Absurd NRCC Attack Ad Blames Jerry McNerney For Solyndra

NRCC Attack Ad

NRCC Attack Ad

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House Republicans, has posted scores of attack ads on YouTube already over the course of this campaign cycle. But a little-noticed February spot — targeting Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) — may be the most laughable ad so far this cycle. The 30-second video contains the narration:

They say money can’t buy you love, but don’t tell Jerry McNerney. McNerney backed Obama’s plan, feeding half a billion to Solyndra, the solar company that was heading for bankruptcy. And Solyndra’s big investor? Also a big investor in McNerney’s campaign. The same investor who raised big money for President Obama. McNerney, Obama, Solyndra. Apparently, money can buy you love.

Watch it here:

The committee’s press release for the ad was subtitled “McNerney Happy to Waste Taxpayer Money in Order to Receive Donor Checks.”

The vote the ad mentions is the February 13, 2009 House roll call on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the stimulus package. The bill’s funding for Solyndra and other alternative energy development efforts were just a tiny fraction of its hundreds of billions of dollars in investments. Though McNerney was one of 246 House Democrats who voted for the bill, he was not one of the bill’s authors. So the inference that McNerney’s vote for the bill just to receive a donor check strains already strained credulity.

But the unnamed Solyndra investor to whom the ad refers is George B. Kaiser. An examination of Federal Election Commission records reveals that Kaiser did indeed donate $2,400 to McNerney’s campaign — in 2010, i.e. after he could have bought a vote on the Recovery Act. McNerney raised over $3.2 million for his 2010 re-election efforts, making Kaiser far from a “big investor” in his campaign before or after the stimulus vote.

The NRCC told a local paper that it would spend just about $6,000 to air the ad on cable television — perhaps a sign that even they knew how comical its charges were.

To believe the NRCC’s ad, you would have to believe that McNerney’s vote for $787 billion in economic stimulus came only because the less than 0.1 percent of the bill benefited a company whose investor had given him no significant contributions at the time and would give him not that much afterward.

But, as the NRCC must know, money can buy you really bad attack ads.