Oregon incumbent Gordon Smith is the second Republican in as many days targeted by the Democrats for failing to properly do the old "I am X and I approved this message" disclaimer to the letter of the law.
Yesterday, we reported that Minnesota incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman could lose millions (or not) in discounted ad rates for broadcasting his image for a mere two seconds during a recent anti-Franken TV spot . The law says 1) You have to post a written disclaimer at the end of the ad and 2) the candidate's image must appear for four -- count 'em -- four seconds.
In an ad whacking Smith challenger Jeff Merkley for stiffing seniors, Smith's image appears for only 2.5 seconds -- at the beginning . The written disclaimer apears at the end superimposed over the image of an old lady shaking her head and muttering "Shame on you, Jeff Merkley."
Smith's lawyers (the same Perkins Boie team representing Al Franken in Minnesota) are writing to Oregon TV stations asking them to deny Smith the "lowest unit charge" on ads, which can save a candidate as much as half.
A Smith spokeswoman called it "a frivolous " and "laughable."