New ad bashes David Rouzer over connections with lobbyists

September 12, 2012

A Democratic group is taking aim at Republican David Rouzer’s former work as a lobbyist and his work with lobbyists as a state senator.

In a new ad, titled “Stinks,” House Majority PAC uses newspaper clips from The Fayetteville Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh to try to paint a picture of Rouzer as a lobbyist turned politician who has special interests at heart rather than his constituents.

Rouzer, a state senator from Johnston County, is challenging U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat, in the November election in the 7th Congressional District. Rouzer worked as a lobbyist for tobacco companies in Washington, D.C., before he became a state senator.

“Another lobbyist politician giving access to special interests and taking their campaign cash does stink, and it’s the last thing we need in Washington,” the ad states.

House Majority PAC is spending $55,000 on the ad, which is running in the Wilmington market now.

The ad cites a 2011 editorial from The Fayetteville Observer which criticizes Rouzer for holding a fundraiser for his congressional campaign at the home of a General Assembly lobbyist in Raleigh, while Rouzer was a member of the General Assembly.

State laws prohibit lobbyists from giving to candidates for the General Assembly, but there is no prohibition against those same lobbyists giving to congressional campaigns, even if the candidate is a sitting member of the General Assembly. Read a StarNews story about that situation here.

The ad also references an article from The News & Observer that details changes in state law regarding the way the state can purchase ground maintenance, construction, forestry and communications equipment.

While the story focuses on farm-type equipment, it mentions that Rouzer “allowed the bill to be amended to include communications equipment at the request of a lobbyist for communications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent.”

Lawmakers modify bills routinely based on lobbyists’ requests.

In its response, the Rouzer campaign pointed out that the News & Observer “headline” used in the ad – “Rouzer let lobbyists rewrite legislation” – wasn’t the actual headline on the story and that those words don’t appear anywhere in the article.

“I would think the News & Observer would be outraged to have one of their articles so blatantly misrepresented, though it isn’t surprising coming from McIntyre’s camp,” Rouzer spokeswoman Jessica Wood said in a prepared statement. “Sadly, voters are used to these kinds of distortions from his campaign — he says one thing while he’s home and then goes to Washington and falls in line voting for Barack Obama’s stimulus packages and with Nancy Pelosi. That’s why voters are tired of politicians like Mike McIntyre and are ready to send someone new to Congress.”

Note: The ad didn’t come from the McIntyre campaign. It was paid for by the House Majority PAC, a Democratic “super-PAC” trying to ensure that Democrats win control of the U.S. House in 2012.