Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has become a pretty prominent part of the debate over healthcare reform as the chief Republican negotiator in the Senate Finance Committee. And with his stance against the public option -- indeed, against any bill right now -- he's become a target for liberal groups. Now, two of them are joining to air an ad against him in his home state and in Washington D.C.
The two groups behind the spot are Democracy for America, which was founded by Howard Dean and is now run by his brother Jim, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. For now, it's slated to run 200 times in Iowa and another 100 in D.C. The groups had previously implemented a similar strategy against senators like Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson.
The ad features an Iowa farmer named Kevin Shilling who says he's voted for Republicans including Presidents Reagan, Nixon and George W. Bush and for Grassley himself.
“I voted for Sen. Grassley in the past,” Shilling says in the ad. “But when Grassley takes over $2 million from the big health and insurance industries that oppose reform and then says he won’t give Iowans the choice of a public option, I have to ask: Senator, whose side are you on?”
Using one Republican to go after another in an ad is always a good strategy, but it may not get this particular ad all that far. Shilling may have voted Republican in the past, he may even still do so, but he's also a county chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.