Ads for and against Trump tax plan hit key swing states

The Washington Times Daily - - FUNNIES - BY SALLY PER­SONS

It’s not a ma­jor elec­tion year, but vot­ers in Mis­souri, Wis­con­sin and In­di­ana — three states with Demo­cratic U.S. sen­a­tors Repub­li­cans hope to oust next year — are start­ing to see cam­paign-style ads telling them to sup­port Repub­li­cans’ new tax over­haul at­tempt.

“Peo­ple are sick of pol­i­tics. I am too. But fix­ing our bro­ken tax sys­tem isn’t about pol­i­tics, it’s about help­ing peo­ple,” the nar­ra­tor says in one new ad from Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­ity. “It means av­er­age Amer­i­cans will have more to spend on what’s im­por­tant to them.”

“Eighty per­cent of the tax cuts go to the top 1 per­cent,” coun­ters Pri­or­i­ties USA, a lib­eral-lean­ing group, in its own new ad run­ning in sev­eral key states in­clud­ing Ne­vada and Ari­zona, where two Re­pub­li­can sen­a­tors are up for re-elec­tion next year.

The group’s ad fea­tures mid­dle-class fam­i­lies and work­ers who claim that the tax cuts will only ben­e­fit the wealthy and cor­po­rate Amer­ica while the mid­dle class will end up pay­ing more.

As ac­tion on Capi­tol Hill heats up on tax re­form, deep-pock­eted in­ter­est groups are rush­ing to re­in­force sen­a­tors and go on the at­tack, hop­ing to sway Amer­i­cans back home, and thereby shape the de­bate in Wash­ing­ton.

The big­gest tar­gets are swing state law­mak­ers from both par­ties who are up for elec­tion in 2018.

The AFP ads are part of a $4.5 mil­lion cam­paign run­ning on cable and lo­cal air­waves in ad­di­tion to a dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia plat­form dur­ing the next three weeks, tar­get­ing Sens. Claire McCaskill of Mis­souri, Tammy Bald­win of Wis­con­sin and Joe Don­nelly of In­di­ana.

A spokesman for AFP says tax­pay­ers will pun­ish sen­a­tors who fail to sup­port the GOP’s tax over­haul ef­fort.

“We’re in touch with mil­lions of hard-work­ing tax­pay­ers that want as­sur­ance from Sens. Don­nelly, McCaskill and Bald­win that we can count on them to sup­port this plan. If not, there will be con­se­quences,” Levi Russell, spokesman for AFP, said.

But lib­eral groups say the tax plan the GOP is pur­su­ing is tilted to­ward the wealthy and cor­po­ra­tions, while lower-in­come Amer­i­cans will suf­fer.

“A lot of fam­i­lies like ours will pay more,” says one man in the Pri­or­i­ties USA ad.

A dif­fer­ent man calls out Pres­i­dent Trump di­rectly, say­ing “no early morn­ing tweet” can make the plan any bet­ter.

Such ad cam­paigns used to be stan­dard for many ma­jor de­bates on Capi­tol Hill, but with me­dia so frag­mented thanks to the rise of the in­ter­net and view­er­ship split between so many op­tions, big TV cam­paigns aren’t as fre­quent.

The tax is­sue, though, is draw­ing in big play­ers. “We have a wide ar­ray of tac­tics avail­able to us and uti­lize the most ef­fec­tive strat­egy on a case-by­case ba­sis. In this in­stance, we de­cided that a TV cam­paign fol­lowed by dig­i­tal ads would be the most ef­fec­tive strat­egy to com­mu­ni­cate about Trump’s plan to raise taxes on mil­lions of mid­dle-class fam­i­lies while giv­ing a mas­sive tax cut to him­self and the rich­est Amer­i­cans,” said Pri­or­i­ties USA spokesman Josh Sch­w­erin.

His group also spent “hun­dreds of thou­sands” on health care ads across the coun­try and in in­di­vid­ual states.

Chris Mas­si­cotte, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at DSPo­lit­i­cal, said au­di­ences are in­creas­ingly get­ting their in­for­ma­tion from dig­i­tal sources, so an on­line strat­egy is im­por­tant.

“[A] tax de­bate reach­ing the right au­di­ence with a high enough fre­quency will re­quire a strong dig­i­tal in­vest­ment along with tele­vi­sion,” he added.

Re­pub­li­can lead­ers are des­per­ate for a win af­ter sev­eral failed pol­icy at­tempts this year, in­clud­ing re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare. Some con­ser­va­tive groups are so frus­trated that they have called on Sen­ate lead­er­ship to “step aside” so new lead­ers can come for­ward and hope­fully ac­com­plish some­thing like tax re­form.

But con­gres­sional lead­ers say they’re more con­fi­dent Repub­li­cans can rally around this is­sue than oth­ers like health care or im­mi­gra­tion.

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