NRCC Begins Coordinated Spending in Oregon Special

Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:24pm

The National Republican Congressional Committee has invested $85,000 for a late advertising push in Oregon’s 1st district special election.

In a sign of some hope in the Jan. 31 contest in this solidly Democratic district, the committee transferred the funds to Republican nominee Rob Cornilles to help air a TV ad beginning Wednesday. Cornilles, who ran for the seat in 2010, is facing state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D), who started the race the heavy favorite.

The ad slams Bonamici for supporting legislation “that takes $500 billion from Medicare, raises taxes and hurts seniors,” the ad’s announcer says. “She voted for higher taxes and fees on the middle class and small business. And Bonamici has no record of job creation.”

The ad also continued Cornilles’ strategy to portray himself as the moderate candidate that will not necessarily vote on a party-line basis — a change from the district’s last Representative, David Wu, who resigned last year.

The Hotline first reported the ad buy.

Despite the Portland-based district’s Democratic tilt, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already spent $874,000, according to the committee’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. A GOP source tracking the DCCC’s buy said the committee had reserved close to $1.3 million through the end of the month, a staggering figure in a district President Barack Obama carried with 61 percent.

The NRCC gave Cornilles close to the legal limit for a coordinated ad campaign. The investment, while small compared with national Democrats’ spending, came one day after a Cornilles campaign internal poll showed him trailing by only 4 points, 46 percent to 42 percent. That poll of 300 likely voters in the district was conducted Jan. 11-12 and had a 6-point margin of error.

Ballots were sent to voters in the mail-only election beginning Friday.