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article imageOp-Ed: Mark Pryor releases new ad blaming opponent for spread of Ebola

By John Presta     Aug 27, 2014 in Politics
Little Rock - Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK) is once again on the offensive in attacking his opponent, freshman U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AK). Last week Pryor released an ad attacking Cotton for opposing the "pre-existing conditions" portion of the Affordable Care Act.
A new ad released today by the Pryor campaign is blaming his opponent for the unchecked spread of Ebola in Africa, by "cutting billions from our nation's medical disaster and emergency programs." Flashing on-screen are the words: "Only one against pandemic response." The vote referred to is a January 2013 re-authorization of public health and emergency programs in which Cotton was one of 29 House members to vote "no."
While Pryor has previously attacked Cotton for "such votes," this time Pryor's campaign effectively used the word "Ebola" to the attack, enhancing the impact. Forcing the Cotton campaign to quickly respond. Cotton spokesman David Ray shot back: "Sen. Pryor's desperation is comical. In Sen. Pryor's world, he doesn't have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90 percent of the time."
Adding sarcastically that Pryor wants "Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness."
This second ad released in two weeks is highly effective in defining his opponent as an uncaring, insensitive Republican. The ad may be a sign of things to come in other hotly-contested United States Senate races, particularly in states like Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina. The second ad is getting plenty of "free play" as the media has picked up coverage and leaving Cotton defenseless releasing a tepid, sarcastic response.
A closer look at this vote shows that it can be problematic for the campaign, since Cotton was one of the few to vote against this bipartisan bill with unanimous Democratic support. Cotton could be tagged as an extremist in this vote, since some of the most right-wing members of the House agreed with him. Tea Party-leaning members of the House of Representatives; Rep. James Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, Rep. Tom Graves of Indiana, and even Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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