A conservative group is spending a quarter-million dollars to target House Democrats who say they will vote for President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
The American Action Network, a nonprofit with close ties to GOP leadership, is starting an ad campaign on broadcast television in two media markets: Minneapolis, where it will target Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), and San Diego, where the ads will criticize Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). The buy is $100,000 in each market, and each advertisement will run 235 times, in total, Wednesday and Thursday.
The spot criticizes each lawmaker for supporting a deal that AAN says funds terrorism, lifts the missile embargo on Iran and will result in “destabilizing the Middle East.”
“But some in Congress like Rick Nolan are ignoring all the warnings and supporting a deal at any price,” the narrator says. “Call Rick Nolan and tell him to stop siding with Iran.”
The advertisement is an early sign of what conservatives believe will be a major campaign issue in 2016: the Iran agreement. For example, the AAN polled in Nolan’s district and found that 54 percent of voters oppose the Iran agreement, while just 27 percent support it. Nolan won his 2014 race with 48.5 percent of the vote, while his GOP opponent, Stewart Mills, got 47.1 percent of the vote.
“This is a critically important vote beyond just what’s going on this week, this year, this cycle,” said Mike Shields, AAN president. “This is an important vote in history.”
He added, “Anytime you have someone in a congressional district voting against the wishes of his constituents, there could be a price to pay, and that’s what we want the member of Congress to know before the vote. We’re less focused on the political consequences than the historic consequences.”
The group is spending $50,000 on similar digital ads targeting not only Nolan and Peters, but also Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Pete Aguilar of California and Louise Slaughter of New York. Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has already been threatened with a primary challenge because of her support of the Iran deal.
This article was written by Jake Sherman for Politico on Sep. 9, 2015. Jake Sherman is a congressional reporter for POLITICO. He covers the House Republican majority. Since 2009, Jake has chronicled all of the major legislative battles on Capitol Hill, and has also traveled the country to cover the battle for control of Congress.