This could be the biggest single injection of Jewish organizational money into the mid-term campaign so far.
The Republican Jewish Coalition announced today that it was putting $1 million into eight congressional races, in attempt to promote Republican candidates.
The money will go for TV and newspaper ads, mainly those attacking Democratic rivals in key races. In California the ads go after Senator Barbara Boxer for not speaking out against President Obama when he pressured the Netanyahu government to halt settlement expansion. In Pennsylvania the RJC is targeting Democratic Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak for signing the “Gaza 54” letter, a congressional letter calling for an ease on the Israeli-imposed siege on the Gaza Strip. And in Illinois, the RJC ads attack Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who is running for the seat previously held by Barack Obama. “All isn’t kosher with Alexi Giannoulias” the ads claim, pointing to a donation made by his family-owned bank to a pro-Palestinian group.
Interestingly, in Florida the RJC is not aiming at Democrat Kendrick Meek, but rather at the Independent (and former Republican) Charlie Crist. The RJC ad draws on Jewish sources to criticize Crist’s decision to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent. “Authenticity is a key Jewish value. So is putting others before oneself,” the ad states, “Charlie Crist. In it for himself. Not for us.” The RJC, as can be deduced from the ads, is backing Republican candidate Marco Rubio who was endorsed by the Tea Party movement.
Other states in which RJC intends to run ads are Nevada, Ohio, Missouri, and Washington. The issues that will be raised are not limited to Israel. They’ll include healthcare, tax cuts, and government spending.
RJC executive director Matt Brooks said the purpose of the million-dollar campaign is to “educate the community about these issues and encourage the community to question the status quo, to examine the issues thoughtfully, and to make informed decisions.”
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Republican Jewish Group Take Out Big Ad Buys in Races Nationwide