Political ads come with a who-paid disclaimer. But they also should bear a viewer-beware warning.
So there are some caveats with the National Republican Campaign Committee's latest ad bashing Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia.
Much of the ad is true: Garcia's former campaign and congressional staffers are under investigation in both a state absentee-ballot-request fraud scandal and a campaign-finance crime. "Joe Garcia has only delivered more corruption," the ad says, showing a label that says "another corruption scandal."
But so far, Garcia isn't under investigation. No direct evidence points to him. He's not ducking the press. And he has been cooperative with authorities. That's to say, Garcia is not like former Republican Rep. David Rivera, whom the NRCC never attacked and who has been under multiple investigations. And while Rivera was in the sights of numerous investigators, Garcia's current challenger -- Republican Carlos Curbelo -- gave Rivera money.
Still, Garcia has explaining to do. He has a criminal defense lawyer. When you talk clean elections and the people running your elections machinery are doing dirty and potentially dirty deals, it's never helpful.