Democrats Run Ad Targeting Chip Cravaack Car Lease (VIDEO)

Posted June 23, 2011 at 3:58pm

Updated: 5:18 p.m.

The newly formed Democratic group House Majority PAC will begin airing an attack ad on cable television Friday targeting Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack’s car.

Cravaack is considered among the more vulnerable members of the GOP’s freshman class. He was recently forced to defend his decision to lease a $1,000-a-month sport utility vehicle on the taxpayer’s dime.

The liberal super PAC is spending tens of thousands of dollars on the buy, which runs through June 30 and features a faceless politician driving a new Chevrolet Equinox, according to a copy of the ad obtained by Roll Call. The video contrasts Cravaack’s vote for the House GOP Medicare overhaul and reluctance to tax the rich to his “brand new luxury SUV.”

The word “class” flashes on the screen at the conclusion of the 30-second spot. That’s followed by: “Just not the middle class.”

House Majority PAC is an attempt by Democratic allies to balance the influence of outside conservative groups, which dumped tens of millions of dollars into Congressional races during the 2010 midterms. So far this cycle, the outside groups, which may accept unlimited donations from anonymous donors, have been far more active than each party’s traditional campaign committee.

Look for that trend to continue, at least until the campaign committees get out from under massive midterm debt.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek did not sound impressed by the ad.

“It’s not surprising that Democrats are trying to divert attention from their candidate Tarryl Clark, who Minnesota seniors already rejected because of her plans to tax social security benefits and cut $500 billion from Medicare,” she said in a statement.