- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The campaign arms for Democrats and Republicans in the House are out with their first independent expenditure ads of the cycle, signifying an early unofficial start to the fall campaign season.

One of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) first ads targets Rep. Michael Grimm, New York Republican, for getting indicted in April on fraud charges related to a restaurant he ran before being elected to Congress.

The ad also mentions an incident in which Mr. Grimm threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony in a building on Capitol Hill after he tried to ask the congressman about the looming charges in January after President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

The New York Daily News reported that national Democrats are planning to spend nearly $1 million to unseat Mr. Grimm — a significant but not outsized buy in the expensive New York market that indicates he’s still capable of holding onto the seat despite the attention the charges have attracted.

The DCCC, looking to capitalize on their cash advantage over their Republican counterparts, has booked about $44 million worth of air time through the fall thus far, though Republicans are expected to hold onto their majority in the House.

The group finished the second quarter with $50.9 million in the bank to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) $42.5 million after the groups raised $25.3 million and $19.7 million in the second quarter, respectively.

The NRCC has about $30 million in air time reserved at this point.

Democrats also released an ad going after Republican Tom MacArthur, who is running for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district.

The ad accuses Mr. MacArthur of profiting off a scheme to deny relief to disaster victims when he was the CEO of an insurance company. His campaign has said the incidents in question were settled after he left and that investigators found no wrongdoing by the company, York Risk Services Group.

The NRCC, meanwhile, is out with an ad targeting Democrat Gwen Graham, who is trying to unseat GOP Rep. Steve Southerland in North Florida’s 2nd congressional district.

“Gwen Graham talks about the North Florida way,” a woman says in the ad.

“But she sure acts the D.C. way,” a man continues.

The ad goes on to accuse Ms. Graham of failing to take clear positions on Obamacare or who she would support as Speaker of the House.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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