Bill Nelson lawyers-up to ask TV stations to pull ad from US Chamber

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Bill Nelson is asking television stations across Florida to “stop the spread of false information about an alleged half-trillion dollar cuts to Medicare” in a TV ad by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Nelson through an attorney is asking the stations to immediately pull an issue ad because it directs Floridians to call his office, attacks his Senate record and falsely claims “seniors will see $500 billion in Medicare cuts” because of health-care reform.

In the wake of the recent Citizens United case, in which the Supreme Court allowed unlimited and undisclosed corporate money to be spent on such ads, TV stations have a greater responsibility to protect the public from the spread of false and deceptive information, Kendall Coffey, a lawyer for Nelson wrote in a letter to the stations today.

“On behalf of our client, we respectfully insist that you take this inaccurate ad off the air immediately,” Coffey wrote.  “As a media outlet, this station has a duty to protect the public from the spread of false information and deliberate deception. “

Coffey is a partner with Coffey Burlington in Miami, and a former U.S. attorney in South Florida.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced an ad campaign targeting Nelson and other select elected officials.  The chamber’s ad makes a claim that has been declared false by a number of widely respected media fact-checking organizations.  Just last Friday, FactCheck.org, a non-partisan, non-profit consumer advocate project with the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, examined the ad and reported the “Chamber Continues To Mislead On Healthcare Law.”  In addition, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, independent PolitiFact has reported a number of times that the claim is “false.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.