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In first ad, Kratovil stresses independence

Ben Pershing

Updated 10:16 a.m.
Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) is on the air with his first ad of the 2010 cycle, emphasizing his departures from Democratic party orthodoxy as he seeks a second term in Maryland's 1st district.

Kratovil is widely seen as one of the most endangered incumbents in the country, as he represents a district that backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race by 19 points. State Sen. Andrew Harris, the 2008 nominee, and businessman Rob Fisher are battling for the Republican nomination in the Sept. 14 primary, with Harris favored to prevail. Kratovil beat Harris by fewer than 3,000 votes last cycle.

In his new ad, titled "Independent," Kratovil cites his background as a former prosecutor and points out that he voted against President Obama's health-reform bill as well as the fiscal 2010 budget resolution. He also says -- as some other freshman Democrats have -- that he voted against "the big bank bailout" even though he wasn't yet in office when the Troubled Asset Relief Program was created in 2008. (Kratovil is actually referring to his January 2009 vote against releasing the second half of the bailout money, and his support for a separate 2009 resolution calling for the repayment of TARP money that had already been spent.)

"You see for me, it's not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about common sense, and doing what's best for our families," Kratovil says at the end of the spot, which will run on broadcast television in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets.

Kratovil's independence -- or lack thereof -- from Democratic leaders and Obama will be a potentially decisive issue in his reelection race, as it will be in many contests around the country where vulnerable lawmakers are running away from the "D" after their names. Kratovil has voted with his party 85 percent of the time, according to the Washington Post's ratings, less often than all but eight of his fellow Democrats.

But Kratovil did vote for the "cap and trade" climate bill, a decision that Republicans have been slamming him for even though he argues that it contained provisions that would help the Eastern Shore's agriculture industry. Republicans also note that a vote for Kratovil is a vote to keep Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in charge, in a year when the electorate appears to be turning against Democrats in droves.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Andy Seré said that if Kratovil were truly concerned with the facts, he "wouldn't be bragging about voting against the budget when he knows full that he supported the very stimulus that busted the budget. And Kratovil may have voted against the healthcare bill in a vain attempt to save his skin, but he's on-record in support of the individual mandate and the public option."

By Ben Pershing  |  August 31, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Ben Pershing  
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Comments

Pretty tired of politicians with party membership claiming to be independent in any way. If you're independent leave the party and become unaffiliated otherwise spare Maryland voters this tired campaign rhetoric. Seriously -- I'm tired of political partisans feathering their nests with all of the resources, benefits, advantages and financing afforded by political party membership to gain and retain office AND then telling the voter -- none of that matters to them...

Posted by: blackterrapin | August 31, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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