Crossroads hits Dems with $2.5 million buy

A football-themed ad from conservative nonprofit Crossroads GPS criticizes Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, for his support of Obama's policies.

The anonymously funded Crossroads GPS released four new ads on Tuesday, going after Senate seats in Nevada, Ohio and Virginia with ad buys worth $2.5 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

"Laughable," in Nevada, calls Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley “desperate.” Berkley is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who was appointed to replace disgraced former Sen. John Ensign. Republicans are hoping an ethics probe exploring whether some of Berkley’s legislative actions benefited her physician-husband’s business could spoil her chances.

The ad focuses on Berkley’s support of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act., proposes $716 billion in cuts. Democrats, backed by Politifact, point out that Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan also cuts $700 billion. The difference is in where the savings come from, as the Daily Disclosure reported on Sept. 5.

An FEC report shows the anti-Berkley ad cost $425,000.

In Ohio, a football-themed ad attacking Sen. Sherrod Brown says “Ohio just can’t compete while Brown is calling the plays.” Brown is challenged by state treasurer Josh Mandel, whose campaign has been buoyed by outside spending from fiscally conservative groups like Crossroads GPS and Club for Growth.

The ad hits Brown on his support of the Affordable Care Act and other Obama proposals.

An FEC report shows the ad cost $1 million.

Two other ads, “Questionable” and “Teeth,” oppose former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for Senate on the Democratic ticket. Separate versions of “Teeth,” which accuse him of cutting funds to education, are running in Northern Virginia and the rest of the state. “Questionable” criticizes Kaine for supporting the bipartisan debt deal that resulted in automatic defense cuts.

The retirement of Democratic Sen. Jim Webb leaves this race open to either party. Kaine faces former Republican Sen. George Allen in a race that has attracted the second-highest amount of outside spending in the country.

An FEC report shows the anti-Kaine buys cost $1.1 million.

Kaine’s campaign is expected to release a response to the ads today.

Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, has reported spending $5.9 million this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It has focused on four key Senate races — Nevada, Ohio and Virginia races, as well as the North Dakota Senate race that pits former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, against Republican Rep. Rick Berg.

Because Crossroads GPS is a nonprofit, it is not required to publicly disclose its donors.

In other outside spending news:

  • Freedom PAC, a super PAC supporting the Senate run of Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., reported spending $998,000 on ads. With funding from super donors Sheldon AdelsonHarold Simmons and Crow Holdings as well as from The Villages, a Florida retirement community run by Republican bundler Gary Morse, the super PAC is aiming to unseat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
  • House Majority PAC, which supports Democrats running for U.S. House, released a series of new ads in mostly Republican-held districts with a total $2.2 million price tag, according to a press release:
  1. Pocket” opposes Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, who faces Dr. Ami Bera, a Democrat, in California’s 7th District. The district is considered a tossup. The cost of this ad was shared with the Service Employees International Union.
  2. Cut” opposes Republican Rep. Bill Johnson, who faces former Democratic Rep. Charlie Wilson in Ohio’s 6th District. The district is also considered a tossup.
  3. Babies” opposes Republican Rep. Steve King, who faces Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack in Iowa’s 4th District, which leans Republican.
  4. Sitting Pretty” opposes Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, who faces former Democratic state Sen. Pat Kreitlow in Wisconsin’s 7th District. The district leans Republican.
  5. Wrong Party” opposes Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, who faces Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in New York’s 18th District. The district leans Republican.
  6. Stinks” opposes Republican state Sen. David Rouzer, who faces Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre in North Carolina’s 7th District. The district leans Democrat.
  • A new Spanish-language ad from SEIU COPE, the PAC of the Service Employees International Union, shows Latinos telling why they are not voting for Romney.
  • New super PACs: Urban Progress Political Action Committee in Waterboro, S.C.

 

About the author

Rachael Marcus is a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit, non-partisan independent investigative news outlet, which contributes campaign finance coverage to Marketplace. For more of their reporting on money and politics go to publicintegrity.org.

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