In the post below, I reported that American Future Fund had launching an ad campaign in 13 states dealing with the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. That is not the case, and I am retracting the story.
Here's how I came to erroneously report this. American Future Fund sent out a press release earlier today announcing a 13-state campaign for an ad called "Trick," listing the Democrats it plans to target with the $4 million ad buy. Below the list, AFF explained that its ad had to do with the economy, and included a link to where the ads could be viewed online. In haste, I clicked on the link, which led me to a video of the ad that appears below, which the group had already aired in Iowa. The link was to AFF's channel page. After watching the video, I erroneously reported a 13-state, $4 million buy for that ad. A Democratic press secretary in one of the targeted districts soon corrected me.
The real ad does not involve the mosque, but rather Democratic votes with Nancy Pelosi. It is, in fact, a $4 million buy in House districts in 13 states.
So that's how the erroneous story came to appear on this site: confusion over a link and the sloppy reading of a press release. I now retract the story and apologize for it. There's not much I can say except, yes, I screwed this up. Badly. This was a big lapse, and it won't happen again.
Americans in 13 states will soon begin seeing TV ads about the Cordoba Initiative's Park 51 community center, also known as the "Ground Zero Mosque."
An Iowa-based conservative group, the American Future Fund, announced today that it is spending $4 million to air its Park-51 TV ad in House districts with vulnerable Democratic candidates across the country. In it, a narrator accuses Muslims of wanting to build a mosque at the former site of the World Trade Center in order to proclaim "victory," comparing it to mosques built in Spain and Jerusalem.
Watch the ad below:
It's the same ad the group has already aired to attack Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), who told a conservative tracker at a fair that he thinks the Cordoba Initiative should be able to build the mosque (which Braley's spokeswoman later suggested did not accurately represent Braley's stance).
The new ad will air in the districts of 14 other House Democratic candidates AFF says also support the mosque. Incumbent representatives who will see the ad run in their districts are: South Dakota's Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Texas's Chet Edwards, New Mexico's Martin Heinrich, Indiana's Baron Hill, Mississippi's Travis Childers, New Jersey's John Adler, Michigan's Mark Schauer, South Carolina's John Spratt, Georgia's Jim Marshall, and Alabama's Bobby Bright.
The ads will also run in districts where the following Democratic newcomers are vying for their first congressional terms: Michigan's Gary McDowell, Washington's Danny Heck, West Virginia's Mike Oliverio, and Arkansas's Chad Causey.
UPDATE: A point about the candidates targeted by this ad: don't necessarily assume that all of them have voiced full-throated support for the Park 51 center. AFF says they support the center in its ads, but I have not independently verified that any of them do.
When AFF launched its ad against Braley, the campaign informed me that although Braley had been quoted on a conservative blog as supporting the right to build the mosque, that he had essentially been cornered by a tracker at a fair, and that this didn't accurately represent his views. So it seems the extent, and in some cases the veracity, of the candidates' Park-51-support will be up for debate. I'll update this post with specifics if/as they come in.
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.