The American Action Network and its affiliated super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, released their six final TV ads of the 2012 cycle Monday, targeting five Democratic challengers and one incumbent on (mostly) taxes as candidates and outside groups alike hone in on their key issues for closing arguments before Election Day.
The CLF ads hit Kyrsten Sinema, running in Arizona's new 9th District; Rep. John Barrow of Georgia's 12th District; and three Democrats opposing freshman Republican members: Brad Schneider (IL-10, Rep. Robert Dold), Gary McDowell (MI-01, Rep. Dan Benishek), and Pete Gallego (TX-23, Rep. Quico Canseco). American Action Network's new ad targets Democrat Val Demings, running against freshman Rep. Dan Webster in Florida's 10th District.
While the anti-Sinema ad revisits comments the former state legislator made about stay-at-home mothers several years back, bleeped expletives and all, the remaining TV spots mostly link government spending supported by the Democrats to increased costs for taxpayers. CLF links McDowell to President Obama's 2009 stimulus and to state tax increases under now-unpopular former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The Illinois ad hits Schneider for supporting the partial expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts as hands remove money from jars marked "retirement" and "college" and move it into a "taxes" jar. The spot in Texas, which CLF also released in Spanish, also hits Gallego on tax increases and uses a duck hunt theme to say that the environmental groups backing the Democrat support policies that would kill Texas energy jobs.
The ads mark CLF's first involvement in the Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan races. The group is spending $625,000 on the anti-Sinema ad in Phoenix; $200,000 to air its anti-Barrow ad in Augusta and Savannah; $925,000 on the Schneider ad in Chicago; and $200,000 for the McDowell ad in Marquette and Traverse City. The ad against Gallego in San Antonio, Texas finished off a $1.1 million-plus ad campaign there, and AAN's ad against Demings will complete $1.2 million of spending by the group in Orlando.