UPDATED BELOW DOHENY AD
Republican Matt Doheny's campaign released a television advertisement Monday that accuses Democratic Rep. Bill Owens of "breaking House rules" by taking a lobbyist-arranged trip to Taiwan.
"Bill Owens: breaking House rules, embarrassing us," the narrator concludes in the spot, with vaguely eastern music playing in the background.
ProPublica was the first to report that Mr. Owens' December trip to Taiwan with his wife, Jane, potentially broke House ethics rules put in place after the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandals.
Mr. Owens acted swiftly and reimbursed $22,132 that a Taiwanese university had paid. He did so to satisfy and lingering questions about his intentions in taking the trip, he said after he cut the check.
The Doheny ad has a different spin on that reimbursement: "After he got caught, Owens tried to buy his way out of trouble."
Mr. Owens says he believes the trip violated no ethics rules.
Expect much more about Taiwan in the two weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
Mr. Owens' campaign has released an ad of its own, a direct-to-camera appeal to voters. Mr. Owens says the trip to Taiwan was about creating jobs.
"When I found out the trip might have been improperly arranged, I paid for it myself," Mr. Owens says. "I approved this message because Matt Doheny can try to take political advantage, but I’m going to keep fighting for the jobs we need."
The ad is playing for sure in the Watertown market; several people have told me today that they saw it.
Here's the spot: