MSNBC is leaning more left than forward in a new ad featuring an image of 2014 Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis overlaid with the words “Speak Out.”
The ad on New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog shows an image of Davis giving a speech between two other images, which all together say “Join In, Speak Out, Explore.”
Though not a direct contribution, there’s no denying that the use of Davis’ image in an ad for a major media outlet will be a boon to her campaign next year.
“Where the hypocrisy comes in here is when MSNBC funded commentators rail against political speech by others such as citizens and corporations speaking through super PACs,” campaign law expert Charles Spies told The Daily Caller.
“If corporate behemoth (and employer of multiple lobbyists) NBC Universal can use their resources to promote viewpoints and candidates, then why shouldn’t others be able to through super PACs and (political non-profit) c4 organizations?” Spies said.
“Media exemption” allows legitimate news organizations to comment on officeholders and candidates per the First Amendment.
Legally, the “Speak Out” ad featuring Davis is not an express campaign contribution, according to Spies, where as a more direct statement like “Vote for Davis” would fall under contribution.
“Practically, of course this is helpful to her,” Spies said.
Davis gained national notoriety after her 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate temporarily blocked new abortion-restricting legislation, much to the chagrin of Gov. Rick Perry, who spoke out against Davis.
The resulting political feud and influx of national Democratic support for Davis prompted her to run for governor 2014, where polls have her trailing behind both Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Perry in approval ratings.
See the ad: