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Paul Ryan, DNC planning ad campaigns in Iowa

More political ads will likely soon fly across the Iowa airwaves, and they won’t be the product of the 2012 campaigns.

U.S. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) sent out a supporter email Tuesday, asking for donations to help him mount a new ad campaign in Iowa. The campaign is needed, he said to counter an effort already announced and underway by national Democrats.

On Monday, the Democratic National Committee sought to connect the dots between cuts to senior citizens and the middle class to the tea party, congressional Republicans and, subsequently, to the 2012 GOP candidates n their own video, “Extreme Aims,” which is, of course, a play on the Ames Straw Poll scheduled for Saturday.

The ad features head shots of congressional Republicans, including Ryan, and mentions the U.S. House budget he authored and named as the “Path to Prosperity,” which has come to be known as the “Ryan plan.”

“We have to fight back,” the Ryan email relayed to supporters. “With your support, I’m planning on launching a counter-attack to educate Iowa voters about the Path to Prosperity and how it’s the only plan currently on the table that saves Medicare.”

The Ryan budget won approval in the U.S. House, but did not pass in the U.S. Senate. It sought to completely end the Medicare program in its current form and replace it with a system in which senior citizens purchased a private health insurance plan which would be, at least in part, reimbursed by the government. Health care reforms passed by Democrats and signed by President Obama would have been entirely repealed as part of Ryan’s plan, and there would be massive overhauls to other entitlement programs, such as Medicaid.

If Ryan is successful, it won’t be the first time his campaign dollars have flowed into Iowa politics. U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, an Ames Republican who will face Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell in 2012 as a result of redistricting, received $5,000 from Ryan’s Prosperity PAC. Democrats were quick to draw attention to the donation Monday, insinuating that it was payback for Latham’s support of the Ryan budget plan.

The missive by Ryan to Wisconsin supporters hit on the same as voters in the state decide the fate of six Republican state senators who are facing recall. The recall votes were triggered by winter battles that resulted in public sector unions being stripped of collective bargaining rights in the state. If Democrats are able to pick up half of the seats on ballot, they will reclaim control of the Wisconsin Senate — at least until two Democratic incumbents face their own recall elections on Aug. 16. Special interest groups have been hard at work — on the ground and in their pocketbooks — on both sides of the political aisle in an attempt to influence the outcome.

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