Republicans buy more anti-Rahall ads
A new round of advertisements from national Republicans criticizing Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., are slated to hit television airwaves during the holiday weekend.
The National Republican Congressional Committee produced the 30-second ad, called "Nick Rahall's Betrayal," and spent $25,000 so it will air today until Wednesday in the Charleston and Beckley area.
"When he's in West Virginia, Nick Rahall claims to be standing up for coal jobs, but when he is in Washington, D.C., with his allies, Rahall is on the front lines in the War on Coal," said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior.
Democrats disputed the claims in the ad, saying few will actually see the clip because it's a small purchase.
"National Republicans are desperate to start the campaign season more than a year before the election, so they've resorted once again to false and baseless attacks in an attempt to mislead West Virginians about Congressman Rahall's long record of standing up for coal jobs which are powering West Virginia's economy," said Allan Crow, a Rahall campaign spokesman.
With this buy, the NRCC has already spent at least $37,000 in advertising critical of Rahall, whose district covers southern West Virginia. The national Republican organization has said defeating Rahall is one of their top priorities for the 2014 election.
The new ad hits the same points as the others: with cloudy skies and ominous music, it accuses Rahall of voting in favor of a carbon tax while trying to align him with President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"After 36 years in Congress, Nick Rahall has become loyal to Washington, not West Virginia," a male voice tells viewers.
Obama, Pelosi and other national Democrats are unpopular in West Virginia, so Republicans in the state and nationally frequently attempt to connect them with local Democrats.
Many West Virginia Democrats -- Rahall chief among them -- are quick to distance themselves from the national party. Rahall criticized the president's climate speech earlier in the year, and has made several public statements opposing the administration's "war on coal."
The NRCC says he supports a carbon tax, pointing to his vote on a failed budget amendment. The amendment, proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, did include a call for imposing a $25 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
Rahall told the Daily Mail earlier in the year he does not support a carbon tax, and Crow echoed the same sentiment. He pointed to a bill Rahall sponsored in April called the "No Carbon Tax Act of 2013."
The statement from Crow also included a jab at the state's newest Republican senator.
Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, recently announced he was leaving the Democratic Party in favor of the GOP and would mount a challenge to Rahall's seat in Congress. Before the announcement, Rahall had said he'd dealt with "traitors" before, and he called Jenkins a flip-flopper the day of his announcement.
In the release from Crow, it accuses national Republicans of "scraping the bottom of the barrel to recruit" Jenkins.
A Democratic source familiar with the ad buy said it's a small purchase, pointing to the particulars of how often it will run and the percent of the audience who will see it.
At the end, the ad directs viewers to go to the website www.RahallForCongress.com. The site has information similar to the ads, as well as a place to make a donation to the NRCC. Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.