Ads attack Gilbert Baker UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ads attack Gilbert Baker UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM

I haven't seen them yet, and I can't find a copy on YouTube yet, but a labor-funded political group has begun running TV ads in Arkansas blasting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gilbert Baker. The suggestion apparently is that he's no fiscal conservative. It's a big buy: $134,000 in Little Rock and $83,000 in the Fort Smith TV markets according to information compiled by the Baker campaign.

I'll say two things about this. 1) Baker indeed joined the effort to split up some state pork as part of the Senate Brotherood, shipping his chunk to higher education and thus LuCA in his hometown of Conway. But he ain't no liberal. The record is too painfully clear. 2) If a Democratic group is targeting Baker, they must think he's the man to beat. It's a backhanded compliment, after a fashion.

The group is the Citizens for Strength and Security. It got its start blasting now former Sen. Elizabeth Dole. The Service Employees International Union was the leading financial contributor.

Said Baker in a prepared statement:

“The misleading information found in the Citizens for Strength and Security ad simply re-affirms the fact that this will be the most negative campaign in Arkansas history.  I proudly stand behind my conservative record of lowering taxes and balancing budgets; I live it personally and politically. It comes as no surprise to see Senator Lincoln’s liberal friends come to her rescue.  This organization, which is nothing more than a front group for national labor unions, is trying to smear my conservative record in Arkansas because of my vocal and consistent opposition to the union card check issue- a job killing bill that would have detrimental effects on our already shaky economy.  It seems to me the money for the $200,000 ad buy could have been better spent to help Arkansans in need, not a politician in trouble."

UPDATE: I forgot that somebody told me that this ad is less about Gilbert Baker than about Bill Halter. It's a message from the SEIU that they back Blanche Lincoln. It's a message to not consider opposing Lincoln. The theory is that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has worked up this show of force by the SEIU to get Halter out in return for Lincoln's vote for cloture on the health bill. She'd be free to oppose it after, as long as it could come to a vote.

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