TV stations really don't like it when politicians steal their stuff. And they like it even less when you misrepresent their newscasts.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Despite complaints from two Madison television stations about the use of video from their newscasts in the latest governor's race ad, there are no plans by Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign to revise or pull the spot.
The ad takes Doyle's Republican challenger Mark Green to task for vowing to fight a state Elections Board decision that he must return nearly $468,000 in campaign contributions collected from political action committees, or PACs.
The ad begins with video of WISC-TV anchor Katy Sai reporting on the board's vote, saying "The state Elections Board says Republican Mark Green must get rid of more than $400,000 of money he raised while in Congress."
The Madison station is objecting because the ad makes it appear that Sai and co-host Mark Koehn who is also shown, along with the station, are endorsing Doyle, said WISC-TV manager Tom Bier.
"They're trading on the credibility of our news anchors," Bier said. "We asked them not to run it at all and not to run it in Madison."
The ad also includes a clip from a WMTV newscast, also from Madison. The station, in a statement on its Web site, also objects saying the clip is taken out of context because attribution used in the story was removed.
However, the station determined after speaking with its attorney that it had no legal recourse to prevent the clip from being used, the statement said.
There are no plans to change the ad or where it will air, said Doyle's campaign spokesman Anson Kaye. It was not the intent of the ad to imply that the stations or the anchors were endorsing Doyle, Kaye said.
"U.S. Rep. Green's illegal transfer of almost $500,000 of illegal money is a breaking news story in this race best told through the straight news coverage," Kaye said. "That is what this ad portrays."
The ad also shows various newspaper headlines related to the issue. Bier said he can't recall footage of WISC-TV anchors talking during a newscast ever being used before in a campaign ad.
"From our standpoint, basically this is an implied endorsement," Bier said.
Viewers who see the spot, which is scheduled to run on WISC-TV on Friday, will be confused, Bier said.
Also on Wednesday, the Elections Board sent official notice to Green about its action last week ordering that he return the donations. Green has until Sept. 20 to comply.
Green's attorney, Don Millis, said he hadn't decided whether Green will sue the board, or wait to be sued.
"We will not comply without a fight," Millis said.
Green's campaign has argued that nothing was done wrong when Green transferred the money from his congressional account to one he set up for the governor's race in early 2005. The board determined that the money had to be given back because accepting it ran afoul with an emergency rule it passed restricting transferring of such money.
Green's campaign manager Mark Graul, in response to the latest ad, called Doyle's campaign "desperate and dirty." Graul accused Doyle of trying to divert attention from his own problems, most notably an ongoing investigation into the governor's office related to how it handled the awarding of state travel contracts.
Kaye responded that the real news was Green's decision to fight the board's order.
In addition to Madison, the 30-second ad is scheduled to air in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau and La Crosse, Kaye said. He declined to say how much air time was purchased, only calling it "a substantial buy."
Basically, the Doyle campaign could care less if the ad is true or if they misrepresent the TV station that ran the newscast.