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New Ads Target Six House GOPers on Iraq

Americans United for Change, a Democratic-leaning interest group, will begin airing TV ads this week targeting six House Republicans over their support for the Iraq War.

The ads will run for a yet-to-be determined period in the districts represented by Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Timothy Johnson (Ill.), Randy Kuhl (N.Y.), Jim Walsh (N.Y.) and Heather Wilson (N.M.).

The new spots are the latest installment in the group’s effort to turn the lawmakers’ opposition into support before a final vote on the conference report for a supplemental spending measure that has an attached timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.

The ad buy costs “several hundred thousand dollars,” according to Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse, and will air at a level where the average TV viewer would see the ad five times. Americans United is one of the primary Democratic-leaning groups that make up Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, which is paying for the ads.

Each spot opens with footage of President Bush aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, and the now infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner.

The spot then cuts to footage from Iraq and statistics of how many Americans have been wounded or killed there.

“Heather Wilson is still voting with the president on Iraq. On March 23, she voted against bringing our troops home,” an announcer says in the ad that will air in New Mexico, as an image of Wilson with Bush flashes across the screen. “Tell Heather Wilson, after four years, it’s time to end the war.”

Wilson also is being targeted in a separate radio ad paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that focuses on her ties to the U.S. attorneys firing controversy.

“Bush’s support for the war among Republicans is hanging by a thread — with these ads we are taking the scissors to that thread of support,” Woodhouse said.

But a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee scoffed at the new ad campaign.

“It is ironic that Americans United would waste their donors’ money on attacking Members of Congress that stood by the troops in voting against a pork-stuffed supplemental that protects more tropical fish and peanuts than troops in the field,” said Ken Spain of the NRCC. “If they are so interested in shaping American foreign policy then I would suggest they purchase an ad buy in San Francisco to condemn [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s [D-Calif.] disastrous decision to fly to Syria and negotiate with state sponsors of terrorism.”

The ads are the latest in Americans United’s continued TV ad assault on Congressional Republicans.

The group first launched ads that targeted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last month, and for the past two weeks the anti-escalation group ran ads hitting GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and John Sununu (N.H.) for voting against the proposed timeline. All three Senators are up for re-election in 2008.

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