Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan have written to television stations in North Carolina advising them to refrain from airing an ad from a conservative super PAC that criticizes her over federal stimulus money her husband’s company received in 2011.
At least one station – WLOS, the ABC affiliate in Asheville – is not running the ad, saying the agency that placed it had taken it off the air. The letter went to stations where the ad was scheduled to begin running this week.
Freedom Partners Action Fund announced late last week it was launching a $1 million campaign targeting Hagan over allegations that her family benefited from the stimulus grant. The ad also claims her husband’s company funneled the funds to another company owned by Hagan family members.
The letter, sent Tuesday by Washington, D.C. attorney Kate Sawyer Keane, calls the ad’s claims “inflammatory and unsubstantiated.”
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Keane says the company, JDC Manufacturing, never paid another company owned by Hagan’s relatives to do the work. It cites a story in The News & Observer on Saturday saying records provided by the company don’t show any payments to the other company, which is owned by her husband and son.
The letter also contends the Hagan family didn’t “profit” from the funds. The $250,000 grant was paid out as reimbursement for costs that were incurred. The project – upgrading heating and lighting and installing solar panels at a warehouse – ended up costing about $500,000, which was $65,000 more than projected.
“Quite simply, JDC Manufacturing could not have profited from the stimulus because the stimulus funds did not cover the entire cost of the project,” Keane wrote.
James Davis, a spokesman for Freedom Partners, said Wednesday that other stations are still running the ad. He said WLOS and others across the state were also running a new ad released Wednesday that says the Hagans “profited off her votes” to approve the federal stimulus law in 2009.
Davis said it is part of a $6.5 million TV ad campaign to deliver its “closing arguments” in Senate races across the country through Election Day.
Freedom Partners Action Fund is a free-market super PAC funded by the Koch brothers.