Ad being pulled from Paducah radio after claims on tolls rated false by station

10/24/2014 04:22 PM

A radio ad from the Kentucky House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee is being pulled from the air in the 3rd District state House race after the group twisted the wording of the Republican candidate on tolls.

In the re-election race of state Rep. Gerald Watkins, D-Paducah, the Democratic group launched a radio ad saying Republican Randy Bridges’ top issue in the campaign is to impose tolls on western Kentucky roads.

The citation behind the claim comes from a question and answer portion of the Courier-Journal’s Voter Guide for the race where both candidates where asked where they believe the money should come from to pay for “major projects such as the Brent Spence Bridge and the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville.”

Each candidate was asked whether or not they support the use of tolls to pay for the bridge projects in northern Kentucky and Louisville. The response of both Bridges and Watkins to the question can be seen below:

From Bridges response to the question about bridge projects in Louisville and northern Kentucky, the ad says Bridges is in favor of tolling roads in the western part of the state.

“He told the Courier-Journal, in writing, that putting up tolls on our local roads was his chief priority,” the announcer in the ad says. “So Bridges will hike tolls for western Kentucky drivers.”

Hear the radio ad here:

Local radio station WKYQ reviewed the ad and citations, at Bridges’ request, and decided to pull the ad from their airwaves. The station said because of the citation and the fact that Rep. Watkins had a very similar answer about supporting tolls on those bridges, they had decided to pull the ad.

“And now the punchline, the ad said this was his chief priority. Both candidates were asked if elected what would be their chief priority, tolls of any kind were not mentioned by either guy,” an employee of the radio station said in an on-air segment about the ad. “So the part about the tolls on the roads isn’t even close but to say its a chief priority I feel is an out-and-out lie.”

You can hear the full segment about the station’s decision to pull the ad here:

Rep. Watkins told Pure Politics he was not aware the ad was running or the content of the ad but after hearing about it did agree the ad was not accurate.

“It is inaccurate in that they said it was his chief priority and it wasn’t,” Watkins said. “My apologies to [Bridges] but I did not know about the content and I do think the inaccuracies should be corrected.”


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