The eyes of the nation, or at least a few Super PACs, are falling on California’s 24th Congressional District. The Lois Capps-versus-Abel Maldonado contest has become the first California target for the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), which reserved about $250,000 in advertisements on broadcast television in the Santa Barbara media market. The reservation — which is also the first offensive advertisement reservation in the country for CLF — is slated for the last two weeks before the election.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which endorsed Maldonado earlier this week, also announced Friday morning it had purchased ads in the 24th District. The National Journal reported the buy was $118,000 in broadcast ads over the next 10 days, part of a $3.3-million campaign against nine Democratic candidates in California.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, founded a year ago, is the unofficial Super PAC of House Speaker John Boehner and is focused on growing the Republican majority in the House this fall. There’s little question that both parties are eying California as a battleground state after redistricting as Dems try to take back the House and Republicans look to increase their majority. This rings especially true in California’s 24th District. What was once a cozy Democratic seat is now a tight race, with Dems holding only a 3-percent cushion over Republicans.
“We believe this is a key pickup opportunity this November and we have the right independent-minded candidate in Abel Maldonado to win,” said CLF Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. “Central Coasters are ready for a change from Lois Capps’s out-of-touch record of supporting wasteful boondoggles like Solyndra and higher taxes on families and small businesses which would cost California’s economy more than $13 billion and 117,000 lost jobs.”
The purchases from CLF and the Chamber comes in addition to the $290,341 the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent this month, including $91,000 spent on media reported September 21.
Said Capps spokesperson Jeff Millman: “Mr. Maldonado pretends he’s not a Republican but he has no problem taking their money, and so far, there have been 13 Super PAC and Maldonado false attack ads against Lois. The Super PACs are here and more are coming. The big Republican groups in D.C. know they’re getting Maldonado’s vote for the Republican leadership, supporting their radical agenda to end Medicare as we know it, privatize Social Security, reduce Pell Grants, and, of course, raise taxes on the middle class unless the wealthy get another massive tax cut.”
Kurt Bardella, Maldonado’s Communications Director, issued this statement in response: “Congresswoman Capps began the fall campaign by running a deceptive and misleading ad attacking a family farming business because she can’t run on a record of accomplishment and she knows it. Now, the DCCC is running a new ad perpetuating the falsities started by Lois Capps in an effort to distract voters attention away from the Capps-Pelosi agenda of bailing out banks, running up record deficits and losing jobs to China. When you vote with your party boss 97 percent of the time, only one person is doing the thinking.”
Election Day is November 6, and vote-by-mail ballots go out the week of October 8. On October 9, The Santa Barbara Independent along with UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center, will be hosting a live debate at the Pollock Theater. The event will also be streamed live on independent.com. For tickets, visit www.carseywolf.ucsb.edu.