EMILY’s List Ad Nearly Word-For-Word From Monica Vernon’s “Action Alert”


Monica Vernon is getting some help in her campaign for the Democrats’ 1st District nomination. EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Vernon, is running a new ad under part of their Women Vote Project that looks to elect pro-choice female candidates.

Women Vote is organized as a Super PAC, so it can’t coordinate with an official campaign. However, the transcript for the ad is nearly word-for-word from a specific section near the bottom of  Vernon’s website labeled “Democratic Action Alert.”

Here’s the ad from Women Vote:

This is my transcript from it:

Democrat Monica Vernon: She knows seniors have paid into Social Security and Medicare every paycheck. It’s a promise they depend on, because they earned it. That’s why Monica Vernon will protect Social Security and Medicare from Tea Party Republicans’ attacks. It’s why strong progressive Democrats like Christie Vilsack, Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa labor unions back Monica Vernon for Congress. Because Democrat Monica Vernon will fight for us every time. Women Vote are responsible for the content of this advertising.  

Now here’s the text from the bottom of Vernon’s website:

Monica Vernon knows seniors have paid into Social Security and Medicare every paycheck.  They’ve earned it.  It’s why we can count on Monica Vernon to stand up to Tea Party Republican attempts in Congress to cut Social Security and end the Medicare guarantee.  And it’s why strong progressives like Christie Vilsack, Attorney General Tom Miller, and Iowa labor unions have endorsed Monica Vernon.  Because Monica Vernon fights for us – every time.

The text from Vernon's website
The text from Vernon’s website

This all is a relatively standard procedure in the Super PAC era. A campaign will post in a public domain their preferred messaging, or put a lot of b-roll on their Youtube page for other committees to take and use in their own ad. It’s not technically coordinating and is perfectly legal, of course, but everyone knows the game that’s being played.

Still, it is a little jarring to see it so obviously done in this case. Vernon puts out her preferred messaging on her website in a box seemingly intended to alert other groups to it, and it is soon replicated almost perfectly in a TV ad from a group that legally can’t coordinate with them.

Pat Murphy’s campaign has criticized Vernon for taking “outside money” and attempted to get her to sign a pledge earlier in the campaign to reject Super PAC money. Some progressives may take issue with the setup, though others will likely see it as simply just how campaigns work these days. Others – like myself – may not like it because the message used is so dreadfully boring.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/21/16

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