Conservative group targets Perriello for health vote
Updated 12:50 p.m.
A conservative group is launching a new campaign against Rep. Tom Perriello, hitting the freshman Democrat for his vote in favor of health-care reform.
Americans for Prosperity began airing an ad Thursday in Virginia's 5th district saying that "Americans opposed a health care takeover, but Tom Perriello ignored us and voted with Nancy Pelosi for big-government health care":
The ad says the reform plan would cost $1 trillion, would cut Medicare and will cause people earning less than $200,000 to pay higher taxes. "Tom Perriello cast his vote. Tell him Virginians won't forget," the narrator concludes. (The claim about tax increases comes from a Joint Committee on Taxation study often cited by Republicans, though Democrats say the statistic does not take into account portions of the reform bill that would lower individuals' health-care costs.)
According to AFP, the ad will run on network and cable stations in the 5th district for two weeks, at a cost of $100,000. Similar ads are running against Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), with more likely to come.
"We definitely see a scenario where we expand this to some other House districts, including here in Virginia," said Ben Marchi, the Virginia state director for AFP.
Perriello is viewed by both parties as one of the most vulnerable lawmakers in the country. Unlike many Democrats in tough districts, such as Virginia Rep. Glenn Nye, Perriello decided to back the health-reform bill despite the issue's rough poll numbers. "I have been perfectly willing to not just vote but champion the causes when I think they are right," he has said in explaining that vote as well as those in favor of Democrats' stimulus plan and cap and trade bill.
Republicans in the 5th voted Tuesday to nominate state Sen. Robert Hurt to take on Perriello in November.
Asked for comment on the ad, Perriello's campaign manager sends along this response: "It's no surprise that Senator Hurt and his Swift Boat-style front groups are attacking Tom on the same day that thousands of seniors are receiving rebate checks for their prescription drug costs. After all, Hurt's promised to follow the lead of the insurance companies and other special interests in efforts to repeal these and many other benefits to Virginia's seniors."
June 10, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Tom Perriello
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