Democrat Jaime Harrison is returning fire on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) in South Carolina’s Senate race with a new ad accusing the GOP stalwart of playing politics with Congress’s coronavirus relief efforts.
The six-figure TV and digital ad spot is set to debut Tuesday in all four South Carolina media markets and marks the first negative ad of Harrison’s general election campaign against Graham. The ad buy comes after Graham’s campaign unveiled an ad attacking Harrison as a “liberal Democrat” with a “far-left agenda.”
“People are losing their jobs — losing their lives,” Harrison says in the ad spot, which was shared first with The Hill. “But instead of attacking these problems, Lindsey Graham’s attacking me. Even worse, he’s attacking us.”
Harrison accuses Graham of “opposing help for South Carolinians” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and plays a clip of the GOP senator at an April 29 meeting of South Carolina’s coronavirus task force, saying that only “over our dead bodies” would he reauthorize the additional $600 unemployment benefit offered in a March coronavirus relief package.
Harrison has been hitting Graham on a couple of other issues. Like police reform:
In an interview with The Hill, Harrison noted that the legislation, spearheaded by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R), falls short on a slate of issues, including banning chokeholds and ending qualified immunity, the rule that protects officers with personal liability over use of force.
“It doesn’t go far enough. You’ve got to ban chokeholds. You have to address the issue of qualified immunity. And I just don’t feel like they’re doing enough as it relates to those particular issues. You’ve got to address this issue of the militarization of our police force. We need a national use-of-force standard. We have to end cash bail,” he said.
National pressure on Congress to pass some kind of anti-police brutality legislation has ramped up in recent weeks after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis last month.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets demanding action, but Congress appears to be at a logjam. Democrats blocked the Republican legislation in the Senate on Wednesday, saying it did not go far enough and was unsalvageable even with possible amendments, with Republicans firing back with the accusation that Democrats are obstructionists.
The House is set to pass Democratic-authored legislation on the issue Wednesday, but GOP leaders have declared that bill a non-starter in the upper chamber.
“What we see right now isn’t chaos. What we see right now is a community crying out in pain, and this is historic pain that’s been passed down from generation to generation to generation of folks. And people are just fed up, they’re saying, ‘enough is enough.’ We’re at a crossroads as a nation, and we’ve got to decide who and what we want to be,” Harrison said of the protests.
And offshore drilling:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it is allowing applications to move forward for companies to conduct seismic tests for oil along the South Carolina coast.
The announcement goes against multiple state agencies and politicians who oppose offshore drilling in the state.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said last July that seismic tests heightens the state's risk of hurting the coast and said it is “not consistent” with state policies to protect the coastal waters.
Politicians like Gov. Henry McMaster, Rep. Joe Cunningham and other state representatives and politicians have explicitly stated their opposition to offshore drilling on the coast, and seismic tests are the opening steps towards that direction.
Jaime Harrison, the democratic challenger to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, spoke out against the NOAA's ruling to allow applications for seismic tests and put some blame on Graham for it.
“An oil spill off of our shores would destroy countless jobs and upend our coastal way of life,” Harrison said. “Sen. Graham took almost $500,000 from oil and gas companies, and if he listened to South Carolinians instead of special interests, he would be knocking down doors to keep this harmful oil and gas exploration away from South Carolina. But clearly Sen. Graham has changed, and this is another example of South Carolina paying the price.”
Let’s keep the ad on the air and get rid of Graham. Click here to donate and get involved with Harrison’s campaign.