Democrats will begin running a television ad on Tuesday in the no-holds-barred race to hold onto the seat of retiring Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.).
The ad, paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), calls out GOP candidate Sean Duffy for his support for a leading Republican’s economic proposals, particularly Social Security privatization.
Democratic state Sen. Julie Lassa is vying with Duffy to succeed Obey, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee who has represented Wisconsin’s 7th District for more than 40 years.
Although Duffy, a former reality TV celebrity, claims not to support privatizing Social Security, the DCCC says he has twice stated his support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s “budget blueprint” that would privatize Social Security.
A fellow Wisconsin lawmaker, Ryan has emerged as a GOP point man on economic policy.
The DCCC cites video footage in which Duffy appears to endorse Ryan’s budget blueprint.
The DCCC, the arm of the Democratic Party charged with electing Democrats to the House, also cites an independent analysis that finds Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” includes changes to Social Security including diverting large sums from Social Security to private accounts.
“It also would divert substantial sums from the Social Security trust funds into private accounts and then maintain Social Security solvency by transferring funds to Social Security from the rest of the budget,” the Washington-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says of the Ryan plan.
Further, the DCCC cites the libertarian Cato Institute as saying that there’s no difference between privatization and personal accounts. The DCCC quotes the the Star Tribune newspaper as saying, “The word ‘privatization’ has been part of the Social Security debate for many years and has been used by many Republicans. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington and an advocate of the idea, used to call its effort ‘the project on Social Security privatization.’”
Republicans, however, are also reportedly spending on advertising in Wisconsin’s 7th District in an attempt to pull it from Democratic hands.
The district, however, has increasingly tilted Democratic in recent years. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) narrowly carried it with 51 percent in his failed 2004 presidential race, and President Obama won the district by an even wider 55.91 percent four years later.
The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.