New AFP Ads Target Landrieu, Pryor

Combined, the nearly million-dollar buys in both states constitute one of AFP’s largest single investments in the 2014 midterm elections for a group that’s already spent tens of millions of dollars this cycle helping Republicans take the Senate.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 20: U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) holds a list of jobs she said has been idled, while talking with reporters after the weekly Democratic caucus policy meeting at the U.S. Capitol September 20, 2011 in Washington, DC. Landrieu said that Senate Republicans are holding up disaster relief legislation that could put thousands of people back to work.
National Journal
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Alex Roarty
July 9, 2014, 4:56 a.m.

A new ad air­ing this week from Amer­ic­ans for Prosper­ity cri­ti­cizes Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mary Landrieu for fail­ing to fix the scan­dal in the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs De­part­ment be­fore im­ple­ment­ing Obama­care, a nov­el tac­tic from the con­ser­vat­ive third-party group as it seeks dif­fer­ent ways to at­tack Demo­crats over the health care law.

The ad is part of AFP’s new three-week, $940,000 TV and di­git­al cam­paign in Louisi­ana, an ef­fort that also in­cludes an­oth­er 30-second spot mock­ing Landrieu’s in­ab­il­ity to block new en­ergy reg­u­la­tions. The group is also launch­ing a three-week, $920,000 ad cam­paign in Arkan­sas against Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mark Pry­or, tar­get­ing his sup­port of Pres­id­ent Obama.

Com­bined, the nearly mil­lion-dol­lar buys in both states con­sti­tute one of AFP’s largest single in­vest­ments in the 2014 midterm elec­tions for a group that’s already spent tens of mil­lions of dol­lars this cycle help­ing Re­pub­lic­ans take the Sen­ate. The ads, shared first with Na­tion­al Journ­al, also mark a con­tinu­ing evol­u­tion for AFP as it be­gins more to fo­cus more fre­quently on is­sues oth­er than Obama­care to at­tack Demo­crats.

The spot likely to draw the most at­ten­tion is AFP’s cri­ti­cism over the VA scan­dal, in which vet­er­ans at some of the de­part­ment’s fa­cil­it­ies died wait­ing for med­ic­al care. It’s not­able not only for be­ing one of the first ads to dir­ectly men­tion the VA con­tro­versy, but also for the new ap­proach it takes to ham­mer­ing Landrieu over her sup­port of Obama­care.

“If the gov­ern­ment can’t run health care for 8 mil­lion vet­er­ans, how can Obama­care pos­sibly work for the en­tire coun­try? Tell Mary Landrieu to fix health care for vet­er­ans be­fore for­cing Obama­care on the rest of the coun­try.”

Some Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing lead­ers at AFP, have been con­cerned that a re­lent­less fo­cus on Obama­care in the last three elec­tion cycles has made some voters tune out the is­sue. Us­ing the VA scan­dal — a polit­ic­ally po­tent is­sue all on its own — to at­tack Obama­care is a new ap­proach the group hopes will break through even to voters with hardened opin­ions on the heath care law.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Obama­care is only one of the ways that big gov­ern­ment is hurt­ing Louisi­ana” said AFP’s Louisi­ana dir­ect­or, Phil­lip Jof­fri­on, in a state­ment. “When it comes to the crush­ing EPA reg­u­la­tions com­ing down the pike, there’s been no move­ment from the Sen­ate to make sure we don’t lose good en­ergy-sec­tor jobs or have to worry about wheth­er we can af­ford to touch the ther­mo­stat dur­ing a hot sum­mer. When it comes to the prob­lems at Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, it’s just one more warn­ing sig­nal: More gov­ern­ment is not the way to get af­ford­able care from the doc­tors we trust.”

The group’s oth­er Louisi­ana ad — titled “Clout” — tar­gets Landrieu’s chair­man­ship of the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee, al­leging that she was un­able to stop the pres­id­ent from in­sti­tut­ing new rules at the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency de­signed to curb car­bon emis­sions. The three-term sen­at­or has made her sup­port of the oil and gas busi­ness, a ma­jor in­dustry in the Pel­ic­an State, cent­ral to her can­did­acy, ar­guing that voters need her in Wash­ing­ton to pro­tect Louisi­ana from law­makers who would do it harm.

AFP’s ad against Pry­or cri­ti­cizes the sen­at­or for rising gas and gro­cery bills, sug­gest­ing that his sup­port of Obama’s agenda has made life harder for every­day cit­izens.

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