The HillTube

Markey hits Gomez on tax policy in new ad

ADVERTISEMENT
In the ad, which began airing last Friday but was announced by the campaign on Tuesday, a narrator contrasts Markey's position in favor of the Warren Buffett rule, which would effectively raise the tax rates of the wealthy, with Gomez's opposition to an increase in tax rates.

“Gomez thinks the rich already pay enough,” the narrator says. “He refuses to ask millionaires, like himself, to pay their fair share.”

Democrats have sought to make Gomez's personal wealth an issue in the race, reigniting the same sort of attacks that helped topple GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

Democrats now are hammering Gomez for a controversial tax deduction he took on his home in 2005, which is typically one used by the wealthy to reduce their tax burden.

And the push for tax reform was championed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during her 2012 race, a populist argument that resonated with voters in the state.

But this week, the Gomez campaign went back on offense by highlighting Markey's record in Congress of voting 271 times in favor of higher taxes. On Tuesday, Gomez charged that Markey's votes hurt small businesses at a campaign stop at a small auto service business in Massachusetts.

“Ed Markey thinks the answer to everything is higher taxes and more spending. He’s doing things the old way, trying to run the economy from the top-down from Washington. He’s never had a real job in the real world. He is an out of touch, career Washington politician who has never had to make a payroll or balance a budget," Gomez said during the event.

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign also noted that, when asked whether he had ever opposed a tax increase pushed by Democratic leadership, Markey couldn't think of an occasion, saying only that he'd have to check his record.

The committee hammered home the issue in a video in the form of an infomercial touting Markey's votes on taxes.

Gomez campaign spokesman Will Ritter touted Gomez's support for tax reform and also highlighted Markey's votes for higher taxes in an email to The Hill.

"Now [Markey] wants to distract from that record with tired political theater and negative ads," he added.

The special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry (D) has ramped up in recent days as national Republicans sent staff to Massachusetts to help boost Gomez's campaign, seeing an opportunity in a series of recent polls that put him just single digits behind the Democrat.

But at least one outside Democratic group, funded by environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer, has indicated it will engage in the race on behalf of Markey. And first lady Michelle Obama appeared at a joint fundraiser for Markey and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Wednesday at an event that cost from $500 to $37,600 for a ticket.

Gomez saw another potential headache emerge on Wednesday, when government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Gomez for failing to name some of his clients during his time working at a private equity firm.

"Federal law requires candidates to name clients that paid them more than $5,000 for their work, but Mr. Gomez, a highly compensated private equity investor, didn’t list even one.  The Senate Ethics Committee must investigate immediately to ensure Massachusetts voters have all the information to which they are entitled before they go to the polls," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan in a statement.

Gomez's campaign has said the candidate was not required to disclose additional information as he provided consulting services to Advent International, the private equity firm for which he worked, not specific clients of Advent.

Watch Markey's new ad: