Super-PAC Attacks Louisiana’s Boustany on Wall Street Bailout

Photograph by Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Charles Boustany rehearses for the GOP rebuttal to President Obama's health care speech in this file photo.

A super-political action committee that was active in New York and Arizona elections is shifting its focus to a House runoff next week in southern Louisiana.

The super-PAC, National Horizon, is airing an ad attacking Republican Representative Charles Boustany, who faces Republican Representative Jeff Landry on Dec. 8. Boustany and Landry are seeking the same seat after changes in redistricting.

The ad attacks Boustany for his 2008 vote for a $700 billion financial-market rescue plan, which a narrator calls “that $700 billion Wall Street bailout.” It also attacks Boustany for votes to raise the federal debt-limit, and says he voted to increase his congressional pay.

“Charles Boustany: more debt for you, more pay for him,” the narrator says in the spot, which first ran Nov. 28 in the Lafayette market, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, a political ad-tracker.

Federal law provides for automatic annual increases in congressional pay, though Congress can block the increases statutorily and has done so the past few years. National Horizon’s ad cites Boustany’s vote in June 2007 for a procedural motion related to an annual appropriations bill funding general government operations.

“The hard working men and women of South Louisiana see right through these desperate, last minute attack ads,” John Porter, Boustany’s campaign manager, said in an e-mail to Political Capital.

National Horizon paid $88,355 to produce and air the ad, according to a filing yesterday with the Federal Election Commission.

Bosutany, who’s seeking a fifth term, led Landry, a freshman, by 45 percent to 30 percent in the first-round vote on Nov. 6.

National Horizon spent more than $1.1 million before the Nov. 6 election, including $857,150 to aid New York Republican lawyer Wendy Long, who lost a Senate race to Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. New York investor Ronald S. Lauder gave $750,000 to the super-PAC.

The super-PAC spent the rest on three races in Arizona, including a contest in which two Republican House members faced off in a primary after redistricting. National Horizon helped David Schweikert beat Ben Quayle in that race. Schweikert, like Quayle a freshman, went on to easily win a second term in the general election.

The Louisiana runoff will settle the last remaining 2012 House race, with Republicans controlling 234 seats when the next Congress convenes in early January. Democrats will number 200 and one seat they had held will be vacant. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned shortly after he won re-election in November in his Chicago-based district, and a Democrat almost assuredly will replace him. Assuming that result, Democrats will have shaved the Republican House majority by eight seats in this year’s election.


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