WASHINGTON - April 26 - MoveOn.org Political Action launched the second “red-handed” TV ad in their $1.3 million campaign today, challenging four Representatives who support the Bush administration’s flawed prescription drug plan.
The first wave of ads, which focused on escalating gas prices, drove down support among likely voters for Republican Representatives, according to new tracking polls released today by MoveOn. Incumbent Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson lost eleven points despite spending $70,000 on a response to MoveOn’s ad, and Representative Thelma Drake lost nine points. The tracking polls were conducted by Voter Roll Call, an affiliate of the nation’s largest media polling firm, SurveyUSA. (* full results available on request)
“The goal of this program is to show that when voters learn that their member of Congress sides with big industry over his/her constituents the districts become highly competitive. Based on these initial results, we feel confident that our campaign is very much on track,” said Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn Political Action.
“While we cannot comment on the validity of the actual vote numbers in these districts, given that Voter Roll Call used consistent methodology in both surveys, it is clear that MoveOn’s advertising is having a real impact in these districts,” echoed Anna Greenberg, partner at Washington, DC-based polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
The 3.2 million member organization will spend more than $300,000 on the ad buy this week. The ads show four Republicans caught “red-handed” taking campaign contributions from big drug companies then voting for a plan that protects drug company profits while hurting senior citizens who face rising prescription costs. The prescription drug television ads will air in the following districts: Nancy Johnson (CT-5), Thelma Drake (VA-2), Chris Chocola (IN-2) and Deborah Pryce (OH-15).
“Last month, MoveOn ran ads showing Rep. Drake’s addiction to oil company money while we pay more at the pump. Today, we see that she also sides with big drug companies while some seniors have to chose between paying their rent and paying for medication,” said Guy Sturino, a MoveOn member and community leader who has lived and worked in Virgina’s 2nd district for more than 10 years.
“We need someone who’ll represent the people of the 2nd District of Virginia, not the big drug companies who fund Congresswoman Drake’s campaigns,” he concluded.
“Medicare would have been able to negotiate much lower prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies if Congress hadn’t voted to prohibit it. This bill raises the cost to seniors across the country by tens of billions each year,” said Dean Baker, an economist and Medicare expert who co-directs the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.