The Club for Growth is targeting Senator Mark Pryor with a television ad set to begin on Friday.
From what I can tell, this is the first negative television ad of the 2014 election cycle. Thanks to the Club for Growth, and other right-wing, out-of-state groups funded by mysterious sources, Arkansans will likely see thousands more just like it.
Here’s a link to their ad and below is the transcript.
“He’s the only Arkansan in Congress today who voted for ObamaCare, the only one who voted for the Obama stimulus. He joined Obama to bail out the Wall Street banks. Who is he? Mark Pryor,” the ad’s narrator says. “He’s supposed to be our senator, but Mark Pryor is really Barack Obama’s best ally in Arkansas. When you vote for Pryor, you vote for Obama. It’s that simple.”
The Club for Growth says they’re spending six figures for the buy on statewide cable, but it’s unknown at this time if that means $100,000 or $500,000. The Hill speculates the ad may also serve as a signal to Congressman Tom Cotton, who’s been in office less than 60 days, that they will spend heavily on his behalf.
However, there’s always the possibility Pryor’s opponent could end up being Lt. Governor Mark Darr, who has floated the Senate run trial balloon. What would the Club for Growth do in a contested Republic primary, back Cotton who’ve they invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in, or stay neutral?
I would imagine many in the Republic establishment are discouraging Darr from running for Senate. I wonder if they’re floating the possibility of Darr moving to the Fourth District to run for Congress if Cotton were to run against Pryor?
On the same train of thought, it appears that Democrats may have a vigorous gubernatorial primary next year, Halter vs. Ross, but there’s a possibility that Republicans won’t have a vigorous primary for Governor or Senator, but rather a coronation. It would be hard to solidify the growth of the Arkansas GOP if they don’t have real primaries where policy and party direction are debated.
And, yes, I know Curtis Coleman is running for Governor, but do you really need me to take the time to explain why that doesn’t matter?
UPDATE: Senator Pryor put out a statement in response to the Club for Growth’s TV ad:
This ad is false and misleading. Anyone in Arkansas who knows me knows I always put Arkansas first—not the President, a political party, and certainly not special interests. This fact is clear from my voting record. The National Journal consistently ranks me as one of the most independent voices in the Senate.
People are sick of politics and non-stop campaigns by special interest groups like the Club for Growth. This is the first of what’s certain to be an endless array of special interest groups coming to Arkansas to distort the truth about my independence and bipartisanship.
Right now I’m focusing on my job. I would encourage others to join me in working to solve problems and move our country forward. The Club for Growth wants a lapdog in the Senate who will do their bidding, not an independent voice for Arkansas like me.