On November 18, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) lambasted Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), a US Marine Corps veteran, for rethinking his support for the occupation of Iraq. Her remarks included this:
A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.
Schmidt's comments were immediately condemned from both sides of the aisle, and Bubp later said Schmidt had misquoted him.
The Democratic Party saw red, and decided it was time to call the GOP on their continuing policy of mounting ad hominem attacks on honored military veterans who dare criticize the Bush League's warmongering. They announced a program to erect billboards in the home districts of legislators who engage in this sordid tactic, starting with Schmidt. Thousands of people responded, contributing money specifically to support the program.
The Democrats contracted with Lamar Outdoor Advertising to place two billboards near Schmidt's Portsmouth, OH headquarters, and due to the overwhelming response, were planning to post more of them elsewhere in her district; but Thursday, Lamar suddenly reversed course.
"Unfortunately," says a letter I received from Democratic spokesman Tom McMahon, "at about 10 AM, we got two phone calls -- the first came from Lamar's Cincinnati office informing us that because of the content of the ad, they are refusing to continue to work with us. The second call came a few minutes later from Lamar's Huntington, West Virginia office, informing us that despite our signed contract, they were also rejecting our ad."
Lamar supposedly rejected the billboards because they were "too negative."
Funny, that. In Richmond, VA, there is a classic-rock radio station that has run a billboard for years emblazoned with the AC/DC song title "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" - and caricatures of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Guess who owns the billboard?
So alluding to an infamous blowjob for years after the people involved have moved on is not too negative, but calling someone out for politically-motivated slander is. Go figure.
The Democrats' lawyers wrote a letter to Lamar demanding that they honor their contract. In case you'd like to let Lamar know how you feel, their President and CEO is Kevin P. Reilly, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org, and their COO and President of the Outdoor Division is Sean Reilly, email@example.com.