Political ad depicts wrong representative

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LAS VEGAS - The first rule of political mudslinging is to make sure you hit your target.

Someone should tell the National Republican Congressional Committee.

That's who paid for two 30-second television commercials attacking U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., for memos she wrote while working for casino boss Sheldon Adelson.

But the woman featured in black-and-white footage walking down a corridor in the ads isn't Berkley - it's Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif.

''I was absolutely stunned that there was an attack ad against Shelley Berkley in her southern Nevada district, but it carried me,'' Eshoo said.

Berkley is running against GOP state Sen. Jon Porter of Henderson, who she leads by 10 points in the most recent independent poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and lasvegas.com

Republican officials in Washington, D.C., had the bungled ads pulled quickly when the mistake was pointed out.

TV stations were asked to replace the ad with a similar one without the video footage, Republican committee spokeswoman Merit Babin said.

Babin, whose group produced the ad, said someone accidentally used the wrong footage, which she said looked a lot like Berkley.

''Over $1.5 million from groups outside of Nevada has poured into this state over the past month to try to defeat me,'' Berkley said. ''The NRCC ad is an example of one of the groups levying negative personal attacks against me and they don't even know who I am. If they don't know who I am how could they possibly know the issues important to the voters of Southern Nevada.''

Eshoo said she has written a letter to the Republican committee demanding an apology.

The Republican committee - which serves as a campaign and fund-raising arm of House Republicans - has spent more than $400,000 in southern Nevada to run ads highlighting memos that Berkley wrote urging Adelson to make political contributions to judges in return for favorable treatment.

Porter's campaign manager Josh Griffin said his campaign had nothing to do with the ad.

By law, congressional candidates are not allowed to coordinate with outside groups that produce so-called ''issue ads'' designed to influence elections without specifically asking voters to support a candidate.


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