WASHINGTON A group that's fighting childhood obesity will air a commercial in Idaho spoofing Sen. Larry Craig's arrest June 11 in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.
The ad, which already has aired in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., will appear this week on cable in Boise. It's scheduled to air on CNN between 6 p.m. and midnight Thursday and Friday.
It's paid for by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is taking aim at subsidies in the federal farm bill. The group argues that lawmakers steer federal subsidies to big agribusinesses because the companies are major campaign donors. The subsidies support unhealthy crops and livestock that make kids fat, spokeswoman Dr. Hope Ferdowsian said.
The group's ad borrows liberally from the detailed arrest report that described how Craig, R-Idaho, got caught up in a men's room sex sting. In the ad, a well-dressed man is seen going into a public restroom. The man loudly taps his smart-looking wingtips on the floor, apparently a signal for grabbing bundles of cash being offered from beneath the stall divider.
As the man stuffs the cash into a briefcase, a narrator says: "It's their dirty little secret. Members of Congress taking PAC money from corporations producing bacon, burgers and other fatty foods." The products are then "dumped" in school lunch programs, the narrator says. "Companies get rich; kids get fat. Is your senator on the gravy train?"
The door to the next stall opens, and there's a pink pig inside. Caught in the act, the pig squeals, then slams the stall door shut.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine first aired the commercial last week, the same day that Craig's lawyers were in court in Minnesota to withdraw his guilty plea. The senator had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Craig initially said he'd resign Sept. 30, but he has remained in office. He's said he sees his effort to withdraw his guilty plea as part of the work to clear his name and that he won't step down until his legal case comes to a close. A judge is expected to rule this week on whether Craig has grounds to withdraw his plea.