The Democratic senator, who is seeking reelection in 2014, will begin airing a distinctive new TV ad on Wednesday in which the Arkansas lawmaker talks about the importance of Christianity’s holy book in his life. Speaking directly to the camera in a solemn tone, Pryor grips a Bible with both hands as he talks about how his faith—and not the directives of either political party—guides him.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in his word,” he said, in a TV ad first reported by KATV in Little Rock. “The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.”
KATV reported the ad is running statewide and has “substantial” financial backing.
A spot so overtly focused on a candidate’s religion is rare. But extraordinary measures are necessary in Pryor’s case: He’s widely considered the incumbent Democratic senator most likely to lose in 2014.
His candidacy’s viability hinges on whether he can prove to his home-state voters that he shares their values and not those of President Obama, who won just 37 percent of the vote in the state last year. Few efforts drive that point home better than a TV spot focused on religion—many conservatives perceive Obama and national Democrats as secular, if not outright hostile to Christianity.
And it’s not the first time Pryor, one of the few Democrats who still opposes same-sex marriage, has used religion as an ally in his campaign. In 2002, when Pryor first ran for the Senate, he featured an ad in which he again held his Bible and said, “The most important lessons in life are in this book right here.”
The ad is the second memorable spot produced by the Pryor campaign of late, nearly a year before the midterm election. Last month, his campaign ran a hard-hitting spot about Social Security and Medicare. If there’s a lesson from the pair of TV spots, it’s that Pryor’s campaign isn’t wasting time trying to define him or his presumptive opponent, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton—especially as the problem-filled Obamacare rollout drags down Democratic approval ratings nationwide.
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Along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to tighten privacy standards for Internet service providers. "The regulations will require providers to receive explicit customer consent before using an individual’s web browsing or app usage history for marketing purposes. The broadband industry fought to keep that obligation out of the rules."
President Obama commuted the sentences of another 98 drug offenders on Thursday. Most of the convicts were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs or possession with intent to distribute. Many of the sentences were commuted to expire next year, but some will run longer. Others are required to enroll in residential drug treatment as a condition of their release.
The Department of Justice announced today it's charged "61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In connection with the scheme, 20 individuals were arrested today in the United States and 32 individuals and five call centers in India were charged for their alleged involvement. An additional U.S.-based defendant is currently in the custody of immigration authorities."
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