Guthrie among GOP members targeted by DCCC over stimulus package vote

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Bowling Green Republican who began his first term in Congress last month, is among a group of GOP lawmakers targeted in a round of radio ads offered by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to the Washington Post. 

Chris Cillizza with the paper’s “The Fix” blog is reporting that the ads are running in 28 GOP-held House districts and are “aimed at scoring political points for the vote last week on Obama’s economic stimulus package.”

That vote fell strictly along party lines, with Republican lawmakers voting against it. 

DCCC executive director Brian Wolff told Cillizza that “Republicans’ champagne wishes and caviar dreams simply don’t connect with middle class families struggling to make ends meet and furious that their tax dollars are going to bail out banks, build schools in Iraq, or send American jobs overseas.”

Glenn Thrush with Politico.com also has the story, and reports that the DCCC is using a variety of ads to target GOP lawmakers, and has samples of each ad along with which lawmaker was targeted by which ad.  

From Politico.com, a sample ad using U.S. Rep. Christoper Lee of New York – 

The following ad is the districts of Representatives Michele Bachmann (MN-06), Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Joseph Cao (LA-02), Bill Cassidy (LA-06), John Fleming (LA-04), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Christopher Lee (NY-26), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-09), and Tom Rooney (FL-16):

“Did you know Congressman Christopher Lee voted against economic recovery to immediately create and save over 390,000 New York jobs? Times are tough, tell Christopher Lee to put families before politics.”

Update, 10:10 p.m. …

Here is the official release from the DCCC about the ad campaign, called “Putting Families First.”

And a bit more from Politico.com

But many of the other members are untraditional targets, like Reps. Henry Brown (R-S.C.), John Fleming (R-La.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.). All these members hold solidly Republican seats, and aren’t expected to face tough races next year. 

There are certainly reasons to target members who, at first glance, appear to be safe in 2010. Several are freshmen who haven’t yet proven their viability in their home districts. Others won by surprisingly narrow margins last year. And the ads serve as a warning sign to House veterans like Bartlett (or Rep. Bill Young, another target), who could get caught napping if they’re not careful. 

Still, the fact that the DCCC is targeting Republicans in districts that have usually been afterthoughts for Democrats, suggests that this will be a cycle where the party will mostly be playing defense – and focusing on consolidating their gains over the past two election cycles.

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DCCC drops new ad in 2nd District race

The Democratic Congressional Committee released a third campaign ad in Kentucky’s 2nd District contest on Thursday and again took aim at the family business of Republican candidate Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green. 

The ad, titled “Putting Corporations Ahead of Us,” focuses on the current economic turmoil and puts the blame on “Wall Street CEOs putting themselves first.” Guthrie, who is the company’s vice president of human resources, is referred to as a “corporate executive.”

Again the DCCC makes the allegation that has prompted criticism in the past – that the Guthrie family’s company Trace Die Cast Inc. “shipped work to Mexico.”

Guthrie and Trace Die Cast have repeatedly rebutted that claim, saying the company sells completed products to another auto parts manufacturer in Mexico. That company uses the Trace Die Cast parts in its own parts that are then shipped back to Bowling Green for use at the Corvette plant there. 

No word yet from the DCCC yet about where the ad is running. So far, they have focused on the Louisville and Bowling Green markets, where they have reserved more than $1 million in air time, without targeting the Evansville, Ind., market which includes Boswell’s home turf. 

Take a look – 

The ad comes as the Bowling Green Daily News editorial board today again reprimanded the DCCC and Boswell for the claims the committee has made in its ads about Trace Die Cast, saying it’s “a shame” that Boswell has not condemned the ads .

Boswell has repeatedly said that he has not seen the DCCC’s ads and had nothing to do with their production or message.

DCCC produces second ad for 2nd District race

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a second ad prepared to air in Kentucky’s 2nd District race. 

The ad again targets the business practices of Republican Brett Guthrie’s family company, Trace Die Cast Inc., a tactic that prompted controversy in the committee’s first offering. 

In the new ad the DCCC uses comments from Guthrie, a state senator from Bowling Green, about how Trace Die Cast Inc. sells parts it produces in Kentucky to a Mexico auto parts company that eventually are used in the assembly of Chevrolet Corvettes back in Bowling Green. 

The implication the ad is after is that Guthrie and Trace Die Cast Inc. are benefiting from the North American Free Trade Agreement while others in Kentucky aren’t. 

Take a look – 

The DCCC focused on the same issue in its first ad which aired in the Louisville market. The committee was accused of making misleading statements about Trace Die Cast by saying it sent manufacturing work to Mexico that could have been performed in Kentucky. 

Complaints by Guthrie, Trace Die Cast and the National Republican Congressional Committee that the claim was untrue prompted one station – WAVE-3 – to drop the ad from its rotation. WAVE did begin re-airing the ad this week with minor changes to its content. 

The 2nd District ad was one of more than a dozen that the DCCC began airing around the country last week. 

But it was the only one in the bunch to mention the Democratic candidate in those 14 districts that were targeted in the media blitz. The ad, like the latest one for the 2nd District, touts Democrat David Boswell of Sorgho as someone who will “bring jobs to Kentucky.”

No information yet on when and where the DCCC’s latest offering will air.

KY Dems benefit from DCCC’s “Act Blue” site

Kentucky’s five Democratic candidates for the U.S. House and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford have brought in thousands of dollars so far this year through a Democratic Congressional Campaign fundraising Web site. 

Through www.ActBlue.com, supporters of Democratic candidates can contribute online to individual candidates from around the country or to congressional “nominee funds,” which apparently are set up before a nominee is selected and then transfered to the nominee after selection. 

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler has received the most of any KY Dem through the Web site, with 756 contributors giving $24,203 as of this morning.

Of those running for their first term in Congress, Heather Ryan, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield in Kentucky’s 1st District, has benefited the most from the online efforts, with 195 contributors chipping in $9,901 as of this morning.

David Boswell, who is facing Republican Brett Guthrie in the state’s 2nd District, has received the least, with 12 contributors giving $917.

But Boswell could see an influx of cash from the DCCC if he is named to its next round of the “Red to Blue” program. 

Once named to the program, candidates are eligible for contributions directly from the committee instead of just the “encouragement” of contributions from supporters that Boswell has received when the 2nd District was named as an emerging race earlier this year by the committee. 

A spokeswoman for the DCCC said recently that Boswell’s showing in a poll conducted for the committee that showed him up by 8 points could help land him in a final round of the Red to Blue program.

Update…

The Herald-Leader’s Ryan Alessi is reporting that the DCCC will announce soon that Boswell has been added to the Red to Blue program. 

Bill Cox, Boswell’s campaign chairman, has confirmed that the Sorgho Democrat will receive the additional support.

Boswell misses out on latest round of DCCC campaign cash

Democrat David Boswell has not been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s latest round of Red to Blue program candidates.

The name of the state senator from Sorgho, who is facing Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie in this year’s 2nd District congressional race, was not on the list of six candidates from around the country added Friday to the program, which helps funnel dollars to Democratic congressional candidates.

So far, 44 candidates have been named to the Red to Blue program by the DCCC, which had 56 Democratic candidates in the program two years ago including Mike Weaver. Weaver, a former state legislator from Radcliff, unsuccessfully challenged Ron Lewis for the 2nd District seat. The program raised an average of $404,000 for each of those candidates in 2006, according to the DCCC.

The 2nd District race has been named as an “emerging race” by the DCCC, which means the committee encourages contributions to Boswell, but won’t be sending money to his campaign.

According to the release about the latest additions to the Red to Blue list, these six candiates “qualified for the fourth round of the Red to Blue program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress.”

Boswell has so far faced fundraising challenges after emerging from the primary with only $45,000 in cash on hand, compared to his competitor, Guthrie, who had more than $600,000 on hand at the end of June.

DCCC advertising dollars heading to KY, but not to 2nd

Politico.com is reporting that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already bought nearly $700,000 in advertising time in Kentucky in preparation for this fall’s election to help boost the campaign of incumbent U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth in Louisville.

The advertising buy is part of nearly $35 million the committee is spending on races in 31 districts around the country, including the Kentucky 3rd, where two years ago Yarmuth defeated then-incumbent Anne Northup who he will face again this year.

Next door to the 3rd District is state Sen. David Boswell, the Democratic nominee in the 2nd District who is facing fellow state senator and Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie in the Nov. 4 contest. Kentucky’s 2nd District race, where a recent poll put Boswell three points ahead of Guthrie, was named an “emerging” race by the committee last month but that designation doesn’t come with dollars.

The DCCC spent their money on advertising time in September and October, with nearly two-thirds of the money going to help Democrats running for seats currently held by Republicans, according to politico.com.