Thursday, July 27, 2006
By DAVID HAMMER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began running ads Thursday praising Republican Rep. Steve Chabot for voting for the newly implemented Medicare prescription drug coverage.
One problem: Chabot voted against it when the plan passed in 2003.
The Cincinnati-area congressman is in a close re-election race with Democrat John Cranley, and the Chamber of Commerce's $10 million television and radio campaign thanks mostly Republican lawmakers across the country, including Sen. Mike DeWine.
The ads say 1.5 million Ohioans have saved an average of $1,100 on their annual prescription drug costs because of the new benefit, which took full effect this year. The ads for Chabot are running on Cincinnati-area broadcast networks.
Chabot's office said the business group was acting independently and the congressman has asked the ads to stop, even though they were meant to help him. When told that Chabot voted against the bill the chamber was praising him for supporting, spokesman David Felipe said he would have to check on the details.
The chamber did not immediately call back with comment.
Chabot's chief of staff, Gary Lindgren, said the same false claim about how Chabot voted was used by an independent labor group, Working America, to attack the congressman in automated phone calls to his district in March.
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Chabot resisted pressure, including a late-night phone call from President Bush, to vote for the Medicare overhaul and ended up one of the few Republicans to oppose the plan.
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