GARY MILLER: Super PAC ads target congressman on immigration

July 30, 2013

SACRAMENTO — The election is more than 15 months away, but a Democrat-aligned super PAC already has spent almost $87,000 on TV ads criticizing Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

House Majority PAC announced earlier this month that it was launching commercials on Spanish-language stations accusing Miller and two other Republicans in districts with large Latino populations — Mike Coffman, of Colorado, and Joe Heck, of Nevada — of being anti-immigrant.

About one-third of voters in Miller’s 31st Congressional District are Latino, according to Political Data Inc., which provides voter registration data to campaigns.

Miller, who represented a safely Republican district based in Orange County during the past decade, moved to run in the redrawn 31st last year. The Rancho Cucamonga-to-Redlands district, though, has strong Democratic leanings, and Miller is viewed as one of the most endangered House Republicans in 2014.

No other California congressional district has had any super PAC spending so far, federal election records show.

“With the American people looking for a sensible, rational approach to immigration reform, Gary Miller, Mike Coffman and Joe Heck are offering anything but,” Andy Stone, the House Majority PAC spokesman, said in a statement.

A Miller campaign spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The anti-Miller ads mark the CD-31 advertising debut for House Majority PAC. The committee and other pro-Democrat groups sat out the district’s June 2012 six-person primary race. Two Republicans — Miller and then-state Sen. Bob Dutton — topped the field.

The latest spending is only a sample of the super PAC activity to come.

In last year’s fight in Riverside County’s 36th Congressional District, House Majority PAC alone spent more than $500,000 targeting then-Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs. There was about $3.5 million in super PAC activity overall.