March 28, 2004
Sierra Club ad pulled

The Sierra Club has been running an ad highly critical of the Bush administration's position on Coronet Industries, a Tampa-area phosphate producer which operates a processing facility that is identified as a Superfund site. The problem with the ad is that it is replete with lies.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Coronet states that the ad contains three false statements.

1. The ad claims there is a link between the plant and health problems. A government study found no such link.

2. The ad claims that taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill if Coronet goes bankrupt. This is technically true, but Coronet fully intends to clean up the site. It's akin to saying that if the FDIC went bankrupt, taxpayers would foot the bill for the next bank failure—true, but unlikely.

3. The ad shows barrels of toxic waste and a leaking wastewater pipe. The footage is not from the Coronet Industries site; it is stock footage the Sierra Club obtained to make the ad, and has no connection to Coronet.

After receiving a complaint from Coronet, one of the four Tampa-area stations running the ad (WFLA-8/NBC) pulled the ad out of concern for its accuracy. Another station (WTVT-13/FOX) has asked for additional information from the Sierra Club before making a decision on whether to continue running the ad.

The Tampa Tribune has the full story, including the allegations that the whole campaign is unlawful under the McCain/Feingold campaign finance laws.

I'm not surprised that the Sierra Club has stooped to lying and fear-mongering in their latest ad; it's all part of a well-coordinated campaign against Bush by the Kerry campaign and some of its deep-pocketed allies to paint Bush as an anti-environmental, anti-gay, anti-child extremist. Bush has a huge pot of money available for ads; he needs to start producing more ads that attack Kerry's specific proposals and his voting record, and he needs to go after the groups that have been distorting his record and his positions.

posted on March 28, 2004 10:18 AM


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