GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador today sent out a press release announcing a new TV ad for which airtime was purchased by the Idaho Republican Party Central Committee, featuring an audio clip from the 2008 “Idaho Debates” between Walt Minnick and Bill Sali, in which Minnick mistakenly said, “We need a middle class tax increase,” then two minutes later, corrected himself and said, “We need to have a middle-class tax cut.” But the commercial uses only the first statement. Further, the “Idaho Debates” are copyrighted material belonging to Idaho Public Television, and IPTV hasn’t granted permission for it to be used in political ads. Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko also sent out a press release touting and supporting the ad.
Asked about the ad, Phil Hardy, Labrador’s campaign spokesman, just said in an email, “We have been notified by Idaho Public Television that part of the material in our intended new advertisement is in fact copyrighted material, which we were not aware of. As this is the case, our ad will be revised immediately and any material taken from Idaho Public Television will not be used.”
Minnick’s tax-increase comment in the 2008 debate was so clearly a flub that in an after-debate online discussion program, GOP activist Rod Beck, who was discussing the debate with Democrat Betty Richardson, said, “He talked about, ‘Oh, I want to give a middle-class tax cut,’ now of course he kinda sorta caught himself because he originally said ‘middle class tax increase,’ and his wife was down in the audience going, ‘Whoa, whoa, you mean tax cut.’ He later corrected that and said he wants to give a middle-class tax cut.”