Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Arizona: NRCC, DCCC Going on the Air in Giffords Special (Updated)

Updated 6:40 p.m. | The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin a $150,000 ad buy beginning Friday in the Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a GOP source confirmed to Roll Call.

The party’s nominee is veteran Jesse Kelly. He will face former Giffords staffer Ron Barber, who went up on the air the day after the primary earlier this month. Kelly narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010. Much of Barber’s political inner circle was involved in Giffords’ campaign that year, and he has the support of the ex-Congresswoman and her husband.

The House campaign committees, as well as outside groups, have been closely watching and preparing for the race and will play dominant roles in the June 12 special election.

The winner of this race will have to run for re-election in the fall in a slightly redrawn version of the seat. Roll Call rates the special election as a Tossup.

     Updated: 6:40 p.m.

A Democratic source confirmed that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also set to go up with a $150,000 TV ad buy in the district in the next 48 hours. Both committees, and their allied outside groups and super PACs, are likely to continue spending through the June election.

  • r.rowley.tucson@gmail.com

    Jesse Kelly Supported by Groups Tied to White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis

    McCain campaign criticized ALIPAC for being among “extreme groups that condone racism”

    Apparently no longer satisfied to simply spew out-of-touch rhetoric about eliminating Social Security and imposing a 23 percent tax on southern Arizonans, now Jesse Kelly has doggedly pursued the support of a group with known white supremacist, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi ties. Kelly accepted the endorsement of Americans for Legal Immigration or ALIPAC – the same group that Senator John McCain’s spokesman condemned earlier this year as “backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.” McCain’s office went further, characterizing ALIPAC as an “extreme groups that condone[s] racism.”

    The neo-Nazi backers of ALIPAC include Stormfront, Vinlanders Social Club, European Americans United and David Duke, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

    ALIPAC has also come under heavy criticism for “bigotry” and “extreme rhetoric” and an agenda that “goes beyond the enforcement of immigration laws,” all the way to “demoniz[ing] immigrants as drunk drivers, gang members, invaders, murderers, and disease-carriers.”

    Given ALIPAC’s record with the White Supremacist movement, McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers demanded in February that JD Hayworth, “immediately disavow this group’s support.”

    Yet Jesse Kelly shows no signs of discomfort with ALIPAC’s “extremist rhetoric.” In his questionnaire seeking ALIPAC’s endorsement this year, Kelly signed a pledge that he would use “the full power of my office, including impeachment if necessary” to force the President to bow to the group’s radical demands.

    “Another NRCC Young Gun candidate, another Nazi tie — it should come as no surprise. Apparently Jesse Kelly’s support is so weak that he’s begging for help from groups on the racist fringe — even one that Senator McCain’s office has called out,” said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Committee. “Jesse Kelly should be strong enough to stand up a group backed by anti-Semites and White Supremacists. But so far, he just hasn’t shown the political courage.”

    Background

    According to the Phoenix New Times, the McCain campaign called on JD Hayworth to reject the ALIPAC endorsement due to the groups’ anti-Semitic, white supremacist and neo-Nazi ties. [Phoenix New Times, 2/24/10]

    The ADL has criticized ALIPAC’s founder for comparing immigrants to Nazis and for falsely claiming that immigrants “have set up ethnic cleansing zones.” [Anti-Defamation League website, accessed 10/16/10]

    Jesse Kelly filled out the ALIPAC questionnaire, promising to use the full power of the office, including impeachment, to further the group’s goals. [ALIPAC website, accessed 10/16/10]
    http://j.mp/HR9RfR

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