By John Celock
A Republican congressman is being attacked by his Democratic opponent for skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee during a congressional trip three years ago.
Democrat Kelly Kultala has a new commercial, “Naked,” where she uses U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s (R-Kan.) naked swim as the theme to attack the two-term Republican’s views. Yoder swam naked in the Sea of Galilee during a trip to Israel with other congressional freshmen in 2011, a fact which came to light in 2012.
“A while back Congressman Yoder made news by skinny dipping on the job,” Kultala said in the ad. “But it’s more shameless what he’s doing to Kansas.”
In the ad, actors who appear to be naked in a pool criticize Yoder’s voting record in Congress, including voting for tax and budget cuts and changes to Medicare. Kultala uses the ad to accuse Yoder’s votes of helping his campaign contributors.
“Yoder lines the pockets of his millionaire donors with big tax cuts and they line his. When he has pockets,” an actress said in the ad.
A Yoder spokesman did not respond for immediate comment on the ad, which debuted Thursday.
Yoder has apologized for the skinny dipping incident, in which he was the only congressman to get naked for the swim. Others in the delegation remained clothed for the late night swim at the holy spot. Yoder was rebuked by congressional leaders following the revelation.
Kultala, a former state senator who lost her reelection bid in 2012, has been battling calls for her excommunication from the Catholic Church due to her pro-choice views on abortion as a part of her congressional bid in the Kansas City suburbs. The 2010 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Kultala faced criticism from state Republicans during her 2012 for being too close to President Barack Obama, who is deeply unpopular in Kansas. Kultala and other Democrats at the time distanced themselves from Obama, the son of a Kansas native.