CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin went even more negative Tuesday in an attack ad designed to separate John Raese from the average voter.
Democrat Manchin's campaign, in a statement accompanying the release of the campaign's second 30-second spot, said Republican businessman Raese "is truly not one of us."
The ad itself begins with a picture of a TV showing Raese's recent ad attacking Manchin.
"Joe Manchin always stands up for what he believes, but what does John Raese believe in?" a narrator says.
The spot then hits Raese on three topics, including his support for abandoning minimum wage laws.
That's an unpopular position that Raese's campaign did not back away from Tuesday. He argues that the market can fairly determine wages.
"John does not support the minimum wage - and the jobless rate in this country is a perfect example of why," said campaign manager Jim Dornan. "He's for a fair wage, and a fair wage is determined by the market."
Manchin's ad also says that Raese supports a "23 percent sales tax" on "food, gas, everything."
The ad cites a 2006 newspaper article in which Raese does support an across-the-board flat tax on the income of Americans making more than $36,000 a year, but Raese was quoted in that article as saying "a national sales tax penalizes the poor."
A separate document prepared by the Manchin campaign cites another article where Raese suggests he supports a "fair tax," which one national tax reform organization said could include a 23 percent sales tax.
Dornan said trying to paint Raese as a proponent of tax increases doesn't make any sense.
"Manchin knows it's a lie, John has signed every anti-tax pledge known to man in the last six weeks," he said.
The third part of the ad attacks Raese's companies, Greer Industries, as being one of about 950 companies that in 1999 took advantage of a program designed to allow amnesty to businesses behind on their workers compensation premiums.
At the time, the company paid $26,000 and avoided paying $10,000 in interest because of the amnesty program.