A progressive veterans group is launching a $1.25 million ad campaign targeting three Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls as the election enters its final days.
VoteVets Action Fund announced the new ad buys in Ohio, Nebraska and Virginia Thursday morning, seeking to paint the three Republicans as either not as having the best record on veterans issues or not having the leadership qualities to be a senator. The Republicans targeted include former Sen. George Allen in Virginia, state Sen. Deb Fischer in Nebraska, and state Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio, all of whom are locked in competitive races.
The ads come less than a week after the group made a $1 million ad buy in congressional campaigns around the country.
In Ohio, the VoteVets ad seeks to describe Mandel's opponent, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), as a strong leader on veterans issues. The ad describe Brown's work on veterans education and training initiatives, along with his votes in favor of tax cuts for veterans. The ad comes as Mandel, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, has highlighted his military service in ads and during three debates with Brown. VoteVets indicated that it will spend $200,000 on the Brown ad.
In Nebraska, the group targets Fischer's lawsuit with her neighbors over cattle grazing land in Nebraska. The ad contrasts the lawsuit with her opponent, former Sen. Bob Kerrey's (D) winning the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Kerrey has been highlighting the lawsuit in recent ads against Fischer. VoteVets indicated that they plan to spend $700,000 in Nebraska.
In Virginia, VoteVets plans to extend an ad running against Allen, in which an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, David Nasse, says he believes Allen's record shows he is not helpful to veterans. The ad features Nasse talking about Allen describing government programs "as waste" and votes Allen cast that Nasse describes as against veterans health care. VoteVets said the extended ad buy in Virginia will cost $750,000. Allen is running against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D).
Allen's spokeswoman pointed to her statement when VoteVets first released the commercial last week. In the statement, Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis said that Allen had been a strong supporter of veterans while he was a senator. She noted that he pushed veterans legislation, including for expansion of the TRICARE program and increasing survivor benefits.
The VoteVets ads come as a series of military related ads continue to flood the airwaves. In Ohio, Mandel kicked off his campaign with an ad showcasing his combat boots and highlighting his Marine service. Missouri state Rep. Jason Kander (D-Kansas City), the Democratic nominee for Missouri secretary of state, has been placing his Army service in Afghanistan at the forefront of three ads in his race against state Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-Willard).
Spokespeople for Mandel and Fischer were not available for comment.