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Democratic Rep. John Garamendi's campaign has removed one of its television ads attacking Republican opponent Kim Vann because it made false claims.

The 30-second ad, which began airing last week, hit Vann for her record on veterans and actions taken as a member of the Colusa County Board of Supervisors.

The spot falsely claimed that Vann had the county buy her a $4,000 chair.

The county spent roughly $4,000 on chairs in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, but not on a single seat for Vann. Five new chairs for the board's meeting chambers were purchased online for $1,933.40, or $386.68 for each chair, according to documents provided by the county auditor-controller. An additional set of chairs purchased by the county that year was transferred for use in another agency because the seats were the wrong dimensions for the space.

The ad's characterization of a dispute between the board and supporters of a veterans' hall that had been condemned by county officials because of safety concerns also lacked context and misquoted Vann's statement to a local newspaper on the matter.

The ad also claims that Vann voted for a 14 percent pay raise. That figure reflects an overall increase in salary and benefit costs for the board between 2007 and 2012, according to documents provided by the Garamendi campaign.

The five-member board unanimously voted in 2008 to increase salaries for members by $400 a month, to $28,800 a year. Members said at the time that the 20 percent pay hike was needed to compensate for additional responsibilities board members had to take on because the county did not have an administrative officer, according to Marysville's Appeal-Democrat newspaper.

Vann began calling for Garamendi to correct the record and take down the ad last week, most recently launching a Web video inviting the congressman to come sit in her chair in the chambers himself.

Garamendi campaign manager Maureen Erwin said late Monday after an inquiry from The Bee that the campaign has "taken the ad out of rotation and will correct the ad based on this new information."

She blamed the inaccuracy on the way the county reported its expenditures in a budget document. But that document, which listed the total spending on chairs for the year, did not specify whether the furniture was intended for Vann. A breakdown of the spending was obtained by The Bee from the county.

Garamendi and Vann are facing off in the 3rd Congressional District, which stretches from Rio Vista to north of Orland and Marysville.


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