Chandler's first ad of the fall plays up votes on budget and blocking pay increases

08/14/2012 04:05 PM

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler began airing his first TV advertisement of the fall campaign on Tuesday. Chandler bought $48,485 worth of advertising Tuesday through Sunday on affiliates and cable in the Lexington market.

Chandler is facing a replay of the 2010 race against Republican Andy Barr, the Lexington lawyer who launched his first wave of TV ads on Tuesday as well. Chandler defeated Barr by 648 votes two years ago.

Chandler’s first spot is a positive ad that highlights his vote for a balanced budget amendment as well as his vote against a congressional pay raises. It also cites how he held down his office spending and returned $500,000 to tax payers.

Here are how the claims check out:

The ad says Chandler voted in favor of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and he did vote with 260 others in the House to pass the amendment on to the U.S. Senate where it ultimately was defeated.

Chandler’s ad claims that he “voted against every congressional pay raise.” The most recent vote was April 27, 2010 when Chandler voted with 401 other members in favor of a resolution to block congressional pay increases.

Chandler’s ad said that he, “held down his office spending to return over half-a-million dollars to taxpayers.”

Each congressman is allotted a per year members’ representational allowance or MRA that acts like a budget for office supplies, staffing, and mail figures according to the U.S. House disbursements website. For the 2011 federal fiscal year, the MRA ranged from $1.3 million to 1.9 million.

Chandler’s campaign said the $500,000 figure is the amount Chandler has returned to the federal coffers since voters first elected him in a February 2004 special election. Chandler took over the seat from Republican Ernie Fletcher, who had defeated Chandler in the governor’s race three months earlier.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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