National Dems enter Wisconsin fray with new ad targeting GOP state senator

For the first time, national Democrats are sinking money into a TV ad targeting an individual Wisconsin GOP state senator, a sign that the Beltway Dem establishment may be getting serious about rallying behind the recall drives now underway in the state.

The DC-based Democratic Leadership Campaign Committee, which supports Dem state government candidates around the country, is going up with a hard-hitting spot hammering Senator Luther Olsen for voting for “Walker’s back-room deal to destroy collective bargaining”:

The ad, which is slated to run for two weeks in the Green Bay market, is the first spot from the left that focuses on a particular senator, another sign that the recall drives are gaining momentum.

Indeed, a spokesperson for the DLCC, Carolyn Fiddler, says the group is likely to expand its buy to target other senators. “We expect to direct significant resources to the elections that may emerge in Wisconsin,” Fiddler tells me.

The DLCC specifically chose Olsen because he had previously criticized Walker’s proposal before voting for it. The ad, which seems to reflect a sense that Walker will continue to sinkin popularity, says:

Last month, Senator Olsen said eliminating collective bargaining is, quote, “pretty radical.” But Olsen voted for Governor Walker’s backroom deal to end collective bargaining. Now Walker is pushing a budget that will devastate public schools and health care. And Senator Olsen refuses to stand up to the Governor.

The DLCC is a 527, which means it faces certain restrictions on political advertising, and this spot is framed as an issue ad: It doesn’t mention the drive to recall Olsen. But the larger context is obvious: The recall drives are underway, and the spot signals that national Dems will have their back.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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