The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund's anti-Rossi ad campaign is its largest among the more than $15 million it has committed to 26 House races, a spokeswoman says.
A national environmental super PAC is pouring cash into Washington’s 8th Congressional District race, announcing a $1 million ad buy targeting Republican candidate Dino Rossi.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Victory Fund’s anti-Rossi ad campaign is its largest among the more than $15 million it has committed to 26 House races, said Alyssa Roberts, a spokeswoman for the national organization.
The 30-second ad, titled “Hits,” shows a record player spinning and an elderly couple dancing, attacking what it calls Rossi’s “two disastrous decades” in politics. The ad cites “the 45,000 kids he kicked off health care” as part of a 2003 state budget plan, and his votes against some environmental legislation.
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It adds to what is one of the most expensive House races in the nation, which has drawn more than $11 million in independent spending from outside groups.
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In his debate with Democrat Kim Schrier last week, Rossi boasted of receiving awards from Washington Conservation Voters, the LCV’s state affiliate, during his time in the state Senate more than a decade ago.
The new ad campaign is an effort to undermine Rossi’s claims of environmental credentials.
“No amount of greenwashing can erase Rossi’s votes to support corporate polluters instead of the health and safety of Washington families,” said Pete Maysmith, senior vice president for campaigns for the LCV Victory Fund, in a statement.
Rossi’s legislative votes earned him a lifetime score of 31 percent from the group — “which plummeted to zero” during his temporary 2017 stint in the state Senate, based on his support for bills to loosen environmental regulations, according to LCV.
Andrew Bell, Rossi’s campaign manager, pushed back against the ad’s claims, saying it provides little backup for the rhetoric.
“Dino’s record of the environment is excellent,” he said in an email, noting Rossi had served on the board of the Nature Conservancy and the Mountains-to-Sound Greenway Trust, and sponsored bills to rebuild state parks and save the Issaquah salmon hatchery.
Bell also said the often repeated line about 45,000 kids being kicked off health care is false. PolitiFact has rated the claim “Mostly True.”
The largest donors to the LCV’s super PAC include former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, as well as well-heeled Seattle environmentalists including Tom Campion, the founder of clothing chain Zumiez, according to OpenSecrets.org.
The GOP also has spent big in the 8th District race, focusing recent attack ads on Schrier’s support for higher taxes, including some decided at the state level.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with House Speaker Paul Ryan, has aired ads hitting Schrier for saying she supports a state income tax and backs Initiative 1631, which would impose a carbon fee on fossil fuels and direct much of money raised to clean energy projects.