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Ad war heats up in CD9

Vernon Parker, Kyrsten Sinema ad war heats up in CD9

Screenshots from the dueling ads running in the Congressional District 9 race.

It’s been a week of heavy spending in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District as the campaigns, national party organizations and PACs spent more than $1.5 million on airtime.

The national Democratic and Republican congressional committees both dropped ads over the weekend, following another ad buy by a GOP super PAC attacking Democratic nominee Kyrsten Sinema. And the House Majority PAC, a Democratic independent expenditure, plans to air its first ad in the race today.

GOP nominee Vernon Parker also started running ads of his own over the weekend, just a few days after the Republican super PAC American Future Fund hit with an attack ad.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Saturday announced a new ad, accusing Parker of supporting policies that would gut Medicare and Social Security, and criticizing him for supporting the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education. The $326,000 ad buy will run on network television through Oct. 1.

“Parker touted a plan that would replace Medicare, leaving seniors at the mercy of insurance companies, costing them an extra $6,400 a year. He’d end the Social Security guarantee, abolish the Department of Education, which would cost Arizona schools over $800 million,” the ad said. “If Vernon Parker puts everything on the table, what’s left for Arizona?”

The National Republican Congressional Committee over the weekend began its $900,000, nine-week ad buy with a TV spot hitting Sinema for being too “far out.” The ad, which features a satellite beaming messages to the former state senator, hits Sinema for criticizing women who stay at home as “leeching off their husbands or boyfriends,” for putting her name on an ad that ran in a Communist Party USA-affiliated newspaper in 2002 and supporting a tax hike, “even though liberals thought it went too far.”

“We’re losing touch with you, Planet Kyrsten,” the ad said. “She’s far out.”

The tax hike comment refers to a June candidate forum in which one of Sinema’s Democratic opponents accused her of wanting to allow the George W. Bush tax cuts for the middle class to expire. She later clarified that she only wants to end the tax cut for wealthier Americans.

Parker on Thursday also launched an ad of his own, titled “Vernon Parker never quit,” touting his rise to success after his hard-luck upbringing. Parker spokeswoman

“A tough upbringing can build character and Vernon Parker had it tough. Abandoned by his father. Raised by his grandmother in a drug-infested neighborhood. Vernon Parker never quit,” the ad said.

Alyssa Pivirotto, a spokeswoman for Parker, said the ad will run through Sept. 30. She would not say how much the ad buy cost, but said the campaign purchased 1,000 ratings points.

Parker responded quickly to DCCC, accusing the group of releasing a “false and misleading ad … which lied about Vernon Parker’s position on cuts to Medicare.” The campaign said DCCC’s allegation was based solely on the fact that Parker “liked” a comment posted by someone on his Facebook page about Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal for Medicare in his controversial budget plan.

“I unequivocally oppose any plan to cut or replace Medicare.  I have publicly and repeatedly stated this position throughout this campaign.  To have the DCCC clearly lie about my record is another example of how desperate they are to fool the voters,” Parker said in a press statement.

Parker has also said he opposes Ryan’s plans for Medicare and Social Security. He said he believes the Department of Education should be abolished, and that the tax dollars that flow through the agency to the individual states should stay in Arizona and others states so that the states can determine how best to use the money.

Sinema campaign manager Rodd McLeod questioned Parker’s support for the elimination of the Department of Education. He said the money goes to specific districts and localities for specific purposes, and some administration is necessary to ensure the money goes where it’s supposed to go.

“When the government spends money, they don’t just fly a plane over the state and push the cash out the back door of the airplane. They actually make sure the money goes to local governments and school systems. That takes staff and that takes people who are administering the programs,” McLeod said.

McLeod would not say when Sinema plans to air an ad of her own.

“When we are ready we will announce it,” he said.

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