• OH-Gov: Things sound pretty rough for Democrat Ed FitzGerald, who's reportedly losing many of his top staffers and consultants, including his campaign manager and communications director, just seven weeks before the start of early voting in Ohio. These departures, though, are just outward symptoms of severe, ongoing problems.
For one, FitzGerald has a serious lack of campaign cash that may keep him off the air after Labor Day. For another, FitzGerald's public image has taken a serious hit after recent revelations that he went a decade without a valid driver's license but drove vehicles paid for by taxpayers during that time. Making matters worse, he repeatedly punished his own employees for the exact same offense.
The Republican Governors Association is pouncing on this serious lapse in judgment with a new ad that features clips of TV news anchors discussing the story, as well as man-on-the-street interviews from those same news reports with folks who pronounce the whole episode "shady." The spot also references the fact that FitzGerald's campaign was anything but forthcoming about the whole affair. With his communications staff heading for the exits, answering those questions won't get any easier.
Meanwhile Republican Gov. John Kasich, who FitzGerald is hoping to unseat, goes positive. His spot features a police officer describing Kasich as tough, but effective. Interestingly, the guy says that when Kasich came into office he upset many working people, including him, but the governor listened to his critics. Seems like a reference to the 2011 SB-05 debacle, and Kasich's subsequent recovery. (David Nir & Jeff Singer)
Head below the fold for more.
• AR-Sen: The battle over which candidate hates sick children continues. Senate Majority PAC spent several million dollars a few weeks ago accusing Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of voting against funding a children's hospital. Cotton responded, saying that he voted for the funding and that Pryor was the one who voted against it. Now the DSCC is up on the air, stating that there was only one vote on the hospital funding and Cotton not only voted against it, he's lying. Patriot Majority also is spending $202,000 against Cotton.
• CO-Sen: NextGen Climate hits Republican Rep. Cory Gardner on climate change, same sex marriage, birth control, and abortion.
• GA-Sen: Democrat Michelle Nunn takes a page from the Obama playbook and portrays Republican rival David Perdue as someone who got rich off other people's misery. The spot features residents of the small town of Kannapolis describing how Perdue took over Pillowtex, a major source of local jobs. In less than a year, the Pillowtex factory closed and Perdue left with millions, while thousands in Kannapolis lost their jobs.
• IA-Sen: NextGen Climate ties Republican Joni Ernst to Big Oil once again.
• KY-Sen: The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition has two spots out (here and here). The first spot ties Democrat Alison Grimes to Obama and to interests described as "anti-coal." The second spot praises Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for working to get rid of the estate tax (which the narrator, like pretty much every Republican, calls the "death tax.")
• MN-Sen: Republican Mike McFadden has an interesting approach to the usual "My opponent votes with the president" trope. The spot portrays Democratic Sen. Al Franken as driving a car with a boat attached and repeatedly missing and hitting things, with the narrator describing Franken's voting record. It's a lot more creative and memorable than the usual fare.
• NC-Sen: Senate Majority PAC shells out another $254,000 against Republican Thom Tillis.
• NH-Sen: Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen talks about her bill to help families save money on child care.
• OR-Sen: Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley talks about fighting big interests that could have taken away jobs.
• SD-Sen: Democrat Rick Weiland has a 15-second ad, using his small car campaign vehicle as a contrast to Republican Mike Rounds' big campaign bus to call for taking big money out of politics.
• Crossroads: Crossroads GPS goes after several Democrats, each with a unique spot. For Arkansas, the group hits Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Social Security and Medicare. In Colorado, Crossroads goes after Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Obamacare. In Iowa, the organization spends $412,000 hitting Rep. Bruce Braley for missing votes on the Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Crossroads also plays in two California House races it previously announced it would target. CA-07 Rep. Ami Bera is hit on Obamacare, while CA-52 Rep. Scott Peters is criticized on taxes and spending.
• AZ-Gov: Two Republican primary contenders have another spot a week away from the Aug. 26 primary. Treasurer Doug Ducey is praised by former Sen. Jon Kyl and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. An ad for former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith features Gov. Jan Brewer endorsing him.
• CT-Gov: Republican Tom Foley hits Gov. Dan Malloy on the condition of the state economy.
• FL-Gov: Holy crap, a positive ad?! Republican Gov. Rick Scott features veterans praising his military background, with the governor popping in to talk about his work to help both active-duty soldiers and state veterans.
• IA-Gov: Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is seen as the clear favorite to win over Democrat Jack Hatch, but he's taking no chances, reserving $2.5 million in fall advertising.
• KS-Gov: The RGA portrays Democrat Paul Davis as a tax-loving Obama clone.
• MA-Gov: Democrat Don Berwick stresses his accomplishments as a physician and combating medical errors. In the middle of the spot, the narrator describes how his efforts against errors saved over 100,000 lives: Way to bury the lede there.
• RI-Gov: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hits both Democratic primary rivals, Treasurer Gina Raimondo and former Obama administration official Clay Pell.
• IL-12: Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart is out with his first spot, describing his service as head of the state National Guard during catastrophic flooding, as well as his service in Congress.
• IN-02: Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski continues to run on bipartisan themes, this time emphasizing her support for the Violence Against Women Act.
• MA-06: Vote Vets has a local World War II veteran praising fellow soldier Seth Moulton for his service. Seth Moulton is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. John Tierney in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.
• NY-01: Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop spends half his spot going positive on jobs, and the second half bashing Republican rival Lee Zeldin on tax cuts for the wealthy.
• NY-19: Democrat Sean Eldridge is going on the air with his first two spots (here and here). Both are positive, stressing Eldridge's love for the Hudson Valley and subtly pushing back on attempts to portray him as a carpetbagger. Eldridge lays out his agenda in both, emphasizing getting special interest money out of politics.
• NY-23: Republican Rep. Tom Reed portrays Democratic foe Martha Robertson as a crazy liberal, with a very strange cartoon of Robertson driving around in a hippie car as the narrator sarcastically ads hippie slang. And here I thought in this day and age the only person who hated hippies this much was Eric Cartman!