This spot from American Crossroads might leave a mark (see update):
That ad would be pretty devastating even in the absence of last week’s revelation that Louisiana’s senior senator doesn’t own a residence in the state she purports to represent. Mary Katharine highlighted one of the most telling passages from the Post’s residency scoop (how fitting that this story broke in Landrieu’s actual hometown paper); candid statements from her own “neighbors” and supporters:
“I don’t think she lives there,” said Fontaine Wells, 65, pointing at the Landrieu home. “She might come visit, but come on now — she lives in D.C. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her.” Still, Wells added, “I don’t hold that against her…” Michael Fitzgerald, 61, has lived around the corner from the Landrieus for three decades. “They’ve been very good neighbors,” Fitzgerald said. “On Election Day, [Mary] is seen at our polling place accompanying her parents.” He added, “I have not seen her lately. . . . She’s been in the Senate for — I’ve lost count — 16 years? 18 years?”
Fitzgerald hasn’t seen her lately because she doesn’t live in his state. She lives in a multimillion-dollar Capitol Hill mansion where she and her husband live very comfortably, even in the face of the occasional tax penalty. “I really can appreciate the life that we live on the Hill,” she gushes in the ad, which runs through a litany of steps Landrieu has taken to improve her home community. Tossing in glowing praise from former DC Mayor Vincent Gray, thrown out of office by voters amid scandal, twists the knife further. Gray describes Landrieu as, “the senator representing the District of Columbia ’til we become the 51st state of the United States!” If one is ably representing the liberal bastion of cronies and profligacy known as Washington, DC, one is not ably representing the values of Louisianans. The house flap comes on the heels of a recent kerfuffle in which Landrieu was forced to repay taxpayers for an inappropriate campaign-related flight on a private jet. Full Beltway. Mary Landrieu votes with President Obama 97 percent of the time, enthusiastically casting the deciding vote for Obamacare…while savaging the law’s opponents as ‘pathetic liars‘ for accurately predicting its outcomes. Her main opponent is Rep. Bill Cassidy, a medical doctor who’s provided underprivileged Louisianans with healthcare throughout his career. Also in the race is retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, who has filed an official complaint against Landrieu over her residency issues. The state features a “jungle primary”-style system, so in the fairly likely event that nobody receives 50 percent of the overall vote on election day, the race will be decided in a December run-0ff. Such an eventuality would almost certainly pit Landrieu against Cassidy. I’ll leave you with a campaign note from perhaps the only Senate Democratic incumbent who’s endured a rougher few days than DC Mary:
After receiving an blistering letter from the lawyer of the family of a sexual assault victim, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is taking down a controversial TV ad criticizing his Republican opponent. It is the first ad run by a Senate campaign to be pulled this cycle. Begich’s campaign released a TV spot last week that faulted Republican challenger Dan Sullivan, the state’s former attorney general, for the early release of a sex offender who has been charged with the death of an elderly couple and the sexual assault of a two-year-old. Bryon Collins, the attorney for the victims and their family, said that Begich’s campaign did not receive permission from his clients before running the ad. He said they tried to contact his clients, who did not return their calls. “You are tearing this family apart to the point that your ad was so shocking to them they now want to permanently leave the state as quickly as possible,” he wrote Monday in a letter to Begich. “You[r] campaign is playing pure politics at the expense of my clients, and frankly has done only what is in the best interests of ‘Mark Begich’ rather than protecting the victims of the most serious crime in Alaska history,” he continued. The attorney’s letter also expressed concern that Begich’s ads could hurt the case by spoiling the jury pool.
Sullivan’s campaign — which has pointed out that the sentencing problem at issue occurred before he took office in 2009 — has also pulled its own response ad. Team Begich dragged a grieving family into a political campaign, playing fast and loose with the facts, without seeking permission from said family to do so. Pure class. Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis recently faced similar criticism over launching a specious attack that highlighted a rape case…without even notifying the rape victim first.
UPDATE – It appears that YouTube has pulled the ad due to a copyright claim from Fox News. The spot includes a short clip of Brit Hume discussing Landrieu scoring an earmark for DC. No word on whether Crossroads will retool the clip or post it elsewhere. In the meantime, I’ve included the fill transcript below:
Narrator: For years, she’s appreciated life on Capitol Hill.
Landrieu: “I really can appreciate the life that we live on the Hill.”
Narrator: Secured an earmark for DC schools.
Hume: “Senator Mary Landrieu sponsored an unusual $2 million for District of Columbia schools after receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions.”
Narrator: Delivered funds for her neighborhood.
Bill Press: “Our Capitol Hill neighbor, Senator Mary Landrieu, who did more than anybody else to help provide the funding that established this Hill center…”
Narrator: Earned the praise of DC lobbyists.
Lobbyist: “She lives on Capitol Hill and has dedicated lots of efforts to make Capitol Hill a better place to live.”
Narrator: And the support of her Mayor.
Gray: “Senator Landrieu, the Senator representing the District of Columbia until we become the 51st state of the United States!”
Narrator: Mary Landrieu, for Washington.
Landrieu: “The District of Columbia, which is about 650,000 people — I want to speak on their behalf.” … “I really can appreciate the life that we live on the Hill.”
UPDATE II – Vimeo has it: