A Washington, D.C.-based political group made a one-day media buy on television stations in the Evansville media market and bought a full-page ad in today's Courier & Press welcoming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to town.
But it isn't the sort of welcome Palin would enjoy.
The ads, running today only, are paid for by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which decries what it calls Palin's "anti-wolf, anti-wildlife agenda." The group accuses Palin of promoting the shooting of wolves from airplanes, as well as gassing wolf pups in their dens.
Palin is the "special guest speaker" at tonight's Vanderburgh County Right to Life 2009 Spring Banquet at The Centre.
Palin's political action committee, which is paying for her trip to Evansville, could not be reached for response today. The Alaska governor has called Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund an "extreme fringe group" that is willfully distorting her record.
The 60-second anti-Palin television ad features footage of a wolf being shot from an airplane when it is in the open, with no place to seek cover.
"Palin is again casting aside science and promoting the slaughter of wildlife," a female narrator says. "Using a low-flying plane, they kill in winter, when there is no chance for the wolves to escape."
The ad goes on to assert Palin "even proposed a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf." It says she is "encouraging even more aerial killing."
A Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund spokesman said the group's one-day broadcast and print ad campaign cost it about $30,000, including broadcast time for morning, noon and evening newscasts.
William Lutz, the group's senior director, said it learned of Palin's visit to Evansville because tracking her movements is part of its mandate.
"We follow Gov. Palin's schedule very closely because in Alaska, we've been working on conservation issues for a long time," Lutz said. "We've launched the Eye on Palin campaign, a kind of a Palin watchdog campaign, and part of it is tracking her movements and bringing the message of her extreme anti-wildlife and anti-conservation policies to audiences outside of Alaska whenever she leaves the state."
In a statement released by Palin's office in February, she said Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's ongoing attacks against her are "reprehensible and hypocritical."
"The ad campaign by this extreme fringe group, as Alaskans have witnessed over the last several years, distorts the facts about Alaska's wildlife management programs," Palin said. "These audacious fundraising attempts misrepresent what goes on in Alaska, and I encourage people to learn the facts about Alaska's positive record of managing wildlife for abundance.
"Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times," she continued.
To view the Defenders of Widlife Action Fund's television ad, go to http://www.eyeonpalin.org/