Dems, GOP use websites for Senate campaign attacks

Republican Senate candidate Dan Coats is "Fakebook" friends with Wall Street, Yemen and Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez, according to a website launched by Indiana Democrats that uses a Facebook spoof to criticize his lobbying work.

The GOP, meanwhile, has created a site attacking Democrat Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who is set to be named on Saturday as the
Democratic nominee for the open seat. The site suggests Ellsworth is a rubber stamp for a liberal agenda in Washington and
offers a chance to "Donate now to help stop Brad!"

Both parties dismiss the other side's website as a political distraction.

The Indiana Democratic Party has been criticizing Coats for his lobbying work since he launched his campaign in February,
shortly before Democrat Sen. Evan Bayh made his surprise announcement that he wouldn't seek a third term. But Democrats
stepped up their attacks after the primary a week ago.

A "Fakebook" section on lobbyistdancoats.com names his location as Virginia and North Carolina—both of which
are crossed out—before listing Indiana. Democrats have criticized Coats, a former U.S. senator, for wanting to represent
Indiana after living and voting in Virginia for several years and having a second home in North Carolina.

The website also said Coats would look out for his former lobbying clients over the interests of Indiana voters, and outlines
their ties to companies that hired Coats' firm or previous employers.

State Democratic Party chairman Dan Parker said Coats must explain his lobbying work.

"Dan Coats may try to shrug off his lobbying work as an easy paycheck, but his actions are of real concern to Hoosier
families," Parker said. "Coats needs to come clean about exactly what he did."

Coats said last week that he didn't personally lobby for every entity that his law firm represented. He said he would
provide more details on his work, but his campaign has not responded to repeated requests for more information by The Associated
Press.

The Indiana Republican Party said Tuesday that the Democrats' most recent criticisms of Coats is merely a distraction
from real issues.

"Indiana Democrats are obviously very worried about Brad Ellsworth's voting record on issues important to Hoosiers,"
said GOP chairman Murray Clark. "Today's press conference is nothing more than a political diversion."

The badforindiana.com site—paid for by the state GOP—targets Ellsworth and his voting record. The site says Ellsworth
hasn't stood up to "liberal Washington leaders" and has categories explaining why "Brad is bad" on
various issues.

The Democratic Party said the site is an attempt to mislead voters about Ellsworth, who is considered a conservative Democrat.

"While the website is full of flash and sparkle, it's short on facts," Parker said. "This is just an attempt
to distract from Dan Coats' questionable ties to special interests."

Ellsworth spokeswoman Elizabeth Farrar said, "Brad has never hesitated to buck his party to do what's right for
Indiana. What's of far greater concern to Hoosiers is Dan Coats' record as a Washington lobbyist of siding with special
interests 100 percent of the time."

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}