American Crossroads pumps $250,000 into Nevada special election

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Two days before early voting begins in the special election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, American Crossroads is out with a new web video, as part of a $250,000 independent expenditure attacking the Democratic candidate Kate Marshall.

The web video uses a particularly unflattering clip of Marshall, the state treasurer, (which was used in an earlier ad put out by the National Republican Congressional Committee), in which Marshall says: “I’m in charge of your money. You have less money today than you had yesterday.”

“With Nevada families hurting, what does state treasurer Kate Marshall have to say?” says the announcer in the ad, which then cuts to the clip of Marshall making that statement. “Under Kate Marshall, Nevada taxpayers have lost $25 million investing with a failed Wall Street bank. And Kate Marshall has increased spending in her Nevada treasurer’s office more than a million dollars. Kate Marshall’s big spending and wasted tax dollars: Not what we need more of in Washington.”

After each sentence, the clip of Marshall saying “You have less money,” repeats.

The statement was made when Marshall was addressing a Douglas County Democrats Keep Nevada Blue dinner. Marshall’s communications director James Hallinan explained that Marshall was “empathizing with what everyone in the room was experiencing: The economy had tanked causing people to have less money at home. The same thing was happening for the state’s budget with the economy crashing and less revenue coming in as a result.”

Hallinan slammed the ad as false. (RELATED: Marshall campaign mistakenly leaves note in statement explaining political strategy)

“Recycling bogus and debunked claims in a desperate attempt to distract from Mark Amodei’s failed record of serious ethics problems, a billion dollar tax increase package and plan to gut Medicare won’t fool Nevadans. And it won’t change the truth about Kate Marshall’s ethical and fiscally responsible record,” he said. “While Mark Amodei has voted for job-killing taxes and created a clear pattern of conflicts of interest while a state legislator, Kate Marshall has made millions on her investments for this Nevada and created and worked to pass a jobs bill for the Silver State.”

A big part of the American Crossroads expenditure is devoted to get-out-the-vote efforts, reaching out to voters “by mail, phone and internet advertising to promote the website www.MeetKateMarshall.com, with a special focus on making likely voters aware of early voting locations,” according to the Crossroads press release.

Such efforts are important, because, as University of Nevada, Reno, political science Professor Eric Herzik explained, “Turnout is THE factor in the race.” Lacking, “overwhelming interest,” in the race, getting people to the polls is a big concern, as turnout is expected to be low.

Republicans have a large voter registration in the district, which has had a Republican representative since its inception. As Jonathan Collegio, communications director for American Crossroads, explained, there are certainly enough Republicans and enough dislike of Obama in the district to propel Mark Amodei, the Republican candidate, to victory. But because of the turnout issue, “it’s mostly a matter of getting them to the polls.

To that end, American Crossroads is directing people to the website, using mailers and phone calls and targeted internet ads, which has the information people need to vote early.

“Kate Marshall and Barack Obama both share the notorious ability to make taxpayer money disappear into thin air — Obama through bad policies and Marshall through bad management,” said Collegio. “The last thing Nevadans need is to elect a rubber stamp like Kate Marshall to help Barack Obama make the economy even worse.”

Collegio said that the group’s involvement at this point in the race was standard practice.

“We’ve been involved in special elections in the past, and we wanted to make sure and impact this one in a positive way,” he said.

Amodei’s communications director Peter DeMarco said American Crossroads’ involvement “reinforces the opportunity for victory not just in this special election but as a precursor for next year.”

“Nevada’s a battleground state, so,” he predicted, “it’s sends a clear sign that Republicans intend to not only compete heavily, but also to win.”

The NRCC has also spent a significant sum of money on independent expenditures attacking Marshall.

Early voting in the special election to replace Dean Heller, who was appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy left by former Sen. John Ensign’s resignation, begins Saturday. Election day is September 13.

See the ad here: