FDL News has obtained the first ad from Arkansas for Change, an independent expenditure group working against Blanche Lincoln. It will start running today.
Lincoln faces a May 18 primary challenge from the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Halter. Halter is not mentioned in the spot.
The ad highlights multiple Lincoln votes that they see as on the side of corporate interests rather than Arkansas workers. Lincoln voted for multiple lobbyist-written trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA, supported the pro-credit card company bankruptcy bill in 2005, and voted for TARP in 2008.
The inclusion of that last one is notable because Lincoln, in her first ad, claimed to have voted against “more money for Wall Street.” Both this ad and Lincoln’s assertions are technically true. Lincoln voted for the initial $700 billion dollar TARP bill, but against the release of the second half of the TARP funds in early 2009. That vote, a “resolution of disapproval”, failed in the Senate, and the second half of the funds were distributed anyway. Lincoln was one of nine Democrats to vote against releasing the funds. The resolution of disapproval would have had to pass the House as well, but failure in the Senate made a House vote irrelevant.
The Arkansas for Change spot closes by saying Lincoln is “working for them. Not us,” and tells the incumbent Senator to stop protecting Wall Street at the expense of the middle class.
Several groups, including labor unions, have pledged over $4 million dollars in association with the Halter-Lincoln primary. But this is the first ad released to date.
UPDATE: Just to put specifics to this, four unions – the SEIU, AFL-CIO, AFSCME and CWA – pledged $1 million dollars a piece to this primary race. In addition, Halter’s campaign has raised $250,000 on Act Blue and $1.2 million through MoveOn.