Dems Take Offense At Republican Political Commercial

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell
By Jeff Neumeyer

April 1, 2011 Updated Apr 1, 2011 at 5:43 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Indiana House Democrats are back to work, but hard feelings linger at the Statehouse, after a five-week walkout by the democrats forced the legislature to play “catch-up”.

A new republican-sponsored political ad is not helping to smooth things over.

The ad raised a question about a big price tag associated with the walkout.

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels' Political Action Committee, “Aiming Higher”, launched the spot we're talking about earlier this week.

Democrats are demanding it be pulled from Hoosier TV stations, based on a claim in the ad the walkout cost taxpayers over $400,000.

The Democrats say that claim is patently false, and potentially defamatory, and they said so in a letter sent out to about a dozen television stations.

Fort Wayne lawmaker Win Moses says the walkout actually saved money, because he says the amount of money allocated to the legislature doesn't change.

State Rep. Win Moses/(D) Fort Wayne: " Since we're not there, we don't get paid, and because we were not there, a number of republicans did not get paid either, so we have over $100,000 worth of savings and we were required to pay fines which we are going to do too. So, there's not only not a loss, there's in fact a benefit. Taxpayers are better off with us being gone financially."

Democrats are claiming a savings of $263,000 in total, taking into account the fines and decision to not take per diem monies.

The Indiana Republican Party defends the claims in the ad, saying there were lots of expenses, including payment of staff, those 36 days of the walkout, and virtually no work got done.

Republicans, in fact, say the $400,000 figure is a conservative estimate.

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