The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is up with another independent expenditure TV ad in Illinois, a hard-hitting attack--
Forgive me. For most outside ads, we could copy and paste the basic, negative description from one article to the next. But the DCCC has deviated from the script in Illinois's 12th District, releasing a positive ad -- its first of the cycle -- supporting Democratic nominee Bill Enyart.
The 30-second spot is part of a $166,000 DCCC buy that runs through most of September, a Democratic source confirmed. Backed up by a subtle drumbeat, it touts Enyart's service in the Illinois National Guard -- he was the state Guard's commanding general before resigning in June to pursue a House run. The 12th District's county Democratic chairs selected Enyart to fill a vacancy on the general election ballot that month after initial nominee Brad Harriman, who won the March primary, dropped out due to health issues.
While the DCCC and other national committees primarily concentrate on attacking the other side, Democrats' decision to help buck up Enyart makes sense. He has had just over two months to build up name identification and has never appeared on a ballot in the district; by contrast, Republican nominee Jason Plummer ran for lieutenant governor in 2010 and began his congressional campaign in October of last year. Enyart released his first TV ad earlier this week, too, and the combined exposure should help vault him into voters' minds as the fall stretch run approaches.
The DCCC's ad features several video clips of Enyart talking to seniors, hunters, and others as a narrator speaks. They look like the kind of shots a campaign -- not an outside group forbidden from coordinating with candidates -- would prepare in a video shoot, and indeed, the footage appears to come from B-roll of Enyart that Enyart's campaign has posted publicly on YouTube. (Enyart's own ad uses some of those clips, too.) As Sean Sullivanwrote here in June, this tactic is proliferating as candidates try to ensure they can get the help they need on TV from outside groups, even though they can't -- and don't -- officially coordinate with them.
On Call editors reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments. The Hotline, National Journal Group, Inc. and Atlantic Media Company are not responsible for the content of the comments that remain.