All eyes are on the Wisconsin race; informally know as the “Tommy-Tammy” race, due to hard-hitting ads involving the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Tommy Thompson implored Sept. 11 in a statewide television advertisement on Tuesday, attacking Democratic challenger Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) for voting against a 2006 resolution honoring victims of the attacks.
Baldwin, who, if elected, would be the first openly gay senator, countered Wednesday, saying Thompson personally profited from the attacks by making $3 million from a health care firm that attained a government contract to treat first responders.
The pair of insistent ads on such an emotional topic is the product of an unexpectedly tight contest, one of a series of Senate race stalemates across the country that have left open the question of which party controls the chamber come January.
With weeks left before Election Day, campaigns in obstinately close races–from Nevada to New England–are hammering their creativity and campaign cash into receiving voters’ attention and achieving a lead.
With spending from the candidates and outside groups topping $42 million, the “Tommy-Tammy” race is the most expensive Senate competition in the state’s history.
Baldwin has a little over $11 million in campaign funds, according to the Federal Election Commission, however, Thomson, has half that amount with nearly $6 million.
In the 9/11 ad produced by Thompson’s campaign, three veterans speak directly to the camera about Baldwin’s vote as a member of Congress against the 2006 resolution.
“It is a slap in the face to every one of their families and anyone who has ever served in the United States military,” Ron Amato, identified as a retired member of the U.S. Navy, says in the ad. “Tammy Baldwin’s extreme, far left approach leaves this country in jeopardy.”
The ad, however, leaves out that she voted for the 9/11 health bills and for 9/11 victims numerous other times, while she opposed the one measure he cited because she thought it politicized 9/11, connecting a remembrance for the victims to the Patriot Act and immigration.
The Baldwin campaign’s ad, however, points out that Thompson, after serving four years as U.S. health secretary under George W. Bush, worked as president of Logistics Health, Inc.
The Wisconsin-based company won an $11 million government contract in 2008 to treat 9/11 emergency responders except was criticized for being slow to supply benefits and assist those suffering from health issues associated to their work at the scenes of the attacks.
Thompson made $3 million when Logistics Health was sold last year. The Baldwin ad claims that Thompson profited off the company’s 9/11 contract.
Baldwin and Thompson face off in their final debate on Friday. Baldwin is currently leading in the race by 4.3 percentage points, according to HuffPost Pollster’s average of polls.
- Tommy Thompson, Who Profited From 9/11, Angers Responders With ‘False’ Tammy Baldwin Ad (huffingtonpost.com)
- Sept. 11 an issue for ads in WI Senate race (chippewa.com)
- 9/11 Becomes Issue For Ads In Wis. Senate Race (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Sept. 11 an issue for ads in WI Senate race (seattletimes.com)