Political ad center stage in congressional race

Democrat Dan Seals is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Mark Kirk who represents the North suburbs.

Two political 'armies' of military veterans went at it Thursday afternoon on the North Shore. In the midst of a well-financed and bitter race in the 10th congressional district, Democratic challenger Dan Seals has rolled out a controversial 30-second commercial.

The ad features an un-named veteran who volunteered for the war in Iraq.

The young man calls President George W. Bush a liar, then shows a photo of Bush with his arm draped around Republican Congressman Mark Kirk who at the time the war began was a Navy reservist.

Thursday afternoon, about two dozen 10th district veterans who support Kirk expressed outrage at the ad.

An hour later, Seals gathered his own group of North Shore veterans who thought the ad was on the mark.

Kirk has demanded that Seals stop running the commercial. His staff identified the veteran in the ad as Caleb Davis, 25, of downstate Peoria who the Republicans allege is a 911 conspiracy theorist who believes the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were inside jobs by the U.S. government.

ABC7 could not reach Caleb Davis for comment. He has issued a statement through the Seals campaign saying he believes the 911 attacks were committed by Al Qaeda terrorists, in effect denying that he is a conspiracy theorist.

Seals says he will not pull the ad. Kirk says his campaign will answer with an ad blitz during the last weeks before the election.

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