Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Dems want Shawn Harrison advertisement taken off air



The Florida Democratic Party is asking Brighthouse Networks to stop airing an political TV spot for Republican state House District 63 candidate Shawn Harrison that it says illegally uses copyrighted material.

In a cease and desist letter sent to the TV station today, Florida Democratic Party attorney Mark Herron claims that 15 seconds of copyrighted footage was illegally used by Harrison, an example of "classic copyright infringement."  

Harrison’s advertisement takes aim at one aired by his Democratic opponent Lisa Montelione that features a film set and a chair with her picture and claims she is too busy helping people to be on set.

His 30-second TV spot appears to use some of the same footage while blasting her for missing votes on the Tampa City Council.

“Shawn Harrison’s clearly illegal actions are the sign of a desperate campaign struggling to stay afloat,” said Anders Croy, Florida Democratic Party communications director in a statement. “This is what a candidate does when his values and record do not align with the district he is seeking to represent. We look forward to this ad being swiftly taken down.”

Harrison said he had not heard about the letter to Brighthouse and declined to comment further.

“We’ll check into it,” Harrison said.

The seat in the New Tampa-university area is one that Democrats have been targeting. It tends to swing Democrat in presidential year elections and Republican in off-year elections.

Montelione was one of about a dozen Democratic state House and state Senate candidates who were endorsed by President Barack Obama.

Her campaign has hit Harrison with claims in flyers that he supports fracking in Florida and has taken donations from fracking companies hoping to operate in the state.

Flyers sent out by the republican Party of Florida have highlighted Montelione’s vote on Tampa City Council supporting  free parking for city council members and her vote for a new stormwater assessment. 

[Last modified: Friday, November 4, 2016 1:17pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours