LOS ANGELES Another highly decorated Vietnam veteran has entered the election ad fray. Special Forces veteran Ted Sampley, co-founder with Mike Benge and Jerry Kiley of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, said he has launched a local spot buy targeting military family-rich areas in North Carolina.
The ads broke either yesterday or today on Fox affiliates reaching MCB Camp LeJeune, Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point and Seymour Johnson AFB, said Sampley, whose own base of operations is Kinston, N.C. He is currently negotiating further media buys to cover the communities near Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg and Pope AFB.
Sampley declined to state the cost of the campaign, which he said is financed by the sale of items on his Web site. Sampley, who said he had "absolutely no connection with the Republican Party," has flouted the controversial ad's for-profit status, allowing him broadside attacks on Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry without repercussions from campaign-finance laws regulating political speech. "I'm not allowing myself to be classified as a 527 nonprofit," Sampley said. "It's advertising my business." Sampley said his commercial runs as paid for by his newspaper, U.S. Veteran Dispatch, which Sampley has published since1986.
The 60-second spot, written by Sampley and produced at a local television station, shows a photo montage of Kerry from Sampley's collection, with a blistering voiceover commentary describing Kerry's involvement in "one of America's most radical, pro-Communist, anti-war groups, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War," accusing Kerry of having "marched in demonstrations carrying the flags of the America's enemies, the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese" and having "used the blood of U.S. service men, still fighting on the battlefields of Vietnam, for his own political advancement. He claimed to the world that American soldiers were rapists and murderers."
The voiceover further states: "FBI documents conclusively place Kerry at a November1971 Kansas City leadership conference where his group plotted and debated assassinating senators who were voting to finance the war." A visual shows a recent New York Sun newspaper headline describing how Kerry ended his association with the group over the alleged assassination plot.
Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry campaign manager, released a statement today that said Sampley "has a long history of irrational public attacks against both John McCain and John Kerry" and called for President Bush to condemn Sampley's ad.