(Editor's note: What follows is a letter to television station managers from from the Bush-Cheney campaign, asking stations to "set the record straight" on Sen. John Kerry's new advertisement accusing the Bush campaign of illegally coordinating with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.)
Dear Station Manager:
Your station is being asked to run an ad from John Kerry's presidential campaign wrongly accusing Bush-Cheney '04 of violating the campaign finance laws. We ask that your station set the record straight.
It is completely false and without any evidence that the Bush "campaign supports a front group attacking John Kerry's military record," as the Kerry ad states. The Bush-Cheney campaign flatly rejects this baseless allegation of illegal coordination between Bush-Cheney '04 and a group called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. The ad running on your station contains this false and libelous charge. Coordination with Swiftboat Veterans for Truth would be a violation of federal campaign finance laws. 11 C.F.R. 109.21.
Sadly, the Kerry campaign is using this falsehood for which it publicly admits it has no evidence to distract attention and gain free publicity. Attached is a verified transcript from a CNN interview in which Mr. Kerry's own spokesman, Tad Devine, could not present even one piece of hard evidence to back up the Kerry campaign's allegations.
The attached CNN Inside Politics verified transcript shows that Kerry campaign spokesman Devine is basing his charges solely on a newspaper article, "...it's in the New York Times today." However, not even this newspaper article presents evidence of "coordination." What has been reported are the Kerry campaign's unsubstantiated charges along with the explicit denial from the Bush-Cheney campaign. In fact, after inquiring about the alleged coordination reported in the New York Times story relied on by Mr. Devine, Wolf Blitzer, based on an earlier interview with a reporter who wrote the New York Times story, corrected Devine by stating, "They don't have any hard evidence backing it up." In other words, the allegation contained in the commercial running on your station is based on nothing more than the Kerry campaign's false accusations, having them reported in the media, and then the Kerry campaign referring to the published false accusations as proof.
The Kerry campaign is hiding behind the law which does not permit your station to reject this false advertising by a candidate. But your station can insure that the record is clear in your total program. We ask that you to do that.