WASHINGTON — A group fighting childhood obesity will air a commercial in Idaho spoofing U.S. Sen Larry Craig's June 11 arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room.
The ad, which has already aired in Minnesota and Washington, will appear this week on cable in Boise. It's scheduled to air on CNN between 6 p.m. and midnight Thursday and Friday.
It's paid for by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is taking aim at subsidies in the federal farm bill. The group argues that lawmakers steer federal subsidies to big agribusinesses because the companies are major campaign donors. The subsidies support unhealthy crops and livestock that make kids fat, said PCRM spokeswoman Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.
The group's ad borrows liberally from the detailed arrest report that described how Craig got caught up in a sex sting. In the ad, a well-dressed man is seen going into a public restroom. The man loudly taps his wingtips on the floor — apparently a signal for grabbing bundles of cash being offered from beneath the stall divider.
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As the man stuffs the cash in a briefcase, a narrator says: "It's their dirty little secret. Members of Congress taking PAC money from corporations producing bacon, burgers and other fatty foods." The products are then "dumped" in school lunch programs, the narrator says. "Companies get rich, kids get fat. Is your senator on the gravy train?"
The door to the next stall opens, and inside, there's a pink pig. Caught in the act, the pig squeals, then slams the stall door shut.
PCRM first aired the commercial last week, the same day Larry Craig's lawyers were in court in Minnesota to withdraw his guilty plea. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a police officer says Craig solicited sex from him. Craig says the officer misconstrued his action and says his guilty plea was a mistake.
Craig initially said he would resign Sept. 30, but he has remained in office, saying the plea withdrawal is an effort to clear his name. A judge is expected to rule later this week on his request.
Erika Bolstad: (202) 383-6104