A conservative fundraising group with ties to GOP strategist Karl Rove is launching a TV media buy later this week to boost Republican Rep. Dan Lungren's bid to win re-election in the 3rd Congressional District.
American Crossroads and its affiliate, Crossroads GPS, have saturated the airwaves across the country with TV ads to aid Republican candidates, including Senate candidate Carly Fiorina.
The efforts have come under fire from Democrats, including President Barack Obama and campaign watchdogs who blast the groups for using their nonprofit status to circumvent campaign donor disclosure requirements while spending unlimited amounts. (For his part, Lungren said recently that he supports lifting contribution limits while requiring immediate reporting "so that everybody could know where you get the money.")
Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said the criticism from top Democrats had resulted in a surge of $13.3 million in contributions in just one week. That money has been used to expand the group's reach in congressional races, including adding media buys in Lungren's district.
"Lungren has been the recipient for a lot of negative advertising exposure, and our efforts seek to go in and level the playing field a bit," Collegio said.
Collegio said the spot, which has not been released yet, will hit the airwaves Friday.
Democrat Ami Bera, has been airing television spots attacking Lungren on his pension and his use of campaign funds to attend a 2008 aviation conference in Hawaii. The seat is a top target for Democrats, considered by some campaign observers as one of the few Republican-held congressional seats in play this cycle.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lungren participates in a candidates forum sponsored by The Jewish Community Council and the League of Women Voters, held at la Sierra Community Center, Thursday Oct. 23, 2008. Brian Baer, Sacramento Bee.