Carnahan's first TV ad focuses on Blunt bailout vote

Thursday, August 12, 2010 | 9:50 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Robin Carnahan is using her first TV ad to focus on Republican candidate Roy Blunt's support for legislation authorizing up to $700 billion to shore up banks and other troubled financial institutions.

Calling Blunt "the very worst of Washington," the ad states that in 1999 Blunt eliminated some financial system safeguards put in place during the Great Depression and then took a leading role in 2008 to work out the financial bailout legislation. It also states he has accepted more than $1.6 million in campaign donations from the banking and financial industry during his tenure in Congress.

The ad is running in markets across Missouri, Carnahan campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said Thursday. He said the spot is designed to hold Blunt accountable for wasting tax dollars, defending corporate special interests and hurting the middle class.

Blunt spokesman Rich Chrismer criticized the ad and said Carnahan was shying away from talking about jobs and economic development issues.

"This phony ad is the worst in political deception and hypocrisy," Chrismer said.

Blunt and Carnahan are running to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Kit Bond. Blunt's campaign already has criticized Carnahan in a TV ad, saying she would be a "rubber stamp" for the policies for President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders.

The financial legislation passed Congress in 2008 as stock markets were plummeting. It allowed the federal government to use $250 billion immediately for financial institutions and an additional $100 billion if the president certified it was necessary. The remaining $350 billion could be spent if certified by the president and not rejected by Congress.

Two years later, the Toxic Asset Relief Program has become an issue in campaigns across the country. Many voters have negative perceptions of it, even though much of the initial money has been paid back to the federal government.

Blunt told The Associated Press he supported the initial $350 billion for financial institutions and called it a short-term investment in the economy to be paid back with a significant profit. He opposed spending the second portion because of concerns about how the first part had been managed.

The Sedalia Democrat reported in July that Carnahan, Missouri's secretary of state, said the bailout money might have been needed to stabilize the economy but that Blunt and others failed to attach strict controls on how it was spent. Two weeks later, the newspaper reported Carnahan said she was not convinced banks were in a crisis and would not have voted for the legislation and does not currently support it.

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Ray Shapiro August 13, 2010 | 12:06 a.m.

If you look at Blunt's website, it is mostly filled with some very highly respected endorsements. There is no attack on Carnahan.

Carnahan's site is filled with attacks on Blunt, McCain, etc. and little of her platform and plans for Missouri.

Which site will appear classier to the Independent voter or Democrat who voted for Obama and now has "Buyer's Remorse?"

Now while I am no big Blunt fan, I definitely would like to see more Democrats establish themselves as more responsive and realistic to ALL the public and balance their influence in the administration and oversight of "social programs" and our free market by coordinating the dynamics and responsibilities of the private business sector, the nonprofit agencies, the voluntary sector, churches and quasi-government agencies.

As this is not happenning, my desire to vote for a Democrat is strongly hampered by the extent which they align themselves with our President.
We need more checks and balances. Unfortunately, if moderate/conservative, "right of center" citizens and public servants in the Democrat Party don't have more impact on the Obama/Pelosi machine in Washington DC, we'll need more Republicans, and some Libertarians, to slow down this run away train in Washington.

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