Johnson seeks to tie challenger to MoveOn

The campaign of Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) launched a television spot yesterday seeking to link her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Chris Murphy, to the controversial liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org.

Murphy vehemently denies any ties between his campaign and MoveOn, but Johnson’s campaign insists there are parallels between two MoveOn television ads and past statements by Murphy’s and his campaign.

MoveOn’s PAC launched a television ad Tuesday that implies that Johnson’s support for the Medicare prescription-drug benefit is linked to campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies. Likewise, Murphy has been strongly critical of the drug benefit and of Johnson’s role as a major player in its creation.

“We can now see a pattern of coordination and deceit,” said Brian Flaherty, co-chairman of the Johnson campaign.

Johnson’s new ad opens with the line: “Chris Murphy’s special-interest friends are at it again.” Johnson used her considerable money advantage to buy ad time to rebut a previous MoveOn ad criticizing her record on energy issues.

Murphy’s spokeswoman said that the candidate does not welcome intrusions from outside organizations. “He doesn’t think any of these groups should be involved in the campaign,” she said.