Correction: The footage in question was taken from Gina Ortiz Jones’ speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in Washington, D.C. A previous version of this story indicated otherwise, and we regret the error.
The LGBTQ Victory Fund has sent a cease and desist letter to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) demanding that it stop airing “a false advertisement” that includes footage from a speech delivered by Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones in April.
The NRCC is using the footage, taken from Jones’ speech at the Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in Washington, in an ad (above) supporting Republican incumbent Will Hurd. During the speech, Ortiz Jones told the crowd to “drink another mimosa” and “write another check.”
The Victory Fund accused the NRCC of copyright infringement, and said the House GOP’s campaign arm distorted the meaning of the footage to mislead voters. Ortiz Jones is vying to become the first LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Texas.
“Gina attended our event and gave a powerful speech about how being a child of immigrants and serving under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ have fueled her desire to make a difference for average Americans,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund. “The NRCC and Will Hurd apparently find no moral obligation to be truthful – purposefully distorting Gina’s deeply personal speech to mislead voters. We have ordered the NRCC to end all use of the attack ad immediately because of the unauthorized misuse of our copyrighted material.
“Will Hurd should also condemn the false attack ad and demand the NRCC remove it from the air. Rep. Hurd continues to make self-aggrandizing calls for ‘civility’ in public discourse, but quietly nods and smiles as his supporters spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on false attacks that are the antithesis of civility,” Parker added. “If Rep. Hurd wants to live up to his own hype, he must condemn this ad and these tactics.
“At our event in April, Gina called on those in the room to support our non-partisan organization with a contribution – which Victory Fund could then use to support openly LGBTQ candidates who have long been marginalized in American politics. The NRCC and Hurd may oppose our mission to elect openly LGBTQ candidates who must overcome homophobia and transphobia to win elected office, but we appreciate having a leader like Gina on our side.”
Watch Ortiz Jones’ full speech below.