Paper Claims Chamber Of Commerce Faked Its Endorsement To Boost GOP In NY-26

The national Chamber of Commerce is using misleading quotes from the local Tonawanda News in a TV ad to suggest the paper backs Republican Jane Corwin in the NY-26 election, according to the paper. Upset with what they claim is an intentionally phony endorsement, the newspaper’s editors are demanding that the Chamber pull the TV ad and that Corwin’s campaign disavow it.

“We have not endorsed Corwin — or any of the candidates, for that matter — and the Chamber’s commercial is a blatant attempt to trick voters into believing we have in order to bolster her credentials,” an editorial in the paper today entitled “Chamber Ad A Shameful Misdirection” read.According to the paper, quotes referring to how Corwin will “end harmful spending” and support lower taxes are in fact from her own campaign appearances, thus putting the candidate’s words into the paper’s mouth. Local news outlet WKBW has video of the offending TV spot on its website.

“The fact that a newspaper — one at which the writers and editors work diligently to bring readers unbiased, accurate reporting and responsible opinions — is being misappropriated for a political profit is shameful,” the Tonawanda News‘ editorial board wrote. “We hope Jane Corwin joins us in recognizing the folly of her supporters at the Chamber of Commerce and in our request to stop airing this misleading advertisement.”

Independent groups have been flooding TV, radio, and mailboxes ahead of Tuesday’s vote, a three-way race between Corwin, Democrat Kathy Hochul, and Tea Party independent Jack Davis. However, they are not allowed to coordinate with the candidates. A spokesman for Corwin’s campaign told TPM that he has twice called the editor of the Tonawanda News to clarify that legally they “cannot communicate at all with the Chamber about the ad.”

A spokesman for the national Chamber of Commerce did not immediately respond to an e-mail from TPM requesting comment.

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