Ad for Massie causes stir among Northern Kentucky Republicans, angers Davis

04/01/2012 10:13 PM

Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis did not take kindly to the campaign of congressional candidate Thomas Massie using the congressman’s floor speech as its narration and wants the ad spiked, according to the congressman’s Facebook page.

Davis wrote early Sunday morning:

I did not authorize my name or image to be used in the television commercial that the Thomas Massie campaign aired during the UK versus U of L basketball game. The Massie campaign did this without my knowledge, my permission, or my consent. His campaign’s video implies that I have endorsed him and I want to state explicitly to the citizens of the 4th Congressional District that I do not endorse him. Furthermore, I have asked him that he direct his staff to have the commercial pulled immediately from all future broadcasts and also be removed from his campaign web site and other affiliated outlets. The unauthorized use of this video is grossly inappropriate and needs to be corrected immediately.

Davis’ wife, Pat Davis, also took to social media to decry the ad. She tweeted that her husband “DID NOT” give permission to the Massie campaign to use his words from a Nov. 29, 2010, speech on the U.S. House floor and “is not endorsing Massey (sic) nor will he.” Her tweet went on to say that her husband “demanded the ad be pulled.”

The ad, as first reported by Pure Politics, starts by showing Davis on the House floor and clearly shows the date of the speech as the congressman talks about Massie’s background in the context of him being an entrepreneur who had an idea that was stifled by government regulations.

Davis hasn’t endorsed a Republicans in the 4th Congressional District race to replace him. And Massie told Pure Politics that he didn’t believe people would think the commercial was Davis endorsing him.

Army Robinson, Davis’ chief of staff, said the congressman could say more Monday.

But Pat Davis clearly objected.

She responded to commenters on a post made by state Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger.

“Regarding the Massie ad that ran last night, Geoff’s remarks from the House floor were taken out of context and Mr. Massie did not even tell my husband about the ad prior to running it. Members of Congress are not allowed to use C-span footage for political ads. Geoff did not endorse Massie & in fact was not going to endorse in this race. I do not want someone who behaves in this type of poor behavior representing me in Congress.”

Koenig, who has so far declined to pick sides in the seven-candidate primary, also criticized the Massie campaign in his Facebook post:

“The use of Congressman Davis’ voice is at best bad form. I consider it unfair and out-of-bounds. It is an attempt to mislead people into believing that Congessman Davis has made an endorsement, when in fact he has not. I was watching the game with my parents, my mother saw the commercial and thought Davis had endorsed Massie. I explained that he had not. Most everyone else did not have the benefit of being able to ask someone ‘in the know.’ As an elected official, I would be so incredibly mad if someone used a floor speech I made to do this. It is truly unfortunate that this has been done and it should cease.”

Jonathan Duke, campaign manager for 4th District candidate and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore, said Massie’s commercial “shows poor judgement on Massie’s behalf and seems opportunistic and desperate.”

“Obviously, little consideration was given toward Congressman Davis, personally,” Duke said. “If Massie had a record of accomplishment to run on that would have been the centerpiece of the ad. It is clear Massie’s campaign attempted to hoodwink voters into believing Davis had actually endorsed him for Congress.”

Rick VanMeter, the former communications director for Davis who is managing the 4th Congressional District campaign of state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, declined to comment.

The other candidates running in the GOP primary include lawyer Marcus Carey, business consultant Tom Wurtz, Oldham County School Board member Walt Schumm and teacher Brian Oerther.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.