Sen. Martha McSally has a new campaign ad featuring a cancer survivor who talks about how her “path collided” with McSally, whom she describes as a champion for protecting those with pre-existing medical conditions.
The emotional television ad, which started Thursday, doesn’t disclose that the woman worked for McSally’s congressional office and as a campaign staffer over the years or that in 2014 she helped defend McSally's attackson the Affordable Care Act and roll its coverage protections back.
In the ad, Kristen Douglas talks about her severe health issues during her late 20s. After a year of testing, doctors found a mass in her brain and, with medical bills mounting, she said she got a letter from her insurance company dropping her.
She urges people to vote for Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., whom she assures will protect those with pre-existing conditions.
What the ad doesn't say is that the speaker, Whitney Lawrence, is the former statewide field director for former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., before he abandoned his re-election bid in October 2017.
It's also the second health care ad in four months from McSally's campaign that involves a testimonial from a former GOP political operative, though viewers wouldn't know it from the ads alone.
After Perdue spoke directly to the camera about the need to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, Janelle King, a woman identified only as a resident of Sandy Springs, Georgia, praised Perdue.
“We need this done. And if anyone can do it, it's Sen. Perdue,” King said. “What a difference he's making for us.”
At no time did the ad disclose that King previously worked as the deputy state and data director of the Georgia Republican Party, a field director for former Rep. Karen Handel's campaign, and as a consultant for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's 2018 campaign, according to her LinkedIn page.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican facing a tough re-election race, has run numerous ads over the last three months featuring testimonials from more than 20 people who were presented as ordinary Mainers — but in fact had close ties to the state's Republican Party or to Collins herself. While such deception is not obviously illegal, it's intentionally misleading and suggests that Collins has had trouble attracting supporters outside a tight circle of Maine Republicans.
This wasn't the first time that Collins' 2020 campaign has committed an unforced video error. Last summer her campaign drew sardonic criticism after posting several minutes of B-roll of the senator meeting with Mainers in factories, a classroom, a kitchen and so on. The video was mocked as a transparent gift of content for outside groups, which could amount to a campaign finance violation.
This year, however, the campaign might catch flak for a July 30 campaign ad that features lobsterman and small business owner Wayne Parry accusing Sara Gideon, speaker of the Maine House and Collins' Democratic opponent, of “not being honest” about her criticism of the Paycheck Protection Program.
The ad informs the viewer that Parry is a lobsterman from the town of Arundel, but does not mention that Parry also served as a Republican State House representative from 2010 to 2018, and is on the ballot as a candidate again in 2020.
A Sen. Cory Gardner ad titled “Both Parties” airing on cable and satellite TV networks, tallies up his environmental bonafides related to the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act while purporting to represent those who support Gardner from both major political parties.
The ad doesn't identify the parties of the two who endorse Gardner in the ad but implies it, both in the ad's title and by using the color red with one person and blue for the other. Both people featured in the ad are not only registered Republicans but tied to prominent GOP politicians and organizations: Alexandra “Allie” Killey is a legislative aide to Monument Republican Sen. Paul Lundeen, and the other is Larry Kramer, a former president of the Foothills Republicans in Jefferson County.
Gardner faces a challenge for his senate seat from former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper; polls have shown Gardner consistently behind in the race and his seat one of the most vulnerable in the country. Gardner's record on the environment has become a major talking point for both campaigns.
The Republican National Committee has made an historic investment in Colorado this year with 12 field offices, 50 paid staffers and 17,000 volunteers. The party says there are plenty of silent Trump supporters in Colorado, and Gardner echoed that opinion.
“I think a lot of the silent majority that people may talk about is off the I-25 corridor,” he said. “It’s the Eastern Plains, it’s the Western Slope. It’s 20 percent of the counties in Colorado who tried to secede under John Hickenlooper because he called rural Coloradans ‘backwards’ and they just needed to get rid of some of their beliefs so they would fit in with the people of Colorado. I think they are people who feel like they’ve been forgotten.”
Boyd pointed out Gardner did not vote for the president in 2016, asking why he supports him now.
Instead, Gardner took on the Democratic ticket. “I think we know what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would do to this country. Kamala Harris wants to take away the health insurance from 160 million Americans who get it through their employer.”
Well, latest polls don’t seem to show that there are a lot of “silent Trump supporters” in Colorado. Let’s get ready to keep Colorado Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Hickenlooper, Biden and their fellow Colorado Democrats campaigns: