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McConnell-linked groups seek to paint Rosen as liberal and out of touch

Humberto Sanchez
Humberto Sanchez

Two groups with ties to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled television ads in Nevada designed to paint Democratic Senate candidate Jacky Rosen as out of touch and too liberal for the state because she voted against GOP tax cuts and with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

With just over two months to the midterm elections, the pointed and personal ads reflect the growing intensity in the Nevada Senate race. Rosen is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who looks vulnerable as the only GOP senator seeking re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The race could also determine whether the Senate remains under Republican control.

“Jacky Rosen voted against the tax cuts for Nevada families and businesses that have the economy roaring back to life," said Steven Law, a former McConnell chief of staff, who is president and CEO of the Virginia-based conservative nonprofit public policy advocacy organization One Nation. "Congresswoman Rosen needs to start listening to her own constituents instead of Nancy Pelosi — and vote to make tax cuts permanent.”

One Nation, which also has ties to GOP strategist Karl Rove, launched a $1 million ad effort that will run statewide on a combination of broadcast and cable television, radio and digital platforms.

The ad, entitled “Growing,” focuses on the GOP tax reform bill and its effect on the improving economy. It also urges Rosen to vote for legislation that would make permanent individual tax cuts in the law that Republicans enacted in December, which include lower marginal rates, increased thresholds for the individual alternative minimum tax, increased standard deduction amounts and an expanded child tax credit.

Molly Forgey, a spokesperson for Rosen, cited concerns about the deficit and the law’s effect on increasing health-care costs, as well as a provision to make the business tax cuts permanent, which she said made it too generous for businesses and high earners.

“Senator Heller's big money allies are rewarding Senator Heller for his tax bill, which is a giveaway to giant corporations that will cause millions of regular families to pay more for health care and adds nearly $2 trillion to the national debt,” Forgey said. “Jacky supports extending tax cuts for the middle class, but this tax law is out of balance and disproportionately benefits CEOs and the ultra-wealthy at the expense of Nevada’s hardworking families.”

Her concern about health-care costs rising stems from the fact that the Republican tax reform law included a provision repealing the portion of the Affordable Care Act that required most individuals to sign up for health insurance or pay a fine. The provision, known as the individual mandate, was included in the tax law to offset its cost. It was a key component of the ACA that was designed to help keep premiums down by forcing healthy people into the system. Eliminating the mandate could cause premiums to rise by allowing healthier people to go without insurance while sicker, costlier patients stay on insurance rolls.

The other ad was released by the Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-backed super PAC geared towards protecting the Republican majority in the Senate. The group spent $450,000 and the ad will run in the Reno media market on a combination of broadcast and cable television, radio and digital platforms.

“Jacky Rosen is an opportunistic politician trying to lie her way into the U.S. Senate," said Senate Leadership Fund Spokesman Chris Pack. "Rosen's pile of lies demonstrates her fundamental lack of respect for Nevada voters."

The ad, entitled “Name,” chides Rosen over her claims about building a business and support for Pelosi's agenda. “There’s no evidence that Rosen ever had a business license, employees, a building or even a name,” the ad says. “One thing Jacky Rosen has built, a record of supporting Nancy Pelosi’s agenda nearly 90 percent of the time.”

Forgey dismissed the allegation about Rosen’s business and underscored her effort to work across the aisle, including as a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is a group of 48 House members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, who cast themselves as “committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues.”

“This is another spineless attack and a clear sign of desperation from Senator Heller and his Republican allies in Washington,” she said. “They can’t win on the issues, so they’re trying to distract voters by repeating debunked attacks on Jacky’s career and lying about her record of bipartisan leadership working across the aisle in Congress.”

Forgey also pointed to an ad Rosen released earlier this month in response to Heller’s allegation that she lied about having a business. Rosen ran a consulting business between 1993 and 2002 that served two main clients, Southwest Gas and Radiology Specialists, according to her campaign.


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