The campaign for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas has been marked by some hard-hitting commercials. Often commercials are based on subjective claims, such as “Vote for me! I’m great and my opponent is terrible!”
In the ad, an unidentified man says that Thayer Aerospace, a Wichita manufacturing company that Pompeo once headed, failed to pay the man’s small business. As a result the man had to declare bankruptcy.
In a statement read by Pompeo at a press conference today, Pompeo said that they were able to identify the man as Daniel Lind, and the company as Machining Concepts, Inc.
Pompeo said Thayer Aerospace had purchased products from the company, and that all bills were paid: “The total volume of the work performed by that company for Thayer Aerospace was approximately $351,000. All of the obligations associated with that work were paid for by Thayer Aerospace.”
Pompeo said that evidence of the falsity of Lind’s claim of non-payment by Thayer include Lind’s bankruptcy filing — referred to by Lind in the advertisement — in which Thayer Aerospace is not mentioned. In the filing, under “Accounts Receivable,” Lind marked “none.” A debt owed to Lind’s business should have been listed here.
In a Wichita Eagle news story, Lind stands by his claims. He says he didn’t sue Thayer over the debt because he couldn’t afford it. While that may be true, it wouldn’t have cost anything to list Thayer on the bankruptcy filing.
Pompeo said he will ask television stations to stop airing the ad based on the falsity of the claims made within. But as explained in a Time magazine article and confirmed in a conversation with a former television station manager, media outlets do not have the ability to pick and choose which candidate advertisements they broadcast. Explains Time: “Broadcasters are actually obligated to run [candidate] ads, even those known to be false. Under the Federal Communications Act, a station can have a blanket policy of refusing all ads from all candidates. But they cannot single out and decline to air a particular commercial whose content they know to be a lie.”
As of this moment, the Hartman campaign has not responded to requests for documentation or other information regarding Lind’s claims.
The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.