Republicans, led by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chair Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) are threatening legal action against a full-page advertisement that ran in the New York Times on March 26 which is part of MoveOn.org’s campaign to defeat George W. Bush for re-election. The environmentalist special interest group Natural Resources Defense Council — which accepts at least half a million in federal grants annually — was also a sponsor of the ad. The advertisement accused President Bush of putting America’s children at risk by relaxing mercury standards. In fact, there are no current standards regulating mercury emissions.
In addition to making false claims against the Bush Administration, the advertisement sought donations to the NRDC, which describes itself as a non-profit charity. Thus, through scaring people, the organization hoped to raise funds. “I believe it is bad enough to run a false advertisement, but to solicit charitable contributions based on that false advertisement is especially troubling,” said Inhofe. Inhofe is petitioning prosecutors in his home state of Oklahoma to bring criminal charges against MoveOn.org and the NRDC.