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Berman ad calls Sherman 'unhinged'

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) is running television ads painting his opponent as “unhinged” and “angry” after an officer stepped in to diffuse a confrontation with his opponent at a debate last week.

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Berman is looking to capitalize on an incident in which Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) grabbed him around the shoulder and asked, “Do you want to get into this?” at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., last week.

The campaign did not describe the size of the ad buy but told The Hill, “it is significant, running on multiple [San Fernando] Valley cable systems.”

The ad, titled "Unhinged," shows the incident, which took place while the two were arguing about the original sponsor of the DREAM Act. A narrator says Sherman is unfit for office.

“Brad Sherman claims to share our values, but now we know he is ineffective, mean and too angry,” the narrator says. “Brad Sherman is just not fit to represent us.”

The ad also cites a Washingtonian magazine survey that rated Sherman the second-meanest member of Congress.

The race for California's 30th congressional district is one of the few that pits senior Democrats against each other. Due to California’s new election format, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party.

The race is also one of the most expensive. Berman has spent nearly $5 million and holds $400,000 cash on hand, according to the latest fundraising report. Sherman has spent a little more than $4 million and holds $1.8 million.

Experts following the race said last week the incident would make little difference because of the cost of TV advertising in the Los Angeles area.

A poll touted by the Berman campaign Monday showed him trailing Sherman by 6 percentage points, an improvement from a poll last month that showed him down 13 percentage points.

The poll, conducted by Kimball Political Consulting, showed Sherman leading Berman, 32 to 26 percent. A large minority, 42 percent, was still undecided.