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Frank’s Opponent Launches First TV Buy

Five days after Sean Bielat announced he had raised $400,000 in September, the little-known Republican has gone up on television with his first campaign advertisements in an effort to defeat 15-term Rep. Barney Frank (D).

The campaign announced the launch of two ads Wednesday but refused to disclose the size of the buy or where it will air specifically. The district includes the expensive Boston and Providence media markets.

Bielat spokeswoman Lisa Barstow said “it’s a possibility” that the ads are only running on cable.

“We’re running through the district,” she said. “It’s a robust buy.”

One of the ads, titled “Banks,” attacks the incumbent Congressman, who chairs the Financial Services Committee, for his involvement in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“You can bail out regular people, or you can bail out the banks,” a man says in the ad. “Barney chose the banks.”

Another person says, “You pass a bill that saves one bank, and it’s your friend’s bank? Come on.”

The Frank campaign blasted Bielat for suggesting that Frank, who was cleared of any possible conflicts by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, was violating ethics laws to benefit his friends.

“Sean is making stuff up. And it’s not the first time,” Frank spokesman Harry Gural said. “It’s not even misleading. It’s beyond that.”

Frank has yet to begin airing TV ads, but he went up with a radio spot last week. Gural wouldn’t share the campaign’s media strategy for the four weeks leading up to Election Day.

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