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Nation: Americans United Airs Ads on Stimulus Votes

Americans United for Change, the liberal 501(c)(4) group that works both the domestic and foreign policy sides of the political street, has begun airing radio ads in the districts of eight potentially vulnerable House Democratic freshmen, praising them for voting for the economic stimulus package last month.

“President Bush has told us the economy is strong,” the ad begins. “CEOs on Wall Street are doing just fine. But if he’d asked the people on Main Street they’d tell him something very different.”

The ads are being aired in the districts of Reps. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.), Steve Kagen (Wis.), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.), Nancy Boyda (Kan.), Paul Hodes (N.H.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.) and Tim Walz (Minn.). They are scheduled to run for about 10 days.

Americans United also is placing robocalls with similar scripts into the districts of seven other potentially vulnerable freshman Democrats: Reps. Joe Courtney (Conn.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Jason Altmire (Pa.), Ron Klein (Fla.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Jerry McNerney (Calif.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Brad Woodhouse, the group’s president, said the calls and ads will cost “in the low six figures.”

“These ads are a recognition that it took these Members and a new majority in Congress to begin to end the era of tax breaks for the wealthy and to hell with everyone else and to finally get tax relief where it will do the most good to stimulate the economy — into the hands of families, seniors and veterans,” Woodhouse said.

Cole, 2002 Classmates Host ROMP Fundraiser

Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.) and five fellow Republican Members of the class of 2002 held a fundraiser Wednesday night at the Capitol Hill Club to benefit the House GOP’s Regaining Our Majority Program.

Cole, the current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the fundraiser — which he co-hosted with Reps. Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Jon Porter (Nev.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Tim Murphy (Pa.) and Marilyn Musgrave (Colo.) — would yield about $200,000.

Cole’s five co-hosts are among the top Democratic targets of the cycle.

“I appreciate the folks who stepped up to support this fundraising effort,” Cole said in a statement. “These are five tough incumbents who have done a terrific job serving their individual districts while also becoming an important part of our Republican conference. [Wednesday’s] event will give each of them additional resources to keep fighting the good fight and soar to re-election in November.”

This is the third straight cycle that Cole has hosted a fundraiser for ROMP. According to the NRCC, he has raised more than $1.6 million for his fellow House Republicans since entering Congress.

Progressive Democrats Backs More Long Shots

Progressive Democrats of America this week continued its tradition of endorsing long-shot candidates for Congress, adding three liberal Democrats to its roster of preferred candidates.

The group announced it is backing former El Cajon Planning Commissioner Vickie Butcher, who is running for the open seat being vacated by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Stephen Harrison, a lawyer who is seeking a rematch with Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), and attorney Steve Young, who has run several times for the seat now held by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).

So far this cycle, PDA has largely sided with long-shot candidates who aren’t necessarily the favorites of party leaders. Harrison, for example, is competing for the Democratic nomination with New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia, who has most of the party establishment support.

PDA’s one success story of the cycle was nonprofit executive Donna Edwards, who ousted Rep. Albert Wynn (Md.) in a Democratic primary last month and is all but certain to be elected to Congress in November.

Tim Carpenter, PDA’s national director, said the excitement generated by the Democratic presidential race “has created an opportunity for us to make great strides in key Congressional races and bring real progressive change to Congress and the country.”
— Josh Kurtz

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