The Democratic House Majority PAC will launch three new ads today, giving a final boost to two Democratic Congressmen and a candidate running in an open seat.
The first spot is in Illinois’ open 12th district, represented by retiring Democratic Rep. Jerry Costello. It highlights the contrast between the Republican nominee, businessman Jason Plummer, and the Democratic nominee, retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart. The ad, backed by $125,000 from today through Nov. 6 on broadcast television in the Paducah, Ky., media market, paints Plummer as someone who “praises” a plan that would “end Medicare.”
The second spot is in Massachusetts’ 6th district, where eight-term Democratic Rep. John Tierney faces an uphill battle against former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R). The ad attempts to tie Tisei to the tea party as well as the Medicare changes in the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The spot is backed by about $320,000 on broadcast television in the Boston media market over a week beginning today.
The third spot is in New York’s 1st district, where Rep. Tim Bishop (D) faces a rematch with businessman Randy Altschuler (R). The ad hammers on Altschuler’s outsourcing business. The spot begins today and is backed by $500,000 on targeted cable in the expensive New York City media market.
INDIANAPOLIS — By now, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock should know when to hold his tongue.
But the Republican Senate nominee, who’s been in Indiana politics for more than two decades, has a habit of speaking freely, frequently.
Many Hoosiers agree with his ideology, but Mourdock’s errors are political. As a result, less than two weeks before Election Day, Mourdock’s greatest hurdle to winning a Senate seat is himself.
“Richard doesn’t really believe in a filter,” said one Hoosier Republican and Mourdock ally, who declined to criticize the nominee on the record. “He is who he is and refuses to compromise for expediency.”
On Tuesday evening, Mourdock described pregnancy that results from rape as “something that God intended to happen” in response to an open-ended question on abortion. He delivered a tearful apology the next day to those who misunderstood his comments, which he described as not “articulate.”
The comments sent the Indiana race into turmoil two weeks before Election Day, just as Mourdock regained his footing against Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) following a rocky September for Republicans nationwide. Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today confirmed that it has taken out a $17 million line of credit to help fund the final stretch of the election cycle.
The influx of funds will help finance more media buys in a wide range of close races and, in turn, help balance out the barrage of GOP-aligned outside group dollars flowing into House races. While winning back control of the House remains a steep climb, Democrats aim to at least cut deeply into Republicans’ current 25-seat majority.
The National Republican Congressional Committee declined to comment on whether it has secured a loan.
Updated 3:45 p.m. | INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) sought to clarify his controversial debate comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen” this morning, apologizing to those who misunderstood his remarks but standing by their intended meaning.
“If, because of the lack of clarity in my words, they came away with the impression other than those I said a moment ago, that life is precious, that I abhor violence, and God abhors violence and rape. If they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it,” Mourdock said at a press conference at Indiana Republican Party headquarters
Mourdock choked up repeatedly during the press conference, declaring himself a “more humble person this morning because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the point that I was trying to make.” But when pressed about his apology, Mourdock defended the original intent behind his statement. Full story
Embattled Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is back at the Mayo Clinic for a “follow-up evaluation,” and a lawmaker friend said bluntly that it is unclear if the Illinois Democrat will return to Congress, according to press reports.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) today responded to a searing ad released Tuesday by former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) that attempted to paint his opponent for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat as unpatriotic because of her 2006 vote against a resolution involving the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Hoping to mitigate any potential damage caused by Thompson’s spot, which showed images of a charred building and fliers of missing persons from 9/11, Baldwin’s team released a retaliatory ad claiming that Thompson profited off of 9/11 victims, citing an $11 million contract won by Logistics Health, Inc. while Thompson was board chairman.
“Tommy Thompson should be ashamed,” the ad concludes, showing the former Health and Human Services secretary’s image and a variation of a tagline the campaign has been using in most of its negative spots: “Tommy, he’s not for you anymore.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has endorsed Rep. Howard Berman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has endorsed California Rep. Howard Berman in his heated, redistricting-forced race with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman.
“Howard Berman is a highly-respected leader sought after by his colleagues from both parties for his expertise in both domestic and foreign policy, and world affairs,” Hoyer said in a statement posted to Berman’s campaign Facebook page. “Howard Berman is respected by both Republicans and Democrats because of his approach as a legislator and decency as an individual. It would be a great loss to the country if Howard Berman did not return to serve in the Congress of the United States.” Full story
INDIANAPOLIS — National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is standing by his nominee in Indiana, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who said pregnancy that results from rape “is something God intended to happen” in the final Senate debate Tuesday night.
Mourdock was answering a question about abortion and explaining his position that he is against the procedure in all cases except when the life of the mother is at risk. He faces Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is also anti-abortion-rights but believes in exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.
“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God,” Cornyn said in a statement emailed to reporters this morning. “To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.” Full story
San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (above) is in what appears to be a close race with Rep. Brian Bilbray. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A flurry of polls were released over the last few days in the battleground 52nd district, where Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) is attempting to hold off a challenge from San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (D).
Until now, there had been a dearth of polling on this competitive race. None of the three polls now out match each other, and the race is likely closer than any of the numbers suggest.
Sixty percent of the redrawn district is new to Bilbray, and the race has attracted a torrent of outside spending in recent weeks as both parties push to get out the early vote for this race and the competitive mayoral election.
Sen. Scott Brown talks with senior citizens during a visit Friday to Fenno House in Qunicy, Mass. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
QUINCY, Mass. — Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) arrived last week here at Fenno House, an assisted and independent living facility, in his famous GMC truck with a package of sausage and a message about Medicare.
He handed the sausage, in a brown paper bag, to a member of Fenno House’s staff. “They’re frozen,” Brown said. “Give ‘em to the kitchen. I just got them down in Brockton, but I’m not going home.”
And then Brown went into the activity room of the facility. Fenno House serves people who are 62 or older, and Brown spoke to an audience of almost exclusively senior citizens about cuts to the beloved entitlement program. Full story
NEW ALBANY, Ind. — In the final, high-stakes debate before Election Day, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) touched on an issue that has bedeviled another Republican Senate candidate, saying that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
“I just, I struggled with it myself for a long time,” Mourdock said as he teared up. “But I came to realize that life is that gift from God.”
The Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin (R) has taken the unusual step of posting an email exchange with a reporter on its campaign website.
On Tuesday afternoon, the campaign posted an email exchange between Akin senior adviser Rick Tyler and Kevin McDermott, a political reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which McDermott sought a response from the Akin campaign for a story he was writing.
“I guess when you’re down double-digits and your campaign is the laughingstock of the election cycle, maybe they figure they have nothing left to lose. But it doesn’t say a lot about their integrity and seriousness as a Senate campaign,” one GOP strategist said in response to the post.
A super PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering going on the air in Maine. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A super PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering going on television in Maine, the Portland Press-Herald reported. According to CNN, the pro-Romney group, Restore Our Future, has already reserved air time in the state.
Restore Our Future has identified Maine’s more rural 2nd district as a target for possible ad spending if funds become available, according to a recent email to the super PAC’s donors that was obtained by Time’s Mark Halperin. In Maine, (and Nebraska,) electoral votes are not awarded on a winner-take-all basis, but rather to the victor in each Congressional district.
“As the Romney-Ryan momentum grows, and more states become within reach, the needs list grows,” the email said, demonstrating that campaigns and outside groups are leaving no stone unturned in the search for electoral votes.
A Press-Herald poll released at the beginning of this month showed that while President Barack Obama had an insurmountable lead in Maine’s coastal 1st district, the story could be quite different in the 2nd district, which encompasses much of the state’s more rural, inland territory. There, Obama had a 5 point lead over Romney, the survey revealed, suggesting to Republicans that they have a chance to pick off an electoral vote in the state.
It’s late October, and political ads today are scarier than Ethan Hawke’s new horror movie.
If political advertising is your source of information, the world is full of deadbeat dads, people who don’t care about 9/11 victims and folks who don’t protect children.
Here’s what cut through the clutter:
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s (R) campaign has accused Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) of not honoring 9/11 victims in a new statewide ad. The Baldwin campaign did not waste any time issuing a news release and pushing back on the matter.
“The fact that Tommy Thompson would question Tammy Baldwin’s patriotism and love of America is offensive and disgusting,” Baldwin spokesman John Kraus said. “Thompson’s fear mongering and scare tactics will be rejected by the people of Wisconsin.”
Everyone pretty much expected this ad to be in the can, but what makes it a bit surprising is that it actually hit the air. It is well-known that Rep. Joe Walsh (R) has had to deal with bad press because of allegations of not paying child support. His Democratic rival, veteran Tammy Duckworth, seemed to have put some serious distance between herself and Walsh, but the fact that she is going so negative is sure to raise some eyebrows.
Rhode Island 1
And on Monday, Rep. David Cicilline (D) was on the receiving end of one heck of a nasty ad from his challenger, Republican Brendan Doherty. Within 24 hours, his team turned around a response ad. Ad spending has been extremely heavy in this Providence-area district.