Did Pro-Duane Sand Ad Break House Rules?


The Veterans for a Strong America Action Group made a small $40,000 television ad buy in North Daota to attack Rep. Rick Berg on behalf of his Senate primary challenger Duane Sand, but according to National Journal the ad may have broken House rules:

The AP reports that the Veterans for a Strong America Action Group super PAC purchased $40,000 worth of air time to air a commercial beginning on May 18 that uses Berg’s own words against him. It interlaces a speech he gave on the House floor decrying the national debt with the fact that he voted for raising the debt ceiling.

However, the House has rules against using its footage in political ads. According to House Rule V of Sec. 684, “Broadcasting of House proceedings”, “Coverage made available under this clause, including any recording thereof– (1) may not be used for any political purpose; (2) may not be used in any commercial advertisement; and (3) may not be broadcast with commercial sponsorship except as part of a bona fide news program or public affairs documentary program.”

Embarrassing for Sand and this super PAC I guess, but this seems like a dumb and perhaps even unconstitutional rule.

We really can’t use video/audio of things members of House actually say on the floor of the house in political advertising? I can’t imagine that such a rule would survive a court challenge on 1st amendment grounds.

If Berg were smart, he’d come out and say that he’s happy for any group to use anything he’s ever said whether they’re being critical or complimentary.

Here’s the ad, if you hadn’t seen it (and you probably didn’t given the tiny ad buy):

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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