Mack hits Nelson for vote that funded cocaine research on monkeys [VIDEO]

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Most Republicans on the campaign trail attack their Democratic opponents on votes for higher taxes, high unemployment numbers under President Obama, or other pocketbook issues.

Not Florida Rep. Connie Mack.

The Senate candidate is taking a slightly different tack: going after his opponent on the subject of monkeys and cocaine.

Mack attacked Sen. Bill Nelson in his first television spot for voting for the president’s 2009 stimulus bill, which included funding for things that some might consider less than essential.

“When Bill Nelson voted for the stimulus … he voted for millions in wasteful spending,” says the ad’s narrator, “including spending our tax dollars to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine.”

According to the ad, $144,541 went to fund this research.

“Hey Bill Nelson, stop monkeying around with our tax dollars,” the narrator says (after a montage of monkeys plays, of course).

The statistic comes from a report called Summertime Blues, compiled by Republican Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn, which examined the ways money was allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — some of which the report suggests served “questionable goals.” Getting monkeys high on cocaine, for instance.

The study in question is meant to examine the effects of cocaine on a specific neurotransmitter. The monkeys studied in the research already have a long-term addiction to cocaine. Scientists hope the work leads to a better understanding of how to treat recovering cocaine addicts — the human kind.

Incidentally, Mack is not the first Senate candidate to address the issue of animals and cocaine this campaign season. In January, Wisconsin Senate hopeful Mark Neumann called for the defunding of a National Institutes of Health grant to the University of Kentucky for a study on how cocaine impacts the sex drive of the Japanese quail.



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