If you were watching TV this weekend in Louisiana, and in particular if you were watching NFL playoff games in Louisiana, you probably saw this ad repeatedly…
It’s not the most effective ad on earth, seeing as though the accusations it makes against Rep. Bill Cassidy – that he voted to raise the retirement age for Social Security, that he voted to make Medicare more expensive and that he voted against funding Obamacare (which was what “voting to shut down the government” means, and the majority of Louisiana voters understand that) – aren’t all that damning.
In the case of Obamacare funding and raising the retirement age, in fact, one could argue that Cassidy was voting according to the wishes of the majority of his constituents and Louisiana voters statewide. Accusing him of doing something wrong in making those votes is anything but a good political strategy.
And yet not only did the PAC Harry Reid runs, Senate Majority PAC, produce that spot, but they decided to recycle it and put a chunk of change behind splashing it all over TV screens in the Bayou State…
Senate Majority PAC has put more money behind an attack ad against Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, the top Republican running against vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in one of this cycle’s most competitive races.
The super PAC, which boosts Democratic Senate candidates, purchased an additional $344,000 in air time for an ad against Cassidy, according to spending report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The ad, first released in December, hits Cassidy for his votes to raise the retirement age, as well as his votes to shut down the government. The initial buy for the 30-second ad was $250,000, according to documents filed with the FEC. Senate Majority PAC Campaigns Director Ty Matsdorf confirmed the additional funds would go toward continuing to air the [spot].
The Louisiana GOP says they bought more time for the ad because Michael Bloomberg gave them the cash for it…
According to reports, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $2.5 million to Reid’s Senate Majority PAC just 72 hours before the Majority PAC bought additional air time in Louisiana.
In 2013, Bloomberg’s gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, spent $12 million pushing President Obama’s legislation to restrict Second Amendment rights.
In April of 2013, Landrieu voted for Senate Democrats’ expansive gun control bill(Senate Roll Call Vote #97, 4/17/2013).
“After voting for Obamacare and legislation that would restrict Louisianans’ Second Amendment rights, out of state liberal special interest groups are clearly trying to distract from Senator Landrieu’s out-of-touch record,” LAGOP Spokesman Ryan Cross said. “There is no amount of money Michael Bloomberg or Harry Reid can spend to hide Mary Landrieu’s liberal record from the people of Louisiana.”
Regardless of where the cash came from, two things are apparent here.
First, that’s a lousy ad and it doesn’t hurt Cassidy as much as Reid and his people might think. Louisianans overwhelming think Washington stinks on ice and its programs are largely useless. Also, Louisianans might be fans of Medicare and Social Security but there is an increasing number of people in the state over 65 who are still working (a phenomenon which is going on all over the country), so an increase in the retirement age isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s interesting that the Democrats are giving that ad a second run, because one questions whether it will generate anything more than a collective yawn among the viewers.
And second, $344,000 is an awful lot of money to be spending in one media buy this far out from Election Day.
Landrieu’s 4th quarter take of $1.4 million boosted her campaign coffers by less money than Cassidy’s $1 million take did. While this is Democrat party spending and not Landrieu campaign spending, it’s still telling that her allies are willing to break the bank to prop her up. Outside of the attack ads Americans For Prosperity has been running against Landrieu – and they haven’t recycled many of them like Reid’s PAC has just done – there seems to be a lot of holding fire on the Republican side so far when it comes to media spending.
You can call the Dems desperate if you want. It’s probably too early to say that. But there is no question they’re concerned. And they should be – because if that ad is the best they’ve got, it’s going to be awfully hard to hold Mary Landrieu’s seat.