by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Democratic Party announces that it has purchased air time to thank Sen. Blanche Lincoln for her superb work on health legislation. Details on jump.
This mirrors, in a fashion, outsider Republican complaints about Republican Party official support for select congressional candidates. But it may be worse.
There are many Democrats -- probably a majority -- who are decidedly unhappy with Blanche Lincoln's work on health legislation. She's been a persistent roadblock to universal coverage and a competitive public insurance plan. This advertising is nothing but thinly veiled response advertising to Republican-aligned attack ads. It is not a direct campaign expenditure under the law, but it is so closely similar to that purpose as to be nearly indistinguishable. It's just wrong, when filing hasn't even opened for the Democratic primary. What if a better candidate runs?
The Democratic Party is buying the same media markets bought by that labor-funded group attacking Republican Gilbert Baker as a stratagem to discourage Lt. Gov. Bill Halter from getting in the Democratic race for Senate. Did the state party have that kind of spare dough on hand, or did they get a timely national infusion to help? And if they have a bunch of extra dough, might it be better used to prevent erosion of the party's numbers in the legislature next year?
None dare call this a coordinated expenditure. THAT would be very wrong.
Cynics (or maybe simply realists) will see these ads as a down payment to Lincoln for a vote on cloture on the health bill.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEWS RELEASE
The Democratic Party of Arkansas unveiled a new TV ad, hitting airwaves in Arkansas right now. The ad, “Thank You Senator Lincoln,” can be viewed online.
“There are a lot of people playing politics with this issue in Washington - but our Senator - Blanche Lincoln - has rolled up her sleeves and she's working to get health reform that's right for Arkansas families and small businesses.” DPA Executive Director Mariah Hatta said. “Reform that puts families first, not insurance companies, that strengthens Medicare and won't add a dime to the deficit. Blanche Lincoln is working to get this done the Arkansas way.”
The ad is running in Little Rock-Pine Bluff and Fort Smith, covering roughly 75 percent of the state. It's running on network (CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX) and is running on programs throughout the day from early in the morning thru late night.
The script of the ad is below.
Health care reform, the insurance company way: Oppose anything that threatens profits.
The Arkansas way:
Lower cost for families;
Expand choice to reduce the burden on small businesses;
That’s what Senator Blanche Lincoln is fighting for. More options for families and small business, better coverage, lower costs.
And without adding a dime to the deficit.
Call Senator Lincoln and thank her for standing up for what’s right for Arkansas families.
The Arkansas Democratic Party is responsible for the content of this advertising.