Friday, November 05, 1999

Stations pull ads on Lucas' complaint

Congressman says record distorted

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Radio stations in the eastern Kentucky market have pulled radio ads that U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas said distorted his voting record on Social Security.

        The ads were placed on five radio stations in Charleston, W.Va., and Huntington, W.Va. by a political advocacy group called Americans for Economic Growth that has been linked to House GOP Whip Tom DeLay of Texas.

        Mr. Lucas, a Boone County Democrat, represents the 4th District, which stretches into eastern Kentucky near the West Virginia border.

        The commercials allege that liberals in Congress “want to use their voting cards to pick the Social Security lock box” and spend the money on big government programs.

        Mr. Lucas said the ads are not true.

        “It is unbelievable that the Washington crowd would stoop this low,” Mr. Lucas said Thursday. “My record stands for itself.”

        Mr. Lucas was one of the sponsors of the “lock box” legislation that is designed to safeguard Social Security funds from being used in general government programs.

        “The financing source of this false and misleading advertising campaign is unknown,” he said.

        After he and his staff complained about the ads, they were pulled from the air, said John Lapp, Mr. Lucas' top Washington aide.

        “We're dealing with the Washington version of the Keystone Kops,” Mr. Lapp said.

        The commercials deliver a message similar to television advertisements that the National Republican Congressional Committee, a GOP political group, has been airing in eight to 10 Democratic target districts around the country over the past few weeks.

        Mr. Delay's office has denied any connection. But James W. Ellis of Americans for Economic Growth is a top political ally of Mr. Delay.

        “These guys play fast and loose with the rules and the truth,” said Bob Doyle, Mr. Lucas' Washington political consultant. “This is a big lie and I'm sure we can expect to see more of it.”

        Mr. Lucas is running for re-election next year. He is being challenged by Oldham County Republican Don Bell.


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