Like previous ads from the Democrats, the one-minute ad shows clips of Kelly’s past comments. This latest ad is a $340,000, three-week buy from the House Majority Pac.
Kelly faces Democrat Ron Barber in the June 12 special election in Congressional District 8 to complete the term of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned in January to focus on her recovery from being shot in the head.
The new ad starts with a video of Kelly saying he identifies more with the Tea Party than the Republican party.
“Who is Jesse Kelly and what does he stand for?” the narrator asks.
The ad includes video clips of Kelly saying that “we cannot continue to squeeze and punish the rich in this country;” advocating for a zero percent corporate tax rate; and proposing elimination of the minimum wage.
And like past ads in opposition of Kelly, the ad includes a clip of Kelly calling Medicare and Social Security “the biggest Ponzi schemes in history” and advocating to “reform it, to privatize it, to phase it out.”
“Jesse Kelly: too many dangerous ideas. Too extreme for us,” the narrator says at the end of the ad.
Two-years removed from those comments, Kelly’s been doing all he can this campaign to reassure voters that he can be trusted to preserve those two programs. He says he’s always been committed to preserving benefits seniors have earned and plans to do that by cultivating more American energy, which will grow the economy.
To clarify his commitment to the programs, he’s revised his website and added yellow stickers to his campaign signs with the words, “Protect Medicare.”
But, his opinion on whether to offer younger workers with the option of putting a portion of their contribution into personal retirement accounts remains unclear.
A section on his website advocating that option was recently removed. His spokesman, John Ellinwood, wouldn’t explain why. But, in a questionnaire published this week by the Sahuarita Sun, Kelly reiterated his support for offering a private option.
“Going forward we should allow younger workers the choice of placing a portion of their contributions into a personal account — similar to the current Federal Thrift Savings Plan,” Kelly wrote.
The Democrats say Kelly’s attempts to make his past proposals disappear won’t work.
“Jesse Kelly may now be working overtime to deny his full-throated support for extreme policies, but as Warner Wolf famously said, ‘let’s go to the videotape,’” said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of the House Majority Pac, in a press release.
The new ad from the Democrats is a diversion tactic, said Ellinwood, Kelly’s spokesman.
"The Democrats in D.C. are desperate because they cannot run on their failed policies of the last three years,” Ellinwood said in an emailed statement. “They are attacking Jesse in an effort to distract voters from Kelly's plan to grow the economy and reduce gas prices."
From Arizona Daily Star on May 10, 2012.