Dems and liberal groups target Kline and Cravaack with ads


WASHINGTON – With Congress on spring recess, opponents of Republican Reps. John Kline and Chip Cravaack are welcoming the pair back to Minnesota with ads attacking their recent votes for a Republican budget outline.

Kline is not typically a target of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House. But national Democrats think that redistricting, which eliminated some conservative-leaning parts of Kline’s 2nd District and added some potentially Democratic voters in South St. Paul, may make the five term member of Congress vulnerable.

The DCCC’s radio ad asks, “Did you know Congressman John Kline voted twice to essentially end Medicare to give tax breaks to millionaires. Tell Kline to fight for Medicare!”

All four Minnesota Republicans serving in the U.S. House voted last week on a budget that would convert Medicare from an insurance program backed by the federal government to one in which seniors could get government vouchers to buy private health insurance with. The plan also envisions broad tax cuts but eliminates unspecified tax breaks.

Cravaack’s vote for the budget plan is also a central component of TV ads airing this week in the Duluth area paid for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Americans United for Change.

The ad says, “[Cravaack] voted to cut Medicare benefits to give millionaires and big oil companies another tax break!”

The ads against Cravaack and Kline are part of wider campaigns. AFSCME is spending $50,000 to target Cravaack and three other Midwestern Republicans. The DCCC won’t say how much it’s spending on radio ads against Kline, but it’s also targeting seven other House Republicans who could be facing competitive races this fall.

UPDATE According to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the DCCC spent just $100 to broadcast its ads against Kline, part of a low-cost strategy designed to attract media attention.

“Minnesota families can’t even buy a tank of gas on what the DCCC is spending on this campaign to scare seniors,” said NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek.

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