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September 11, 2008

Freedom's Watch Irks Udall

Mark Udall is not a happy camper, and Freedom's Watch is taking all the credit. As Josh wrote yesterday, the conservative organization is up with a new ad slamming the Democratic Senate candidate for voting for a Department of Peace.

An attorney representing Udall's campaign fired off a letter to at least two television stations in Denver yesterday demanding that the ad, which shows an aging hippie bragging about the legislation, originally sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, near his beat up Volkswagen van, be yanked from the airwaves.

"The advertisement is inappropriate, irresponsible and crosses a clear line," attorney Douglas Friednash writes in the cease and desist letter to KUSA and KTFD general manager Mark Cornetta. "Because Freedom [sic] Watch does not let the facts get in the way, this does not provide you with the ability to ignore them and the obvious legal issues created by this advertisement."

Uppermost on Friednash's mind is the implication that Udall is somehow associated with drugs. The ad shows the hippie opening the door of his van before quickly shutting it to prevent the escape of a plume of smoke (Clearly intended to set off some alarm bells with voters, though a Freedom's Watch spokesman told the Denver Post, "You know, it could just be an engine overheating." Right.)

"The offensive representations and slanderous image directly tie Mark Udall to the use and promotion of marijuana. This is an outrageous portrayal that finds no credence whatsoever in fact" Friednash wrote to Cornetta. "Further, there is nothing in the Department of Peace legislation that authorizes the purchase of a van or that says one of the activities of the Department will be smoking marijuana in a smoke filled van."

Friednash is right about that part. We just wonder if he made some poor clerk read through the entire measure looking for references to vans or marijuana.

"The ad raises serious questions about Mr. Udall's judgment and record on matters of national security, and we're frankly surprised that his singular focus seems to be on the metaphor we chose to employ," was all Freedom's Watch spokesman Ed Patru would say.