Politico reported yesterday that American Action Network, a 501c(4) group founded by former senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), is buying up ad time on Indianapolis television to run ads against Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock. Mourdock a Republican Senate candidate challenging incumbent senator Dick Lugar for the GOP nomination. Here's more from Politico:
The ad, called "Problems," is an ad slamming Lugar's primary opponent, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, accusing him of "receiving illegal tax breaks," and hitting his "failed stewardship" of his government office, according to a release.
The ad, which launches tomorrow on broadcast, will run through May 4. The cost of the flight is $590,000. There will also be a digital ad component, and a limited statewide mail buy, in the AAN campaign.
In an email, American Action Network spokesman Dan Conston says Hoosiers "have yet to meet the real Richard Mourdock, but they soon will. Richard Mourdock has a troubling record, from repeatedly missing official meetings to repeatedly accepting illegal tax breaks to making bad junk bond bets with Hoosiers’ pensions. Sen. Dick Lugar is the right conservative for Indiana – and he will win this November. We’re investing in this race now because a Mourdock primary victory would only embolden Harry Reid and his liberal allies this November."
Mourdock has now responded to the ad, though it won't go on air until later this evening. "Dick Lugar has been the ultimate establishment Republican. He has been an enabler of the Obama agenda since Barack Obama was first elected to the U.S. Senate. The DC special interests and the moderate Republican establishment will do anything in their power to prevent Lugar from losing this race. They know if Lugar loses, it will send a message to other left-leaning Republicans that it is okay to compromise our core principles and sell out to Obama and the Democrats,” he said in a statement emailed to reporters.
Meanwhile, Mourdock has outraised Lugar in the first quarter of 2012. The Mourdock campaign announced yesterday that it had raised $875,000, while Lugar's campaign raised slightly less at $820,000. Lugar still has more cash on hand than upstart Mourdock, but outside groups, from American Action Network for Lugar and the Club for Growth for Mourdock, are continuing to spend money ahead of the May 8 primary.
Update: Here's American Action Network's ad, just released Friday evening: