Democrat Denny Heck has launched his second television ad in the 10th Congressional District race, flexing the financial muscle of his well-funded campaign that now has raised almost $2 million. The ad, like the first one, plays with humor – mocking the gridlocked Congress and suggesting that Heck will bring a different perspective and result.
The campaign of rival Republican Dick Muri of Steilacoom is not amused, saying it spotted lobbyists in the first ad and complaining that as much as $100,000 of Heck’s nearly $2 million is from Democrats serving in or retired from Congress.
Indeed one person pulling rope in the congressional tug-of-war depicted in the first ad is Olympia-based labor lobbyist Cody Arledge.
Muri’s campaign also is taking a shot at Heck over his receipt of $97,250 from sitting or retired members of Congress (which I’ll get to further below).
The second ad doesn’t say how Heck intends to get around gridlock:
The 10th district is Washington’s newest, created to rebalance populations among states after the 2010 Census. Heck and Muri emerged in August from the six-candidate primary, and the two men (who both have public service records) have sharply differing views on everything from climate change to taxes, job creation and health care reform.
They also have financial backing that is worlds apart. New campaign finance reports at the Federal Election Commission show Heck can easily afford the ads – and many more before the Nov. 6 election. The report filed last week through mid-October says Heck has raised $1,936,112 total, including $100,000 loaned from own pockets. The report also says he spent about $1.8 million which includes four mailings to voters before the August primary and a flood of television advertising this month.
Big outlays this month included $60,893 to Dixon Davis Media Group in Washington, D.C., for video work and about $751,700 to Media Strategies and Research in Fairfax, Va., for television advertising.
Muri, a retired Air Force officer and member of the Pierce County Council, has raised just $243,753 for a campaign that never caught fire with national Republicans. He’s also struggled to draw interest from in-state Republican donors.
As we’ve reported before, Muri intends a single targeted mailer to undecided voters.
But Muri’s campaign is trying to use that financial disadvantage to attack Heck over taking contributions from members of a Congress he is criticizing (albeit not of the party he is criticizing).
The campaign produced a spreadsheet of congressional donors to Heck total $97,250. That includes $16,500 came from House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (from his campaign PAC and another called AmeriPAC) of Maryland; $14,000 from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (from her campaign PAC and another called PAC to the Future); $14,000 from two PACs associated with Rep. James Clyburn (assistant Democratic leader) of South Carolina; and smaller amounts from Northwest members.
The campaign’s analysis shows that soon-to-retire Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington’s 6th district contributed $7,500 to Heck. Former member Brian Baird who represented the 3rd district through 2010 and now lives in Edmonds gave $4,000 out of his accounts last year. U.S. Rep. Adam Smith in the 9th district (now living in Bellevue) also gave $1,000 out of a committee account.
Muri’s campaign also put out a news release slamming Heck’s ties to Washington, D.C., insiders at a time his campaign theme is “Give Congress Heck.’’ The release says, in part:
But Heck’s spokesman, Phil Gardner, said Heck has broad support:
In another week we’ll see what the voters think. Ballots are to be returned Nov. 6.