Proxy war continues in 6th District as NRCC volleys with robocall against Chandler

08/09/2011 08:19 PM

Just to be clear, the congressional election in the 6th District is next year.

It might be hard for Central Kentucky residents in the 6th District to tell because this summer they’ve seen TV commercials bashing Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, heard radio ads criticizing Republican challenger Andy Barr and now are receiving automated phone calls slamming Chandler.

The National Republican Congressional Committee launched robocalls in the 6th District a day after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee started running radio ads aimed at Barr.

The Republican robocalls claim Chandler “continues to oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment that would force Washington to live within its means.”

“Ben Chandler and his fellow Democrats’ addiction to big government spending has led to a downgrade of America’s credit rating and a dramatic loss in the global markets that could force you to pay more for everyday expenses,” the recorded call says. It urges people to call Chandler’s office.

Both parties have been stretching the truth in their claims against the 6th District candidates.

Chandler is a member of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats who have proposed a amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to balance its budget with specific provisions that call for protecting funding for Medicare and Social Security.

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ radio ad aimed at Barr accuses him of supporting a plan to “end Medicare.” In fact, the GOP plan referenced would change the program’s benefit structure for future retirees who are younger than 55 and wouldn’t affect current retirees.

Chandler defeated Barr by 648 votes in one of the closest congressional races in the country last year. Barr, a Lexington lawyer, announced in June that he planned to run again in 2012.

One other note: It’s unclear whether all of the robocalls the NRCC has launched will be received by 6th District voters because the district lines will be redrawn before the 2012 election.

The state legislature must rewrite the lines based on the 2010 Census numbers, which showed the 6th District about 36,000 voters over the target number of constituents of about 723,228.

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