BOSTON — An outside group supporting Republican Gabriel Gomez in the U.S. Senate special election has released a pair of television advertisements going after Democrat Edward Markey on health care reform and entitlement spending.
The first spot, “Enforce,” focuses on the Internal Revenue Service’s role in enforcing elements of President Obama’s health care reform bill.
“While Gabriel Gomez and Ed Markey both support health care reform,” the announcer says, “Markey voted to let the IRS enforce it.”
The IRS has come under fire for giving enhanced scrutiny to conservative political groups — making the agency a prime target for Republicans.
Markey supports Obamacare, while Gomez has said he would repeal the law.
The second ad, “Honor and Truth,” strikes back at Markey’s charge that Gomez would cut entitlements — arguing that it was Markey who voted to cut $500 billion from Medicare.
The $500 billion the ad refers to actually represents slowed growth in Medicare spending under Obama’s health care reform law — not a cut.
The entitlement attacks leveled at Gomez have lacked for context, too.
Democrats have hit the GOP nominee for suggesting a hike in the Social Security retirement age. But Gomez has called for a very gradual rise.
The Republican has also endorsed a shift to a new, more modest calculation for cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security payments known as the “chained Consumer Price Index.” But Obama proposed a shift to the chained CPI in his most recent budget.
The Washington Post reported this week that Americans for Progressive Action plans to spend $700,000 in the race.
Federal filings show the group has spent almost $725,000 on the race to date, including small amounts on Web advertising.
The organization’s treasurer, Nancy Watkins, was the treasurer for conservative U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign. Its spokeswoman once worked for Republican strategist Karl Rove.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the independent Senate Majority PAC have spent at least $1.3 million on ads backing Markey. Senate Majority PAC will reportedly spend at least $500,000 more.