Campaign ads

Campaign ads

Dem super-PAC revives Akin website after Franks remark

Democratic super-PAC American Bridge relaunched its election-season "It's Not Just Akin" website Thursday after a controversial comment by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) regarding pregnancy and rape.

The Democratic group originally launched the website ahead of last year's Republican National Convention, looking to seize on former Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) comment that in instances of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin's comment became a flashpoint in the election. He went on to lose his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), while President Obama won women by a 55-43 percent margin.

On Wednesday, Franks said "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." Franks made the comment while arguing against a Democratic amendment allowing an exception for rape and incest victims in his bill banning abortions after the 20th week of gestation.


Paul might continue to back controversial gun rights group

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he might continue to support a controversial gun-owners’ rights group despite taking heat from from Republican colleagues.

Paul recently signed a fundraising letter for the National Association for Gun Rights, which has run television and radio ads accusing Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) of teaming up with liberal Democrats to push gun-control legislation.

Paul distanced himself from the group, but said he might continue to help with its fundraising.

“I have signed fundraising letters for them. I don’t have a connection with the group. It’s illegal for me to have a direct connection with the group or talk about what ads they run or not,” said Paul. “I can make a decision in the future over whether I’ll continue to do it, and I haven’t come to a conclusion or thought that through yet.”


Unions liken Boehner to Mr. Potter in ‘cliff’ drama

Unions are attacking Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a new national television ad that likens him to the penny-pinching Mr. Potter of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

In a clip that pays homage to the Christmas favorite, the ads say Boehner’s plan to stop the tax increases and budget cuts of the “fiscal cliff” would sacrifice entitlement programs while protecting the wealthy. 

“Welcome to Boehnerville — where the rich won’t pay their fair share; our children’s educations will be cut; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will be put at risk; and the economic recovery would falter,” the ad says before encouraging people to contact Congress.


Unions target McCaskill, Warner in new round of ‘cliff’ ads

A coalition of unions is launching a new round of television ads on Friday pressuring centrist lawmakers to oppose entitlement cuts in a “fiscal cliff” deal. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Education Association (NEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are sponsoring television ads that ask lawmakers not to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits. 

The television ads are a six-figure buy and will run for about a week starting Friday. They will target Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio). Warner is up for reelection in 2014.


Almost $600M spent during election on ads focusing on jobs

The presidential campaigns and outside groups supporting them spent a monumental $588 million on ads focusing on jobs, in an election cycle that often strayed from what both sides seemed to agree were the central issues at hand: jobs and the economy.

According to a report from Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, Republicans outspent Democrats on presidential election ads with a job focus by nearly $150 million. The GOP also hammered the job message in the Senate races in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, outspending Democrats by at least $1 million in Indiana and by 4 to 1 in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Despite the millions more spent by Republicans, their candidates lost in every one of those races.


Poll: Majority wants corporate money out of politics

Nearly 90 percent of people in the United States say there is too much corporate money in politics, according to a new poll from a collection of watchdog and public interest groups.

The poll, released Thursday by the Corporate Reform Coalition and conducted by the Democratic-leaning Bannon Communications Research group, asked 804 people their opinions on the role that corporate money plays in political campaigns.

Eighty-one percent of those polled felt that corporations should only spend money on political campaigns if they disclose their spending immediately. And 80 percent of respondents said companies should only spend money on political campaigns if they get approval from shareholders.

Lisa Gilbert, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, pointed to the poll’s results to argue that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should require publicly traded companies to reveal their campaign donations.

“Secret corporate spending is appalling in a representative democracy, and this poll shows that the public agrees,” Gilbert said in a statement.


Crossroads launches over $10 million in ads targeting races at every level

Conservative super-PAC American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, are launching over $10 million in ads targeting the president in eight swing states and five candidates for the Senate and House nationwide.

The Crossroads GPS ad launched in New York's 1st congressional district race is the first from the nonprofit in a House race. It highlights Rep. Tim Bishop's (D) possible request for campaign donations in exchange for official assistance to a constituent, an issue first reported by Politico that has since become a campaign issue in the district.