Politics

02.23.12

Massachusetts Competitors’ Ad War Over Birth Control

While Santorum, Romney, Paul, and Gingrich continue to duke it out daily for the Republican presidential nomination, local and congressional campaigns throughout the country are also heating up. Check out the day’s biggest news from the rest of the election.

Michele Bachmann Won’t Leave Her Old District, No Matter What the Map Says.

A new district map has been causing a stir in Minnesota. Under the redrawn lines, Rep. Michele Bachmann—who decided to run for reelection after dropping out of the presidential race—is living in a different district than the one she represents. Not only that, the move places her in a district currently represented by a six-term Democrat, Betty McCollum, against whom Bachmann would technically have to run. Refusing the play along the new rules, Bachmann plans to continue her reelection in her old district, arguing that it is her home. However, McCollum has countered that Bachmann’s refusal to run in her new district is a cop-out. In addition to displacing Bachmann, the new Minnesota lines may make Republicans in more competitive districts, such as Reps. John Kline, Chip Cravaack, and Tim Waltz, more vulnerable to being unseated by Democrats.

Claire McCaskill Hits Critics in First TV Ad

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri went on the defensive Thursday as she aired her first TV ad for the 2012 election. The ad responds to attacks she’s received from national interest groups. Three Republican contenders are currently duking it out to run against the senior senator, but whoever emerges the nominee is slated to give McCaskill a run for her money. “They’re not from around here. Spending millions to attack and attack,” the ad says, in a clear attempt to appeal to local, Midwestern sentiments. “But what they’re doing to Claire McCaskill is nothing—compared to what their special interest agenda will do to you. They want to end Medicare as we know it. Claire fights to protect it. They want more tax breaks for multimillionaires and oil companies. Claire cuts taxes for the middle class. They back unfair trade deals for China. Claire says make it in Missouri.”

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Richard Lugar’s Residency Deemed Legit

According to the Indiana attorney general’s office, Sen. Richard Lugar is still allowed to vote in Indiana, even though he sold his house there in 1977 for one in northern Virginia. His move was for work purposes, as he must live in or near D.C. in order to fulfill his congressional duties. Lugar’s residency has been a major issue for his reelection campaign since it was brought to the public’s attention that he has not lived in Indiana—the state he represents—for more than 30 years. Although his candidacy for reelection is completely legal, his campaign may have still been permanently harmed by this controversy, as the uncertainty has been a great chance for Lugar’s opponents to paint him negatively. Major Republican competitor Richard Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, has even turned the issue into a fundraising opportunity.

Warren and Brown Ads Illustrate Both Sides of Birth Control Fight

Sen. Scott Brown from Massachusetts and his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, have both seized the government’s current fight over contraception as the subject of their latest radio ads. While Brown, a Republican, promotes an amendment aimed at giving employers control over medical coverage based on their moral beliefs, Warren points to the recent House hearing on birth control, where no female voices were heard, to prove how much “Washington really doesn’t get it.” Warren has made clear that she supports President Obama’s position that employers or their insurance providers should pay for female employees’ birth control, while incumbent Brown argues this stance infringes on religious freedom.