Voter fraud attack ad explained

October 24, 2008 4:18:03 PM PDT
As we get closer and closer to Election Day, it's getting more difficult to watch television without seeing a political attack ad. One in particular has made waves in the Congressional race for District 22. The ad in question is one backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The ad accuses republican challenger Pete Olson of voting in one state while registered in another. Today Olson fired back.

Political Ad: "In Houston, Pete Olson is running for Congress, while a prosecutor in Virginia investigates him for voter fraud back east."

The attack ad produced by DCCC accuses republican congressional candidate Pete Olson of voting in Virginia on June 10, 2003, then in Newton, Connecticut on August 12 and back in Virginia that same November -- accusations that Olson refutes.

"Let me be perfectly clear, I never voted in person in Connecticut, I never owned property in Connecticut, and I never lived in Connecticut," Olson told reporters.

During a news conference Friday afternoon, Olson's campaign released a number of documents. In 2003, Olson worked for Senator John Cornyn. The documents include airline ticket receipts showing Olson boarding a flight on August 12 from Washington to Houston. The campaign also showed email communications between Olson and other Cornyn staffers on the day in question. But Congressman Nick Lampson's campaign brushed off those explanations.

"Pete Olson has provided five other stories as to where he was on that day, so he can't be trusted," said Lampson spokespersonTrevor Kincaid. "There's an investigation, by a prosecutor, a felony charge of voter fraud. That will determine which of those six stories are true."

Lampson's campaign produced its own document -- a voter registration card listing a Connecticut mailing address for Pete Olson. And defended the attack ad.

"There is nothing wrong with that ad," Kincaid insisted.

But the Olson campaign sees it differently. He says he registered in Connecticut only while on active duty in the navy. And once he began voting in Virginia, he never returned to Connecticut.

"My parents lived in Connecticut, so I certainly went there to visit," Olson explained. "There have been allegations that I owned property up there, that I lived up there -- never did that."

Both sides are standing their ground. DCCC is still paying for the ads to be run. And Olson's campaign, continues to maintain he was nowhere near a voting booth on August 12, 2003.

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