Conservative Groups Go After Sestak On Health Care

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) has always been a strong advocate for health care reform, but he’s getting some outsize credit from conservative groups for his role in crafting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Crossroads GPS, the conservative 501(c)4 group tied to Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, is up with a new ad in Pennsylvania that says, “Higher taxes and premiums, fewer jobs, Medicare cuts: the Sestak-Obama plan costs us too much.”

Though they more commonly refer to it as plain-old “Obamacare,” it looks like conservative groups are going to new lengths to tie certain Democrats to the comprehensive health care reform bill they are banking will prove unpopular in the fall. Parts of the bill — like regulations that prevent insurers from denying or dropping coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions — remain quite popular, while other parts — like the cuts to Medicare — are not. As the bill becomes grist for a host of “issue ads” like this one, you can bet which parts conservative groups will highlight.

The ad against Sestak comes a week after Crossroads GPS announced that it was launching nearly $1 million worth of ads in the Colorado and Ohio Senate races and spending $2 million in the Nevada and Missouri Senate races. The group and its partner 527 organization, American Crossroads, brag that they’ve raised $17.6 million through mid-August, but they decline to break down their fundraising any further.
The separate totals are easy enough to guess at, however. By the end of July, FEC and IRS reports indicated that American Crossroads had raised $6.7 million, implying that Crossroads GPS, which on account of its 501 status won’t be required to reveal its finances at present and its donors at all, has been the bigger draw for donors.

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