IA-Sen: Grassley running a negative ad for the first time in decades

Only a few days after launching his general-election advertising blitz, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley started running a 30-second commercial attacking his Democratic challenger Patty Judge. I enclose the video and transcript below, along with the response from the Judge campaign.

Grassley did not run any negative commercials during his 2010 re-election bid. In fact, I am fairly certain you’d have to go back to the 1980s to find any attack ads paid for by Grassley’s campaign. UPDATE/CORRECTION: I’ve been told Grassley ran one negative spot against Democratic challenger David Osterberg in 1998, saying (among other things) that the former Iowa lawmaker had been educated in socialist Sweden. SECOND UPDATE: Osterberg confirmed Grassley ran negative advertising in his race, but he recalls that the commercial was on radio rather than television. Scroll to the end of this post for details.

Incumbents who are not worried about the election typically stick to positive messages in their paid media. The last four public polls of Iowa’s U.S. Senate race have found Grassley ahead of Judge by 45 percent to 38 percent (CBS/YouGov), 51 percent to 42 percent (Quinnipiac), and 52 percent to 42 percent (Suffolk and Marist). Those are smaller leads than the senator has had over previous Democratic challengers.

SEPTEMBER 2 UPDATE: The Washington Post’s James Hohmann called Grassley’s ad “another very telling sign of how scared Senate Republicans are running right now,” adding that the attack was “thin gruel.”

The commercial hits former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge for not voluntarily taking a pay cut when the Great Recession led to a state budget deficit. Grassley, of course, has accepted many pay increases when the federal deficit was much larger…

Grassley’s campaign manager Bob Haus told KCCI-TV that the ad “states just the facts pure and simple” and that Grassley will run more commercials focused on Judge’s record.

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Branstad taps Mary Mosiman for state auditor

Governor Terry Branstad announced this morning that Mary Mosiman will be Iowa’s new state auditor. She replaces David Vaudt, who resigned last month to become chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

Mosiman served as Story County Auditor for ten years before Matt Schultz hired her to run the elections division of the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. She is a certified public accountant, which Branstad said was a “major requirement” as he searched for Vaudt’s successor.

After the jump I’ve posted the governor’s press release, containing more background on Mosiman. She will serve as auditor until after next year’s elections. I assume she will become the Republican nominee for state auditor in 2014 as well. I have not heard yet about any Democrat planning to run for that office. Iowa Democrats did not field a candidate against Vaudt in 2006. Jon Murphy launched his 2010 campaign less than five months before the general election.

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