Evan McMullin sues conservative PAC, Utah TV stations over misleading ad
Evan McMullin's Senate campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday against conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action and local television stations over a misleading political ad.
Driving the news: McMullin claims the ad, which began airing last week, misconstrues his comments about Republicans.
- The 30-second ad shows him saying "The Republican base is racist … these bigots."
- He actually said: "Not all Republicans, of course, are racist. I was raised by Republicans who are not at all, and who welcome Americans of all backgrounds, and are not at all like this … but there is an element of the Republican base that is racist.”
- "We need leaders, especially on the Republican and conservative side these days, who will serve the country and serving the country means standing up to these bigots," he continued.
Context: McMullin, an independent candidate who describes himself as a conservative, is vying to unseat two-term Sen. Mike Lee.
- Club for Growth Action, which supports Lee, did not respond to Axios' request for comment.
- McMullin, who is already airing an advertisement in response, told Axios he would like to see Lee denounce the doctored ad.
The other side: "Coordination between a campaign and a political action committee is prohibited by the Federal Election Commission. Our campaign has no control over the content of the message or how it is used," Lee's campaign spokesperson Matt Lusty said in a statement.
Why it matters: The lawsuit alleges the ad threatens the ability of Utah voters to make informed decisions ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
What's next: The campaign is seeking damages and for a judge to restrain the political action committee from further airing the ad.
- It was broadcasted on KSL, but the local station agreed to remove it after being contacted by McMullin's campaign over its accuracy.
- FOX 13, KUTV and ABC 4 declined to voluntarily remove it, according to the lawsuit.
More Salt Lake City stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.