The Democrat vying to succeed Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) is being linked to the ballooning federal deficit by an outside group looking to tip the scales in the open seat race.

"With the national debt skyrocketing, we can't afford more big-spending politicians in Washington like Julie Lassa," the announcer says in the ad released Monday by the New Prosperity Foundation, an Illinois-based 527 group.

The ad goes on to say that Lassa, a state senator, voted for "record-level spending" while serving in the Legislature.

It's the latest example of the deficit becoming an issue in a congressional race.

The ad is the first TV spot released by group, which is planning to run issue ads in House and Senate races in the Midwest. Ron Gidwitz, who ran for governor of Illinois in 2006, is leading the group. Gidwitz is currently serving as the campaign chairman for Illinois Republican Bill Brady's gubernatorial bid. 

The ad is airing mainly on broadcast in the district for the next two weeks, according to a spokesman for The New Prosperity Foundation.

Lassa's campaign said the group was doing Republican Sean Duffy’s "dirty work."

"It's troubling but not surprising to see an out of state organization led by George W. Bush's biggest financial supporters come into Wisconsin to do Sean Duffy’s dirty work by misleading voters," Rick Fromberg, Lassa's campaign manger, said in a statement. "The ad distorts the facts, fails to acknowledge how Julie supported fiscally responsible policies to make government more accountable to taxpayers, cut health care costs for business, and provide property tax relief, and it will fail with Wisconsin voters."