Committee ads attack Ala. 2nd District candidates

Published 1:03 am Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The race for the U.S. House seat in Alabama’s 2nd District has heated up, thanks to competing ads from Republican and Democratic congressional campaign committees.

The ads show that the congressional committees on both sides are pumping money into the race between one-term Democratic incumbent Bobby Bright, the former mayor of Montgomery, and Republican Martha Roby, a councilwoman in the city.

The Republican ad tries to link Bright to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic ad says Republican challenger Martha Roby’s “no new taxes” pledge would allow some big businesses and others to keep massive tax breaks.

The GOP ad targeting Bright, which started running in the district Sunday, says he has voted with Pelosi 71 percent of the time, a figure Bright disputes. He said Monday that he has voted his conscience and has often been on the opposite side of the roll call from the California Democrat.

“This ad insults the intelligence of the average person in my district. It is wrong. It is misleading the public.” Bright said.

Andy Sere, southeast regional press secretary for the RNCC, said the ad was based on numbers in a Washington Post report. Bright said his numbers, from a watchdog group Open Congress, showed that he voted with Pelosi only 39 percent of the time, just slightly higher than Alabama’s five Republicans in Congress.

Roby said she believes the Republican ad against Bright was on target.

“Bobby’s very first vote in Congress was to elect Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House. I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker and I do not believe her liberal values represent the beliefs of the people of the 2nd District,” Roby said the heavily rural district that stretches from Dothan to the suburban communities north of Montgomery.

By voting for Pelosi, Roby said Bright was saying “he agrees with her agenda.”

“The vote for speaker is the most important vote you make because it sets the tone for the entire Congress,” Roby said.

Bright said the ad overplays the importance of the speaker’s role, which he called “largely ceremonial.” Bright said he has made over 1,400 votes in Congress without worrying about how Pelosi wanted him to vote and accused the ad of “lying” about his record.

“I’m the most conservative Democrat in Congress. I voted with the Republicans 80 percent of the time,” Bright said.

The Democratic National Congressional Committee ad, which is also running in the district, says the differences between Bright and Roby are like “night and day.” The ad goes on to say that Roby is funded by special interests and that her plans would reduce funding for Medicare and hurt senior citizens.

“These false attacks launched by Nancy Pelosi and Bobby Bright are merely an attempt to deflect attention from the failed policies that have past under their unchecked leadership. These negative attacks will not create one job. They will not stop the wasteful spending,” said Roby’s campaign manager, Mike Hamilton.