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Blumenauer's Blast From the Past Takes on Cornilles

Updated at 2:30 p.m.

Portland residents, don't adjust your television screens. Yes, that's Rep. Earl Blumenauer's, D-Ore., original 1996 special election ad that's about to begin airing.

We noted earlier this week the similarities between Republican Rob Cornilles's first ad in the upcoming special election in Oregon's 1st District and the spot Blumenauer first ran his when he was running to succeed now Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in the 3rd District. Cornilles, who was the 2010 nominee, will likely face the winner of the Nov. 8 Democratic primary next January.

It seems Blumenauer's team noticed the resemblance, too. His campaign is announcing that they're going to be putting the neighboring Democrat's 30-second ad back on TV this weekend as a direct contrast to Republican's commercial.

It's small five-figure buy, running three days starting Sunday, likely running back-to-back with the Cornilles spot. And there will be minor modifications, too. The first shot notes it was originally aired in 1996. Federal Election Commission regulations have changed in the 15 years since its original airing, and a portion in which Blumenauer encouraged voters to fill out their mail-in ballots will be replaced with Blumenauer saying, "I'm Earl Blumenauer, and I still approve this ad" -- along with a photo of Blumenauer standing on the same esplanade along the Willamette River -- which is actually in Blumenauer's District.

"We're doing it basically to make a point about Cornilles stealing our ad and stealing other ideas," Blumenauer campaign manager Willie Smith told Hotline On Call.

Cornilles' response to the air assault? Let's chat about it on a run. He's inviting him for a jaunt tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., local time along the Willamette River by the Salmon Street Springs Fountain.

"Oregonians want Congress to get things done. Earl and I don't agree on every issue. But to move Oregon forward, we need a new direction and members of Congress willing to talk,'' Cornilles said. "What better time to do this than when we're doing something we both enjoy. I look forward to seeing the Congressman in the morning."\

But Smith told Hotline On Call that the congressman wouldn't be accepting Cornilles' invitation.

"Unfortunately, the Congressman is already scheduled through the weekend and since Rob is still in a Republican primary we wouldn't want to help or hurt anyone," said Smith. "After the primary, it would depend on which Rob Cornilles shows up."

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