Knollenberg says attack ads on him hurting local humane society
Gordon Trowbridge /
DetroitNews Bureau Washington
Facing a tough fight for re-election, Rep. Joe Knollenberg on Saturday said an animal-rights group's attacks against him are hurting the Michigan Humane Society and called on his Democratic challenger, Gary Peters, to demand that the ads stop.
Knollenberg and campaign aides told reporters they believe the ads by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which has spent nearly $400,000 attacking Knollenberg, are harming local humane societies that are not connected to the legislative fund, a
, political action committee. It's just one of the outside groups spending millions of dollars in the race, in which some independent analysts consider Peters a favorite to end Knollenberg's time in Washington, D.C. after eight terms. Washington
Peters' campaign said the controversy was an attempt to distract voters from the economy. Knollenberg, one of the nation's most vulnerable House Republicans, is seeking his ninth term in a district heavily targeted by Democrats.
Knollenberg's campaign cited a television report quoting a Michigan Humane Society board member, who said that donors who have supported the nonprofit animal rescue group are withholding donations because they mistakenly believe the state group is behind the anti-Knollenberg ads.
"Mr. Peters is the one who needs to step forward," Knollenberg said. "Either he will demand this ad be taken off the air or he will sit by idly and let the Humane Society be harmed.
Nancy Gunnigle, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Humane Society, said Saturday that the organization has gotten several phone calls from people who believed it was behind the ads, including some who have said they were angry about the ads and might not continue donations. Gunnigle said when the agency explains it is not behind the ads, those donors have pledged to continue their support. Click here for the rest of the story.