RI Republican Party Files Formal Complaint Over Democrats TV Ad

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email: mcurtis@abc6.com  

“The only one with a plan to work with Jack Reed to bring back manufacturing jobs. ‘I’m Gina Raimondo,'” says a new TV sponsored by the democratic Party of Rhode Island..

This new campaign ad looks like its touting Gina Raimondo for Governor, even though it’s a state Democratic Party ad backing the re–election of Senator Jack Reed.

Republicans say it’s deceitful.

“That was nothing but a way to circumvent the state and federal elections laws, that try to get Ms. Raimondo additional exposure,” says Mayor Allan Fung, (R) Nominee for Rhode Island Governor.

Republicans have now filed a formal complaint with the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

Senator Reed’s GOP challenger Mark Zaccaria is among those objecting.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “The legal counsel for the Rhode Island Democratic Party argues that since Senator Jack Reed is a federal candidate, that it is federal election law that applies here; not state election law.”

Lawyers for ABC6 and other media outlets agree.

The legal battle aside, political analysts say the goal of the ad is link the sometimes controversial Raimondo, with the often popular Reed.

“It’s sort of allowing Jack Reed’s shadow to sort of extend over to Raimondo’s campaign. It also gives the sense of more party unity. It takes the emphasis off the division within the Democratic Party,” said Dr. Kay Israel, Professor of Political Communication at Rhode Island College and an ABC6 political analyst.

“I’m Jack Reed and I approve this message, too,” says Reed at the end of the Democratic Party ad.

Republican’s say the law was broken.

“It’s not a Jack Reed ad, because he appears in it, in what, a couple of seconds, if that?” said Mayor Allan Fung.

Democrats disagree and plan to keep running the ad.