Genevieve Atwood has a new TV ad, the first in her 2nd District congressional race against incumbent Democrat Wayne Owens.
She's proud of the ad, which says Owens wants to raise your taxes. Owens' supporters say it's outdated and unfair.The National Republican Congressional Committee, the arm of the National Republican Party that supports its U.S. House candidates, paid about $50,000 for the ad - allowable under federal election law. The NRCC flew out a representative to preview the advertisement for the media Monday, the harried party worker saying "Iowa" voters had a good choice with Atwood.
Geography aside, the advertisement is hard-hitting. It says Owens voted in the original budget compromise for $144 billion in new taxes, double Medicare premiums and cut benefits. The original package did that, but that deal is dead.
"And she knows that," said Peter Billings Jr., state Democratic Party chairman. The budget compromise changes daily, with no agreed-upon solution yet.
The ad says: "Do you believe in higher taxes? Wayne Owens does." The ad then details Owens' budget compromise vote. "Do you believe citizens should pay twice as much for Medicare while cutting benefits? Wayne Owens does.
"Do you believe drug kingpins who commit murder should face the death penalty? Not Wayne Owens.
"Do you believe your congressman should represent you? Wayne Owens doesn't. He votes the Democrat Party line 96% of the time.
"Do you believe in business as usual in Congress? Wayne Owens does. It's time for a change."
Billings said Atwood continues to duck the real question. "What would she do? She won't say how she'd vote on these different proposals, which taxes she'd raise, which programs she'd cut. Wayne is showing some political leadership, taking some tough, difficult stands. She's playing politics."
Atwood was closing on Owens in the polls, but recent surveys indicate that trend may have slowed. "She's stalled," said Billings. "And so tries this. The bloom is off the rose. She won't take a budget stand, she's vacillating, weak."
Atwood says she'd look first to program reductions, as the House Republican budget plan does, before looking at any tax increase.