Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Campaign Spot-Light: Nancy Pelosi Returns to TV In a GOP Primary

Welcome to Roll Call’s new feature to highlight the most interesting campaign ads every week.

In fall 2012, Roll Call ran a similar daily feature highlighting the goodthe vicious and the wild of political ads. We planned to bring the feature back this fall, but the early influx of advertising in campaigns this cycle prompted a speedier comeback.

More than anything else, Roll Call seeks to highlight ads that break through the clutter in this new weekly feature. Here are those TV ads from this week:

Idaho’s 2nd District: Nancy Pelosi’s GOP Primary Cameo 

Conservative groups spent big bucks over the last four years making House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the bogeyman in television ads targeting Democrats.

Now, outside groups backing the two Republicans running in this safe GOP primary are trying to tar the opposition with an association to Pelosi.

The most recent instance of this came this week from a tea party group.

Ad Buyer: Madison Action Fund
Ad buy: The group says they put $34,000 behind the spot, which includes Fox News and “some broadcast.”
The Race: Attorney Bryan Smith is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. Groups like Madison and the Club for Grown would like to see their candidate, Smith, oust Simpson, a Boehner ally.

In the spot, Simpson “joined Pelosi in voting to take more of your money to fund sex study programs of San Francisco prostitutes.”

But Pelosi also surfaced in an ad from Defending Main Street super PAC, a group that backs Simpson.

Ad Buyer: Defending Main Street Super PAC
Ad Buy Info: A three-week, six-figure buy, according to a CQ Roll Call Report.

A couple of weeks ago, the super PAC — which supports Simpson — aired an ad with an edited clip of Chris Chocola, the president of the Club for Growth. Chocola said something briefly positive about Pelosi, and the super PAC used his words to tie that to Smith. 

Iowa’s 3rd District: Do You Believe in Magic?

Ad Buyer: Young For Iowa
Ad buy: The Young campaign has a three week buy on broadcast in Des Moines, Iowa, and on Des Moines and Omaha, Neb., cable television.
The Race: Republican David Young is running for the 3rd District, which is open because Republican Rep. Tom Latham is retiring. Young is the underdog in a field of six candidates. If he has any chance in his primary, he’ll need to pull some tricks out of his sleeve. And, well…

“Iowa’s answer is not magic,” a male narrator says. “It’s David Young.”

This is how we feel about this ad:

Emily Cahn contributed to this report.  

Have an ad you think we should see? Email it here with “Political Ad” in the subject line.

If you are a consultant, please include media buy info if available. There’s a warm seat in Roll Call hell for those who portray Web videos without any cash behind them as television ads.

If you are a voter and noticed an interesting spot, please describe it and tell us the program and network where you saw it run. 

  • johnnyangel10

    More bias against TP Rollers ??

  • Jon Johnston

    The “big idea” of Marxism is the notion that a self-proclaimed group of the uber-enlightened are somehow magically entitled to consciously direct the future of mankind.

  • terjeanderson

    And the “big idea” of libertarianism is the notion that a group of sock puppet spambots spamming discussion boards all over the web are somehow magically going to convince people that their adolescent selfish ideology is good for the future of mankind.


    The Republican party and their cronies have done themselves a great disservice by holding the extension bill hostage since late last December. While they continued delaying and rejecting each proposal submitted in the senate, millions of families have suffered adversely financially. Millions of families have faced eviction, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy, and homelessness, while the republican senate played “party politics”, using these families as bargaining chips, for political leverage, to further their political agenda. These are people with children who are suffering for no fault of their own, because of lay offs and corporate downsizing. These are not the “lazy” unemployed workers depicted in the press by some republicans in the senate. It’s always easy to point blame at others for failures, rather to one’s own self for failed policies. Remember, it wasn’t the poor and unemployed that caused our economy “meltdown” several years ago. It was the greedy bankers that were responsible, and needed bailing out with taxpayer’s dollars. Which after the bail outs, gave each other huge bonuses. Now the republican party, with senators such as John Boehner, are holding the much needed help for these families as leverage for the passing of their OIL bill in the senate. Sadly, this is what it all comes down to. I hope the republicans are prepared for the tremendous backlash by these millions of families and their loved ones in the coming elections. They may not care at the moment, but I assure you that they will realized their mistake when the democrats win by another landslide. The republicans have proven themselves to represent only the interests of a chosen few in our great country.

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