Democrats Unleash Ads Focusing on Rivals’ Pasts

Cross-posted from American Power.

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At New York Times (via Memeorandum, iOWNTHEWORLD, and Pirate’s Cove):

Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority.

Opposition research and attack advertising are used in almost every election, but these biting ads are coming far earlier than ever before, according to party strategists. The campaign has intensified in the last two weeks as early voting begins in several states and as vulnerable incumbents try to fight off an onslaught of influences by outside groups.

As they struggle to break through with economic messages, many Democrats are deploying the fruits of a yearlong investigation into the business and personal histories of Republican candidates in an effort to plant doubts about them and avoid having races become a national referendum on the performance of President Obama and his party.

Well, it’s not “plant doubts about them.” It’s smear and destroy them. Allen West had his Social Security number released by Florida Democrats. I like playing hardball, but that’s especially sleazy. And Dems don’t seem to be so concerned on “family values,” and hence “divorce proceedings” wouldn’t normally be something for a campaign ad buy. That is, unless you’re totally desperate:

In Ohio, Representative Betty Sutton calls her Republican rival, Tom Ganley, a “dishonest used-car salesman” who has been sued more than 400 times for fraud, discrimination, lying to customers about repairs, overcharging them and endangering their safety. She warns voters, “You’ve heard the old saying, buyer beware!”

In Arizona, Representative Harry E. Mitchell accused his opponent David Schweikert of being “a predatory real estate speculator who snatched up nearly 300 foreclosed homes, been cited for neglect and evicted a homeowner on the verge of saving his house, just to make a buck.”

In New York, Representative Michael Arcuri introduces his Republican challenger, Richard Hanna, as a millionaire who “got rich while his construction company overcharged taxpayers thousands, was sued three times for injuries caused by faulty construction and was cited 12 times for health and safety violations.”

More great blogging at American Power.

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