Two groups aligned with the Koch brothers network today announced a combined $1.6 million in ads targeting Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and boosting her GOP rival Leah Vukmir.
The ads from the Concerned Veterans for America and Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin are the first help independent groups have provided Vukmir over the airwaves since she won the Aug. 14 GOP primary.
Meanwhile, Baldwin is running a second ad hitting Vukmir, this one accusing the GOP state senator of supporting tax breaks for the wealthy, backing the weakening of safety standards at nursing homes and voting to end the state’s prescription drug program for seniors.
The new ads come as a Suffolk University/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poll finds Baldwin leading her challenger 50 percent to 42 percent among likely voters and Vice President Mike Pence is set to do a fundraiser Thursday in Milwaukee to benefit Vukmir.
CVA and AFP-Wisconsin each said its buy was $800,000 with the Concerned Veterans for America accusing Baldwin of failing to show up for hearings. The group previously hit Baldwin with a $1 million buy in July saying she failed to show up at “important meetings.”
The new ad features three people identified as Wisconsinites who served in the armed forces.
One charges Baldwin says she supports veterans, but she “didn’t even show up to hearings.”
“Senator Tammy Baldwin, I want to know why you missed over 100 important hearings,” another says before a third person adds, “on a committee that could have investigated Tomah sooner.”
The three then ask why Baldwin skipped hearings on opioid abuse, saying she “didn’t show up.”
“And we deserve leaders who will fight for us,” says a vet identified as Mason.
The AFP-Wisconsin ad, meanwhile, say there’s a “clear choice” on taxes and spending.”
The narrator says Vukmir “fought against special interest loopholes so taxes could be cut for middle-class families” and signed a pledge to oppose tax hikes.
The narrator then says it’s “higher taxes and more spending” with Baldwin, who the spot says voted for $1.3 trillion in spending.
“We can’t afford Tammy Baldwin,” the narrator says to close the ad.
AFP said its buy includes a digital component.
Meanwhile, Baldwin’s new spot opens by asking, “Who really is Leah Vukmir?”
The narrator says Vukmir has served in the state Legislature for 16 years and has been a “national leader of ALEC,” which the spot describes as an organization funded by corporations to lobby state governments.
Following the hit on Vukmir for “repeatedly” supporting tax breaks for the wealthy, the ad hits her on safety standards at nursing homes and wanting to end SeniorCare. The narrator then declares, “Leah Vukmir, she’s not for us.”
It’s the same tag line Baldwin used in her first ad knocking Vukmir.