House Majoirty PAC is taking aim at Rep. Steve Southerland over the Florida Republian's vote last week against a compromise to end the government shutdown, reminding voters what could have happened if the country defaulted.
"These guys don't get it -- their games are hurting real people," the ad from the Democratic outside group, provided first to The Daily Rundown, begins. "Yet when Congress finally ended the shutdown, Steve Southerland voted no. He voted to let the country default on its obligations."
The spot argues that the result would have been devastation to retirement accounts, falling home values and job losses.
"Steve Southerland keeps playing politics," says the ad, and reminds voters of a remark the congressman made in the wake of the 2011 Gabrielle Giffords shooting, that his $174,00 salary wasn't worth the potential security risks."
The TV ad is a $70,000 buy that will run for two weeks in the Tallahassee market.
Southerland was one of only a few vulnerable Republicans to vote against the shutdown. Democrats have recruited Leon County Schools Official Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham, into the race, and in the third fundriasing quarter that just ended she nearly doubled Southerland's fundraising haul. The Panhandle district gives Republicans a slight advantage, having gone 52%-47% for Mitt Romney in the last election. The Rothenberg Political Report and Cook Political Report both rate the race as Leans Republican.
“Steve Southerland’s reckless Tea Party government shutdown cost our economy $24 billion, yet rather than back a bipartisan plan to end this manmade debacle, Southerland actually voted to drive our nation off an economic cliff,” said Andy Stone, Communications Director for House Majority PAC. “The jobs, retirement accounts and wellbeing of families, seniors and veterans in north and northwest Florida apparently didn’t merit Steve Southerland’s concern – even though Southerland was still getting his taxpayer-funded salary.”
Southerland defended his vote against the compromise, saying it wasn't a long-term solution.
“I had no choice but to oppose Senator Reid’s bill because it provides short-term spending without addressing the long-term drivers of this shutdown, including an exploding national debt and glaring inequalities under the president’s health care law,” Southerland told the Sunshine State News. “I simply can’t justify to my constituents a system where corporations and labor unions deserve a one-year compliance delay and government officials get special premium subsidies while average American families receive neither. I hope both parties in Washington learned a lesson from this shutdown and we get serious about addressing these issues before again bringing the nation to the brink.”