Yesterday, I reported on how a super PAC -- Freedom Pioneers Action Network, started by Mitch McConnell's former campaign manager Justin Brasell -- was flooding Nebraska with outside money to take down Tea Party endorsed Senate candidate Ben Sasse. The primary is just a week away and the Sasse campaign said they expected more attacks this week. Well, here is one of them, and it's ugly:
The ad is a twofer. For one, it goes after Sasse's family in a way that is normally considered out of bounds. And two, the quote in the ad has been dishonestly ripped out of context according to the newspaper the ad claims to be citing:
In another case, our reporting of the conference does contain a portion of a quote from Mr. Sasse that uses the words “an important first step.” ...
However, those who read the full paragraph will realize Mr. Sasse is talking about the discussion the bill brought about as being an important first step in addressing the nation’s health care crisis. Mr. Sasse was clear then – as he is now – that the Affordable Care Act is a bad piece of legislation.
The Freedom Pioneers Action Network behind these ads was started by Brasell the same month he also founded the Bluegrass Votes super PAC, which “plans to make independent expenditures to support Senator Mitch McConnell’s upcoming re-election campaign." Further, McConnell has been quite animated in his opposition to certain Tea Party candidates. He told the New York Times in March that he planned to "crush" Senate Conservative Fund endorsed candidates such as Sasse.
McConnell's former campaign manager is still listed as treasurer for the super PAC behind this ad. Despite close ties to the PAC running these underhanded ads, the McConnell campaign insists the senator from Kentucky has no connection to the Freedom Pioneers PAC. But it's also true that, if the Senate minority leader didn't want ads such as this running in an open GOP primary, he could say so.