Newspaper article Roll Call

North Dakota; Montana; Nevada; Maine; South Carolina ; New Heitkamp Spot Tackles Health Care; Democrats Launch TV Ad Hitting Rehberg; Heller Launches First Ad, a Positive Spot; Ex-Gov. Angus King Way Up in New Poll; No Democratic Runoff in New 7th District

Newspaper article Roll Call

North Dakota; Montana; Nevada; Maine; South Carolina ; New Heitkamp Spot Tackles Health Care; Democrats Launch TV Ad Hitting Rehberg; Heller Launches First Ad, a Positive Spot; Ex-Gov. Angus King Way Up in New Poll; No Democratic Runoff in New 7th District

Article excerpt

Just days before the Supreme Court is expected to make a highly anticipated ruling on the health care law, former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) took on the controversial issue in a new television ad.

Heitkamp, who faces freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R) in the open-seat Senate race, invokes her personal experience beating breast cancer 12 years ago in the 30-second spot.

"When you live through that, political attack ads seem silly," she says in her straight-to-camera appeal. "I would never vote to take away a senior's health care or limit anyone's care. There's good and bad in the health care law, and it needs to be fixed. But Rick Berg voted to go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage to kids or for pre-existing conditions."

The ad is notable because Democratic candidates running in conservative states typically avoid discussing the health care law altogether, let alone pay for airtime promoting it. Additionally, Republicans have criticized Heitkamp for championing the legislation a couple of years ago.

But the spot also gives hints at how Democrats will discuss the controversial law during the 2012 campaign in the wake of the high court's upcoming decision. A top Senate Democratic aide confirmed they expect more candidates to discuss the individual negative effects of repealing parts of the health care law no matter how the Supreme Court rules.

The spot will run on statewide broadcast channels starting this week.

The Montana Democratic Party will begin running a television ad today accusing Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) of protecting Wall Street's interests over Montana's.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee directed funds to the state party, which paid $400,000 to air the spot until July 9.

"After 12 years in Washington, D.C., Dennis Rehberg's forgotten where he comes from," the ad's announcer says, "because Rehberg voted for billions in tax breaks to big bankers on Wall Street."

The announcer then directs viewers to contact Rehberg's Congressional office.

The tone of the ad is vastly different from the positive spots Sen. Jon Tester (D) has been running since March.

This is the third state where the DSCC has spent money on TV ads. It aired its first independent expenditure of the cycle in North Dakota in April, and the DSCC IE has placed another statewide buy in North Dakota to run Tuesday to July 2. It also directed funds to the Indiana Democratic Party last week to assist Rep. Joe Donnelly's Senate campaign.

There has been a flurry of activity on the Nevada airwaves in recent weeks, with the presidential campaigns, outside groups and now both Senate campaigns on TV.

Sen. Dean Heller (R) launched the first TV ad of his bid for a full term on Sunday. It's a positive spot that urges the Senate to pass a budget, and Heller closes the ad by saying: "It's time Washington delivered on something. …

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