Republican super PACs ramp up spending in House races

Republican super PACs ramp up spending in House races

Nancy Pelosi is pictured. | AP Photo

The common thread in ads this week is a focus on the Dems’ agenda under Pelosi. | AP Photo

By JAKE SHERMAN | 9/17/12 4:59 AM EDT

With 50 days and counting until Election Day, a pair of outside political groups supporting House Republicans is unleashing $7 million of TV ads in contested congressional districts.

A pair of related groups linked to House GOP leadership, the American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, is launching a fresh $3 million advertising campaign targeting races in the Midwest, California and one in Texas.

This is on top of $4 million that the YG Action Fund – a super PAC associated with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – has on television in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Massachusetts.

The two sets of television buys show the scope of super-PAC spending in the race for the House. Millions of dollars of super PAC television ads come as candidates and party committees are also purchasing TV time.

There is one key difference between the two groups’ advertising buys: YG Action its resources to help top Republican challengers, while CLF and AAN’s advertising buy attempts to boost primarily incumbents.

The common thread throughout the $3 million in TV ads launching this week is the focus on Democrats’ agenda under Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – a set of issues that is several years old.

The Congressional Leadership Fund is spending $1.3 million in Ohio and Texas on a pair of competitive races. In the Buckeye State, the super PAC is dropping $1 million to try to link Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton to Pelosi. The ad seeks to dredge up Sutton’s votes from when Democrats controlled Congress more than two years ago.

“In Washington, she works for Pelosi, not Ohio,” the ad says, also mentioning Sutton’s support for a cap-and-trade energy bill, the Democratic health care overhaul and stimulus spending. The ad says Sutton voted with Pelosi 99 percent of the time. Sutton faces freshman Republican Rep. Jim Renacci in a new district.

The super PAC is spending $300,000 for Rep. Francisco Canseco (Texas) in his massive San Antonio area district.

Simultaneously, the American Action Network, a non-profit group related to the Congressional Leadership Fund, is launching $1.6 million in ads in Illinois, Indiana, California and Minnesota.

Sacramento TV viewers will see a cartoonish AAN ad accusing Jose Hernandez of being a carpet-bagger who moved to California to run against Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.). The group also says Hernandez wants to raise taxes, but once had a tax lien on his business. Most notably, the ad — which cost the group $540,000 — attempts to tie Hernandez to President Barack Obama’s health care law.

AAN’s Duluth, Minn.-area ad says former Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) sides with the Environmental Protection Agency and against mining jobs. In the Minneapolis media market, AAN says that Nolan is a “radical” who wants to reshape Medicare. Nolan is running against Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.).

In a similar vein, the group is spending $320,000 to accuse David Gill of supporting a single-payer health care plan, Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill and Solyndra, the failed solar energy company backed by federal funding. Gill was not in Congress for any of these policy debates. He faces Rodney Davis in a district that runs diagonally from outside St. Louis to Champaign, Ill.

The smallest buy — $80,000 — is in support of Rep. Larry Buschon in Indiana.

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Author: AFGE Local 704

Representing over 900 bargaining unit employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices in Chicago, Ann Arbor, MI and Westlake, OH.

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