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Maynard ad: Rahall received money from a terrorist

A new ad from Republican challenger Elliot "Spike" Maynard is one in a series that goes after Democrat Nick Rahall (W.Va.), claiming that Rahall has "taken campaign cash from a group with terrorist ties."

The announcer says that there are "five things you need to know about Nick Rahall," and goes on to claim that Rahall, who is part Lebanese, took money "from al-Amoudi, now a convicted terrorist," and that he "helped Qatar, while his sister was a foreign agent for them." The ad goes on to say that Rahall "brags" that he was an (in Rahall's own words) "early supporter of Barack Obama" and that he voted for "Obamacare."

The ad cites West Virginia Watchdog, which reports that Rahall received donations from the Arab American Leadership PAC, which the report alleges has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and, by extension, al-Qaeda and Hamas. The Web site relies heavily on a controversial book: "Muslim Mafia," by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.

The claim that Rahall received a campaign donation from Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi is accurate, but he gave the money away in 2003 to a Baptist church, according to Derek Scarbro, executive director of the West Virginia Democratic Party. Also, he was not the only politician to receive a donation from al-Amoudi -- former president George W. Bush and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) received donations, as did a number of other U.S. politicians. Al -moudi was convicted of, among other charges, accepting thousands of dollars from Libya in violation of U.S. law and attempting to hide it from the government.

Regarding Rahall's sister, Tanya Rahall, Politico reported on Oct. 7 that she indeed registered as a foreign agent on behalf of the Qatari embassy in 2002 and that her brother co-sponsored pro-Qatari resolutions. According to reports,Tanya Rahall's work on behalf of the Qatari government ended in 2006.

This is not the first time Maynard has made these claims. An earlier Maynard ad went after the al-Amoudi donation claim exclusively:

Meanwhile, a third ad from the West Virginia Conservative Foundation uses spooky music over video clips of Rahall speaking in support of President Obama. In one of the clips, Rahall says, "I proudly chaired the Arab Americans for Obama campaign nationwide group dedicated to mobilizing Arab Americans and bringing light to those issues we care about."

Rahall currently leads Maynard in the 3rd district race.

By Emi Kolawole  | October 21, 2010; 5:59 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Ad Watch  
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