Eau Claire TV stations refuse to pull ads
The Democratic Party is asking TV stations in Eau Claire and Green Bay to stop running ads that allege Democratic Assembly candidates support the plan known as "Healthy Wisconsin."
The ads are running against Democrats in swing districts that could potentially go to either party this election cycle. The ads say the candidates back a health care plan would mean free health care for illegal aliens, as well as higher taxes.
In both cases they're trying to link the candidates to the "Healthy Wisconsin" universal health care plan backed by Senate Democrats during last year's lengthy budget negotiations.
However, Mike Maistelman, Democratic Party attorney, says there's a problem with that. None of these candidates ever took a vote on the plan, partly because it never even came up for a vote in the Assembly.
"We take offense to these ads, they're false, they're deceptive and they're misleading," says Maistelman. "And we want to send a statement to the public that we're not going to allow these to go out there."
The candidates have gone so far as to sign affidavits saying they do not -- and have not -- supported a plan that would provide health care to residents of other states or illegal aliens.
But one of the groups running the ads says the candidates have all spoken highly of Healthy Wisconsin in public interviews. R.J. Johnson of the Coalition for American Families says he's not concerned about the letters the Democratic Party is sending to the TV stations.
"It is an attempt to intimidate stations into believing that they might be liable for something that may or may not be true."
Johnson says memos from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal and Reference Bureaus back the claim that Healthy Wisconsin would include illegal immigrants.
Attorney Maistelman says the Party has no plans to sue stations if they don't comply.