like I forgot ... I got like 200 e-mails from people cussing me out."
O'Donnell campaign spokesman Doug Sachtleben issued a statement after the first airing saying that Qualls had explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness and didn't know the campaign had managed the transaction on 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," Schatleben said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.