Summary: The Democratic candidate calls Citizens for a Sound Economy's ad inaccurate
A conservative, pro-business group has begun airing a television ad that attacks Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Kulongoski for supporting tax increases.
Kulongoski's campaign called the ad inaccurate and demanded that Citizens for a Sound Economy take it off the air.
Russ Walker, the group's Oregon director, defended the ad and said it would continue to run. His organization, which receives funding nationally from a number of large corporations, is a tax-exempt nonprofit group and regards the commercial as educational and not as a campaign ad.
The commercial says Kulongoski supports $559 million in higher income taxes and a doubling of the state's $15-a-year vehicle registration fees, which the ad says would hurt the state's economy.
Although Kulongoski in April said he would support a one-year income-tax surcharge to help protect funding for schools, he has never supported a specific dollar amount for such a surcharge, said Kristen Grainger, Kulongoski spokeswoman.
"What we're seeing here is an organization not letting the facts get in the way of a hit ad," she said. She noted that the ad cites as its source a news article that contains no dollar figure for Kulongoski's proposal.
Walker said the dollar figure was a conservative estimate of what such a surcharge would cost. He also said his group was acting independently of the campaign of Kulongoski's chief rival, Republican Kevin Mannix.
Mike Beard, a Mannix spokesman, also said Mannix had nothing to do with the ad.
"I would be surprised if we don't see more independent expenditures along this line," Beard said. "Oregonians are becoming aware that Kulongoski will raise taxes."