Underdog Democrat Bobby McKenzie knows he needs to shake up his race against Republican David Trott to stand a chance of an upset win in Michigan's 11th district. His strategy: Attack Trott hard with one of the most aggressive ads you'll see anywhere.
The 30-second commercial, which is hitting the airwaves Wednesday, depicts an elderly black woman being forced out of her home as she cries.
"Foreclosure king Dave Trott has made millions foreclosing on Michigan's families. Trott profited from human misery as tens of thousands of Michiganders were evicted from their homes," says the narrator.
Trott's firm handled paperwork in the case. The Department of Housing and Urban Development evicted Hollis. They later let her move back in after saying they made a mistake. Hollis died late last year.
Opponents have attacked Trott over the eviction before. Asked for a response to the ad, Trott spokeswoman Megan Piwowar said in an e-mail, "No one wants to foreclose. The law firm was following instructions to foreclose and evict issued by the federal government as the mortgagee was Department of Housing and Urban Development and the eviction was executed by other parties, not the law firm. This ad does not tell all the facts."
When asked how much money is behind the ad, McKenzie campaign manager Tony Coppola would only say it was running on broadcast TV in the Detroit market.
It's doubtful McKenzie, a former State Department official, has much money on hand to air the ad prominently during final 13 days. He had about $168,000 in his campaign account at the start of October. Trott had nearly $1.3 million. The Republican has given his campaign about $3.2 million if his own money, records show.
McKenzie and Trott are the main contenders for the seat of Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), the reindeer rancher turned lawmaker who lost badly in the Republican primary to Trott. Bentivolio is running in the general election as a write-in candidate.
Even as Bentivolio threatens to pull some of Trott's support, the Republican nominee remains the clear frontrunner. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a "Likely Republican" hold.
The 11th district includes some of suburban Detroit. Mitt Romney won 52 percent of the vote there in 2012.
Updated at 7:35 a.m.