The National Republican Congressional Committee recently aired an advertisement against Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, that Republican Matt Doheny didn't like very much.
"I wish the ad would have been better," said Mr. Doheny, who will face Mr. Owens on Nov. 6.
I was at Mr. Doheny's campaign office today to discuss some recent Owens ads that criticize Mr. Doheny for making money on Wall Street and for buying islands in the Thousand Islands. Mr. Doheny described the ads as class envy, and said that Democrats shouldn't begrudge success.
Mr. Doheny was consistent in his condemnation: The NRCC ad, which has since been taken down, accused Wall Street bankers of receiving "obscene" bonuses with Mr. Owens' support. The ad featured a Wall Street caricature lighting a cigar with a benjamin. I asked Mr. Doheny, who himself once worked with Wall Street investment firms, whether he thought that played off the same class envy that Democrats' ads have.
"I hope not, because that's not going to move our country forward, and that's not how we are in the north country," Mr. Doheny said.
I still haven't heard an explanation from the NRCC about why the ad was pulled, but it couldn't have been because Mr. Doheny was unhappy with the class envy line of attack. By law, they're not allowed to coordinate, according to Mr. Doheny.
It seems that the NRCC was quickly trying to scrub any presence of the ad from online. Spokesman Nat Sillin sent me a link to the ad, then followed up with an email that said he wasn't sure if it was up yet (even though it had been up for several days). When I told him I'd found it, he asked where and said he'd look into it for me, which was weird, since I didn't need anyone to look into anything. I had the ad.
Here's what Mr. Sillin said in an email today:
"The NRCC’s Independent Expenditure unit operates independently and has the authority to determine the content and timing of ads autonomously. Once those ads become public, we are at liberty to share them with you."
The ad started airing on WNYT on Sept. 28, and then stopped airing on Oct. 1. It was then replaced by a previous ad called "Paycheck."