The National Republican Senatorial Committee paid for an ad that attacks the Republican budget in Congress last month -- and appears to have spent quite a lot doing it.
At the time, NRSC officials did not comment on the commercial run by the Montana Republican Party on behalf of Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
The spot, with an initial cost of $200,000, could only have been funded by large transfers from the NRSC, since the the Montana GOP did not have enough cash on its own. The latest federal campaign filings show that the national team transferred $540,000 to the local party -- $315,000 on June 19, the day before the ad started to run, then $45,000 on June 21 and $180,000 on June 25.
While the Montana Party is free to spend the money it gets from Washington how it wants, it's clear that the big shots in D.C. knew of the message in the ad, at least after the fact, and the spot continued to run.
And it's quite a message for Republicans to be delivering. The ad notes that "Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that could harm the Medicare program so many of Montana's seniors rely on," referring to Rehberg's opposition to the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Republicans across the country are running on Ryan's budget. One Senate candidate, Nevada's Sen. Dean Heller, even has the distinction of saying he voted for it twice -- once when he was in the House, and again after he replaced Sen. John Ensign in the Senate.