Campaign attack ads seem to be replacing horserace polls as the lead stories in political news coverage, and Smart Politics is guilty of this behavior as well, at least for today. While the Bachmann-Wetterling (MN-6) race had the early lead as the most viscous in the Upper Midwest, that race is now taking a back seat to the one in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District between 5-term Democratic incumbent Ronald Kind and GOP challenger Paul Nelson.
Unleashed this month, Nelson's new ad unfolds with a familiar charge against democrats—that Congressman Kind gutted military spending. What comes next, however, is sure to grab your attention.
The ad states Kind doesn't have a problem spending money per se, but that "he would just rather spend it on sex." The ad then details—with citations to various NIH grants—legislation Kind is said to have voted for that included funds to:
1. Study the sex lives of Vietnamese prostitutes.
2. Study the masturbation habits of old men.
3. Study the bisexual, transgendered, and two-spirited Aleutian Eskimos.
4. Pay teenage girls to watch pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia.
The ad ends reminding the audience that Kind likes to "pay for sex, not for soldiers."
Kind was elected to represent the 3rd District in 1996 filling the open seat left by eight-term GOP congressman Steven Gunderson. Kind beat his GOP counterpart in that election, James E. Harsdorf, by 4 points. Since then Kind has capitalized on the incumbent's advantage - winning by 43 points in 1998, 28 points in 2000, 29 points in 2002, and 13 points in 2004. Kind serves on the House Budget, Education and Workforce, and Resources Committees. The Congressman touts himself as a deficit hawk and is pressing for a strategy that would lead to redeployment of US forces from Iraq.
Nelson, a real estate agent, is campaigning on a platform that is very tough on illegal immigration (no amnesty, provisions for deportation, heavy penalties to employers, building a fence), supports the Marriage Protection Amendment, and eliminates all federal taxes by instituting a national sales tax.
Nelson made the rounds on the cable networks today standing by his ad. One can expect a response by Congressman Kind in the coming days.