Two days after being hit in a negative television ad about her suburban Washington condo, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) is the target of another ad by the same outside political action committee, this time over her claim that she votes against salary increases and donates the money to charity.
The Houston-based conservative Campaign for Primary Accountability started airing one ad on TV stations in the district Monday and launched its second ad Wednesday.
A lawyer representing Miss Kaptur sent a letter to television stations Wednesday calling the first ad "absolutely false" and asking for it to be pulled from the air.
Miss Kaptur is vying with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland) and Cleveland entrepreneur Graham Veysey for the 9th Congressional District Democratic nomination. The newly remapped district stretches from Toledo to Cleveland and includes Lake Erie communities in Lucas, Ottawa, Erie, Lorain, and Cuyahoga counties. The election is Tuesday.
The two commercials say that Miss Kaptur voted in favor of a 2007 $4,400 cost-of-living pay raise and that she lives in a "fancy condo" in the Washington area, contrary to claims she makes in her own TV commercial introducing herself to voters in Cuyahoga County.
"After 30 years in Congress, Marcy Kaptur says one thing, does another," the ad's narrator says.
The campaign notes that she often casts absentee voter ballots as proof that she frequently resides out of town.
A spokesman for Miss Kaptur said the ad was "absolutely false." The Kaptur campaign called the super-PAC "anti-labor and anti-Obama."
The ad shows Miss Kaptur's Alexandria, Va., house, which is valued at $488,732 and said she never misses the taxes on that dwelling but that she has been late on her Lucas County property taxes nine times.
According to Curtis Ellis, spokesman for the Campaign for Primary Accountability, the ad cost $116,111.
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Campaign for Primary Accountability is a super PAC, a political action committee that is not affiliated with any candidate and can raise and spend as much money as it wants.
The CPA is supporting Mr. Kucinich: "We see Dennis as the more independent candidate," Mr. Ellis said.
The super PAC has raised $1.8 million and is funded primarily by Texas business magnates.
Mr. Ellis said the PAC's main goal is to promote voter participation in the primaries because that's where the outcome is decided in districts that have been drawn to give one party an advantage. The 9th District is heavily Democratic, making it unlikely or even impossible for a Republican to be elected, Mr. Ellis said.
"All of the speculation that we're playing some kind of double bank shot to set up a Republican win is poppycock," Mr. Ellis said.
Mr. Kucinich has denied any connection with the super PAC.
On Wednesday, the third contestant for the Democratic nomination, Graham Veysey of Cleveland, held a news conference in front of Miss Kaptur's house to say that she, Mr. Kucinich, and the Campaign for Primary Accountability are all ignoring the main issue of the race -- the $15 trillion debt, which, he said, "will prevent many people from my generation from having their own home and living their American dream." Mr. Veysey is 29.
Mr. Veysey said Mr. Kucinich and Miss Kaptur are "fear-mongering" over the effect cuts will have on Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Miss Kaptur owns her house, two adjacent vacant parcels, an adjacent house, and a house a couple of blocks away.
Mark Austin, chief deputy treasurer for Lucas County, confirmed that Miss Kaptur had late tax filings. He said she filed late nine times from 2007 to 2010. Only one bill was more than 11 days late, and she paid a total of $295 in late penalties.
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"Our office treated the Congresswoman exactly as we would any other Lucas County resident. She paid the same late fees as everyone else, she never asked for nor received any preferential treatment... ," Mr. Austin said.
Her house, a white, clapboard-sided bungalow on an unimproved street, has a gravel driveway and a two-car detached garage.
Kaptur spokesman Steve Fought said, "Marcy lives in the house where she grew up. She lives there with her brother, Steve. They inherited that house from their parents. She comes home every weekend, and she's there when Congress is not in session. It's outrageous to say she doesn't live there."
The winner of the Democratic primary election next week will face the winner of the Republican primary, either Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher of Springfield Township or Steven Kraus of Huron.
Mr. Wurzelbacher said he doesn't approve of the negative ad.
"I'm not going to engage in it. Real leaders put their ideas and thoughts out there and run on their records," he said.
Contact Tom Troy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.