DCCC Trims Ad Buy in SWPA

Critz, left, and Maggi

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this week trimmed its television presence by about $225,000 in the Pittsburgh media market. That spending would have gone to Larry Maggi, the Democrat challenging Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).

The DCCC will still be on TV in the 12th district, but as of today Republican Keith Rothfus will have a 3-2 TV advantage over Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) in the final 3 weeks of the campaign.

The DCCC will have $350,000 on TV in Pittsburgh next week after cutting $28,000; $235,000 on the following week after cutting $160,000; and $438,000 the final week of the campaign after cutting $40,000. That’s according to two Republicans and one Democrat with knowledge of the changes.

These aren’t refunds; it’s time that the DCCC had reserved on various broadcast stations but now is deciding not to purchase. They would be independent expenditure dollars, meaning that the ads would not have been coordinated with campaigns or candidates.

Two Democratic operatives said the cuts actually came at the expense of Maggi in the neighboring 18th district.

Update: Americans for Tax Reform confirmed that it will drop another $840,000 in pro-Rothfus (or anti-Critz) ads, as PoliticsPA reported below.

Additionally, a second look at the broadcast station filings with the Federal Communications Commission show that the $225K was listed as part of a PA-12 ad buy, not PA-18. That money could have been shifted, theoretically, to Maggi, but he was not its original beneficiary.

That was confirmed by a GOP source familiar with the traffic change.


Now, as far as current filings show, the DCCC is spending at the same levels as its counterparts at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Likewise the Critz and Rothfus campaigns themselves are at approximate parity.

Rothfus’s advantage comes with other outside groups: Americans for Tax Reform and the Young Guns Action Fund are both planning to stay on the air through election day. Overall, pro-Rothfus (or anti-Critz) ads comprise about 60 percent of the $4.27 million ad dollars currently set for the 12th district.

That could change almost on a dime. If groups allied with Critz sense that the race is slipping away, expect to see them rush back onto the air.

For most of September, Critz and his allies enjoyed a majority of TV ad dollars, with AFSCME, SEIU and the House Majority PAC outspending the Republicans.

A series of internal polls have been published on the race, with Republican polls showing Rothfus even or with a slight edge, and Democratic polls showing Critz with a comfortable lead.

Neither party is likely to cut the district completely, as the DCCC did earlier this week in the Philadelphia market. The committee is seeking to spread its resources effectively nationally.

Maggi finished the 2nd quarter with about $400,000 on hand to Murphy’s $1,000,000.

TV isn’t the only way outside groups are helping. The AFL-CIO has knocked 31,000 doors and made 34,000 phone calls so far in PA-12 and will send 3 flights of mail there. FreedomWorks for American, a conservative super PAC, said it was doing a voter ID program for Rothfus.

18 Responses

  1. Hey Larry…err @Classy – you spelled ‘garbage’ wrong! You should go back to CalU for remedial grammar classes. But it’s gonna cost you a lot more because you need to pay off the debt on that Taj Mahal you built there. Maybe you can shake down some more county contractors for tuition donations!

  2. Whoever Shut Up Bradley Komar is needs to get a grip and grow up. I am so annoyed with these comments. Typically I read the articles and pay no attention to the grabbage posts…but this has caught my eye and is PATHETIC. I sure hope Murphy doesn’t know your campaign tactics and certainly hope he isn’t behind it all…makes you wonder. Larry Maggi, you seem like a great guy….you got my vote!

  3. Hey Maggi slappies – shut up! You ain’t from these parts. Don’t come sauntering in, throw mud, then run back to whatever liberal suburb in Virginia or Maryland you boys come from. And shame on Larry Maggi, who the hell is minding the store there? No wonder Washington County budget $5Million in deficit despite Larry being required by law to balance the budget. But no doubt Larry is gladly cashing his paycheck that included his automatic annual payraise!

  4. Mr. Nevala I’m sorry I mean John Pettits bagman, you should really tell people who you are and come forth with the evidence, Oh maybe this blogging/campaigning is being done on taxpayers dollars?????????????????

  5. ThE one person on here blasting Larry, is so uneducated! Idiot, head a raise in Salary when he went from Sheriff to Commissioner! Again, Murphy lies to his constituents! Maggi is an upstanding man who return his raises back to the county every year as a commissioner!!!!!!! What has two timing Tim ever done!?!

  6. It’s no wonder Washington County is five million in debt because Dirty Larry and Diana spent the last year attending ribbon-cuttings at Mickey Ds instead of minding the store. Now Dirty Larry is going to raise property taxes and blame it on the county employees unions. He votes to jack his own pay and collect multiple government pensions while cutting pensions for county workers. He’s a pig.

  7. Larry Maggi is still a better choice than Murphy. What has Murphy ever done? But it’s no suprise the democrats lied to him, when don’t they lie?
    And Maggi seems to have a lot of support in Murphy’s own back yard.

  8. Amazing how much $$$ has been wasted on Rothfus. He’s a weak Tea Party wing-nut with zero chance. Zero.

  9. The International Chamber of Commerce will continue to back its candidates in support of outsourcing and the tax breaks to encourage outsourcing. The DCCC has been smashed by the power of multinationals. We are coming for you, too, Mr. Critz! We are proud to drive down the wages of working people to increase profit and get you deeper in debt. Suck it, America!

  10. Maggi is out of his element. He can’t talk about issues, he’s a county commissioner….at best

  11. Pelosi is abandoning Larry Maggi because he’s a flat tire. It’s over. Maggi will now take his remaining campaign dollars to pay his family and repay that half-a-million dollar loan he have to his campaign. County contractors better ask for refunds now before it’s too late!

Comments are closed.

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