Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Barack Obama’s campaign wanted to bring the energy ad wars directly to the pump, but their attempts have been foiled.

The campaign wanted to run an ad on the mini TV screens that appear on some gas pumps, pointing out that John McCain voted against higher fuel-economy standards and renewable energy, and that Obama is calling for a $1,000 energy rebate and measures to move toward energy independence. The campaign intended to roll out the ad at gas stations in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami, but Gas Station TV has rejected them.

Gas Station TV CEO David Leider told the AP the company had been considering running the ad, but then thought better of it. “We avoid politics in general,” he said.

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But Obama campaign officials said the company told them it feared the ad would be damaging to the oil industry: “It looks like Gas Station TV doesn’t want the American people to know about Sen. Obama’s plan to offer working families a $1,000 energy rebate that would be funded by a tax on oil company profits,” Mark Bubriski, Obama’s Florida spokesperson, told the AP.