Democrats launch major early TV effort against GOP congressional challengers

2014-04-15T00:00:00Z 2014-06-13T17:40:30Z Democrats launch major early TV effort against GOP congressional challengersBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Democratic House Majority PAC is spending $365,000 on a series of ads this month, critical of two Republican congressional candidates here in Arizona.

The ads taking on Republicans Martha McSally and Andy Tobin come just two weeks after Koch brothers-backed LIBRE Initiative ads focusing on their Democratic rivals, incumbents Rep. Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick began airing in Tucson and Phoenix.

Matt Thornton, a spokesperson for the House Majority PAC, said the new ads are in direct response to the earlier Republican TV effort.

“There is no doubt who the Koch brothers want in control of Congress: people who will support their extreme agenda, not stand up for working people,” said Thornton. “Arizonans have a right to know about the Koch brothers’ hidden agenda and why they support certain candidates.”

The House Majority PAC has already been active in Arizona this year, spending $94,719 on ads in the Tucson market in January criticizing McSally’s ties to the billionaire Koch brothers.

Those January ads came a few months after another Koch brothers-affiliated group, Americans for Prosperity, paid for airtime to attack Barber over his support for the Affordable Care Act.

Daniel Garza, executive director of the LIBRE Initiative, said the House Majority PAC is essentially rerunning the same accusations against McSally that were debunked by The Washington Post during the previous round of TV jousting.

The Washington Post partially relied on stories from the Arizona Daily Star in its fact check of the House Majority PAC produced advertisements.

Some of the claims — McSally’s support for privatizing Social Security and raising the retirement age — were made again in the ads running this week.

“It’s shameful that even after independent fact checkers gave Nancy Pelosi’s PAC ‘3 Pinocchios’ for its deceptive attack ads, they are recycling the same debunked falsehoods. This is sheer desperation,” he said.

The House Majority PAC will spend roughly $115,000 on the ad, which will run on several Tucson television stations for the next two weeks.

A similar ad attacking Tobin in the Phoenix market will cost the House Majority PAC $250,000 to air for the next two weeks.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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