Rep. Mica: Fellow GOP Rep. Adams may have broken House rules in campaign ad

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) is accusing fellow GOP Rep. Sandy Adams (Fla.) of possibly breaking a House rule by using a recording of floor proceedings in a campaign ad against him. 

Mica has asked television networks not to show the ad while the House Ethics Committee investigates.

Adams and Mica are facing off in a GOP primary to be the nominee in the newly created 7th district in Florida. Last week, Adams ran the ad in question, in which her campaign calls Mica a "cheerleader" for President Obama.

The ad shows Obama thanking Mica for his work on the transportation bill, and then briefly shows a clip from the House floor after Obama's State of the Union address in which Mica tells Obama "I'm your best cheerleader."

The Mica campaign is arguing that House rules prohibit video from House floor and committee proceedings from being used in political campaigns. Mica's campaign cites a rule in the House ethics manual that says broadcast video from floor proceedings "may not be used for any political purpose under House Rule 5, clause 2(c )(1)."

"Throughout this election, the Adams campaign has used distortion and mistruths to attempt to win an election," said John Dowless, consultant to the Mica campaign. "In this last desperate attack it appears they may have crossed the ethical line, disregarding a long-standing House Ethics Rule to prevent political use of official C-Span broadcasts."

Adams's campaign responded by saying the complaint shows Mica is eager to cover up the video.

"John Mica's desperation knows no bounds," said Adams spokeswoman Lisa Boothe. "He will do anything he can to cover up the fact that he is President Obama's best cheerleader."

Thomas Spulak, a lawyer with King and Spalding who represents Mica's campaign, wrote a letter last week asking an ABC affiliate in Orlando to stop showing the ad because it contains "prohibited material that is in violation of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives."

That letter states that the House Ethics Committee has been informed of this violation, but asked that the network stop showing the ad given that the House is not in session, and the committee is unlikely to rule on the matter for the next several weeks.

"Therefore, believing that your station would want to uphold the letter and spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, we respectfully request that WFTV-ABC9 refrain from broadcasting this advertisement," Spulak wrote.

— Keith Laing contributed

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