Steve Southerland Becomes First Target Of Democrats Post-Shutdown

October 21, 2013

Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) has the dubious distinction of being Democrats’ first target in the aftermath of the government shutdown.

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to help Democrats win control of the House of Representatives, released a TV ad on Monday hitting Southerland for voting against the bipartisan legislation to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

“These guys don’t get it — their games are hurting real people,” says the narrator. “Yet when Congress finally ended the shutdown, Steve Southerland voted no. He voted to let the country default on its obligations.”

The ad also lambastes Southerland for saying his $174,000 salary is “not so much.”

“Steve Southerland’s reckless Tea Party government shutdown cost our economy $24 billion, yet rather than back a bipartisan plan to end this manmade debacle, Southerland actually voted to drive our nation off an economic cliff,” Andy Stone, communications director for House Majority PAC, said in a statement. “The jobs, retirement accounts and wellbeing of families, seniors and veterans in north and northwest Florida apparently didn’t merit Steve Southerland’s concern — even though Southerland was still getting his taxpayer-funded salary.”

Southerland voted against the compromise that was ultimately passed last week, saying he didn’t feel it was a long-term solution.

“I had no choice but to oppose Senator Reid’s bill because it provides short-term spending without addressing the long-term drivers of this shutdown, including an exploding national debt and glaring inequalities under the president’s health care law,” Southerland said. “I simply can’t justify to my constituents a system where corporations and labor unions deserve a one-year compliance delay and government officials get special premium subsidies while average American families receive neither. I hope both parties in Washington learned a lesson from this shutdown and we get serious about addressing these issues before again bringing the nation to the brink.”

The ad, called “Their Games,” will run for two weeks in Tallahassee, at a cost of more than $70,000. It debuts on the same day as a rough poll for the GOP, which shows that in the wake of the shutdown, more than half of Americans think that Republican control of the House of Representatives is bad for the country.

Southerland’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.