Democratic super PAC taking its message to radio, Internet in House races

10/09/2016 08:00 AM

A Democratic super PAC is hitting Rep. Denny Butler and other Republicans over charter schools in a series of Web and radio ads.

In the 30-second video from Kentucky Family Values, a male narrator says that “Denny Butler’s political allies want to bankroll private schools for the wealthy with our tax dollars.”

“Kentucky schools belong to us, not wealthy, out-of-state special interests,” the narrator says. “Denny Butler is on their side, not ours.”

The Web ad, posted on the super PAC’s website, can be viewed here:

David Contarino, senior advisor for Kentucky Family Values, said the spot is part of a radio and Internet advertising campaign ahead of the Nov. 8 elections, “essentially doing what we’ve done the last several cycles, special elections and other things, which is trying to do our part to keep Kentucky moving forward.”

He declined to specify other House districts targeted in the buys.

The group’s website lists 15 races for 2016 – House districts 3, 7, 8, 12, 14, 38, 39, 62, 70, 74, 78, 84, 91, 92 and 94 – but Contarino says “that isn’t an exhaustive list by any means.” Butler, R-Louisville, and Rep. Jim Gooch, R-Providence, find themselves in the super PAC’s sights after defecting from the Kentucky Democratic Party after Gov. Matt Bevin won last year’s gubernatorial election.

“As you probably know, our focus is wherever we believe we can make a difference,” Contarino said in a phone interview with Pure Politics on Thursday. “… Districts change as political developments occur, so our focus is on those races where we think we can make a difference and help our candidates win.”

“We’re constantly assessing the political landscape and figuring out where we can best make a difference and show the electorate why we think these are the best candidates — public schools, good wages, good jobs, preserving healthcare for Kentuckians,” he added.

Kentucky Family Values is offering a counterpunch in Butler’s reelection campaign against Democrat McKenzie Cantrell.

A GOP super PAC, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, is spending nearly $115,000 in the Louisville broadcast market boosting Butler’s candidacy. That spot focuses primarily on Democratic scandals involving the likes of Tim Longmeyer, a former aide to Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Andy Beshear who was sentenced to 70 months in prison for his part in a kickback scheme, and John Arnold, a former state representative who resigned after revelations of sexual harassment against three legislative employees.

The Republican group is airing ads elsewhere, with buys indicated in the 23rd, 84th, 91st and 93rd House Districts.

In Butler’s 38th House District race, his opponent is also taking her message to the Internet with a 90-second Web ad.

“I’m fighting for regular working families, for a higher minimum wage, same pay for the same work and family leave in times of need,” Cantrell says in the spot, which can be viewed here:


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