COMCAST Pulls False Political TV Attack Ad

October 15, 2008 – In response to an Ethics Complaint filed by San Francisco District 3 Board of Supervisors candidate David Chiu yesterday, the COMCAST cable television company this morning announced it has pulled an $84,000 TV political attack ad off the air because the group sponsoring the ad failed to substantiate its false attacks on David Chiu.

In an email from COMCAST to the David Chiu campaign this morning stated:  “As of this morning, the ad has been suspended and off the air.  S.F. Realtors Association must now provide substantiation to back up their claims or provide a new ad.”

“Special interests are trying to mislead, manipulate, and in this case blatantly lie to voters to turn City Hall into a rubber stamp for their agenda,” said candidate David Chiu.  “I ask our San Francisco voters to stand with me to reject a tired, McCain/Palin-style of politics based on lies and false smears, and to elect Supervisors who will stand up to special interests.”

Yesterday, Chiu filed a formal complaint with the S.F. Ethics Commission against COMCAST and the S.F. Realtors Association because the television attack ads, which began broadcasting on Monday, falsely claim that Chiu supports legalizing prostitution. 

David Chiu is a former criminal prosecutor who publicly announced his opposition to the measure on the S.F. November 2008 ballot which would decriminalize prostitution, Proposition K, at a public meeting of the S.F. Democratic County Central Committee on August 13, 2008 that was widely reported in the media.  He is also listed on the No on Prop K website as an opponent of the measure. 

The Ethics Complaint stated that the ad violates Section 1.163.5 of the S.F. Campaign and Government Conduct Code, which strictly prohibits the distribution of campaign ads that contain false endorsements.

“These false ads were particularly outrageous because I am a former prosecutor, neighborhood leader and community court Judge-Arbitrator who has fought for years to stop crime in our neighborhoods,” said Chiu.  “I applaud COMCAST for taking swift action and urge the Ethics Commission to enforce the law and hold the S.F. Realtors Association fully accountable for violating laws designed to stop exactly these kinds of false ads.”