Oct 6, 2015 9:38 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONCORD – A new pro-Republican third party group is spending big bucks to run TV commercials in New Hampshire defending GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s record on women’s healthcare.
The organization, One Nation, Thursday will launch a 17-day $1.4 million broadcast, cable, digital and radio ad campaign in the Granite State, ad buying sources told NH1 News on Tuesday. The ad campaign, dominated by a 10-day $1.2 million broadcast and cable buy (including WBIN-TV) was later confirmed to NH1 News by One Nation.
In the television spot, a female narrator says “almost every day in New Hampshire a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. To find a cure, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is working with senators of both parties to expand breast cancer research and protect annual mammogram screenings for women. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is doing more for women’s health, fighting for over the counter contraception, insuring safe and better options.”
“Call Sen. Kelly Ayotte and tell her to keep fighting for women’s health care,” adds the narrator.
The ads will take to Granite State airwaves just four days after Monday’s announcement by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan that she’ll challenge Ayotte in 2016 rather than run for a third term in the Corner Office.
Ayotte’s record on female issues will be in the spotlight as she runs for re-election. For months, Democrats have slammed Ayotte for being part of what they term the Republican war on women. The latest public opinion polling indicates that the race between Ayotte, a former state attorney general who was first elected to the Senate in 2010, and Hassan is deadlocked.
The race will be one of the most high profile and most expensive contests in the country, with outside groups such as One Nation, and the party committees, combined pouring millions into the battle for a seat that very well determine whether the Republicans keep control of the Senate.
Monday, in an interview with NH1 News hours after announcing her bid to challenge Ayotte, Hassan criticized the senator, saying “Sen. Ayotte’s stand against Planned Parenthood, she voted to defund Planned Parenthood. That’s deeply, deeply, concerning.”
Tuesday NH1 News was first to report that Ayotte released a new campaign video in which she touted her efforts to fight for women in the workplace.
“Women should not have to choose between their jobs and a healthy pregnancy,” Ayotte said to camera in her video. “I introduced bipartisan legislation to end pregnancy discrimination, to make sure that women can continue to work during their pregnancies, and that employers have to provide reasonable accommodations to their pregnant workers.”
Responding to the new One Nation ads, New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director Lizzy Price said "Ayotte's special interest backers are already coming together to try to prop up her shaky campaign."
One Nation, a non-profit 501(c)(4) group, was formed in May. Days after its launch, the group went up with a $325,000 ad buy to put up digital, radio, and print ads in New Hampshire highlighting Ayotte’s legislative accomplishments.
One Nation is linked to the pro-Republican American Crossroads super PAC and its non-profit Crossroads GPS, which were both co-founded and steered by Karl Rove, the mastermind behind President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 election victories. The new group is being run by Steven Law, who is also president of Crossroads.
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