WASHINGTON – Candidates running for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have created several commercials during their campaigns, many of them attacking their opponents and some highlighting their own platform.
Democratic nominee Diane Mitsch Bush and incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton have released ads attacking each other on issues including veteran funding, higher taxes and positions on health care.
Leading up to the midterm election Nov. 6, candidates continue to vie for Coloradans’ votes through commercials and online ads on their YouTube channels in a race that election forecast blog FiveThirtyEight has declared a “toss-up.”
Diane Mitsch BushMitsch Bush’s ads have focused primarily on her biggest opponent: Tipton. Out of 37 ads on her campaign YouTube channel, nearly half target Tipton’s voting record, platform and debate answers, focusing specifically on taxes, health care and conservation efforts.
Her latest ad calls Tipton a “Washington insider” who supports tax breaks for the top 1 percent, citing his voting record and referring to his YES vote for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. The ad cites the blog again to say Tipton supported cutting funds for Social Security and Medicare, which is included in an earlier ad. Tipton votes 96 percent of the time in line with Trump’s position, according to FiveThirtyEight, a fact Mitsch Bush includes in the ad.
Mitsch Bush said in a news release the ad “exposes how Tipton is trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.”
In some commercials, Mitsch Bush features constituents in her district who oppose Tipton’s voting record. One features “George,” a Vietnam veteran, and “Troy,” a Desert Storm veteran (the ads don’t identify the constituents by their last name), and features Troy saying he was “shocked” by Tipton’s vote against House bill HR-2216 in 2013, which would have reduced veterans’ wait for care.
“After everything veterans have done for this country, to have Congress turn their backs on us,” Troy said.
Said George: “It’s not right.”
The ad also faults Tipton for a 2011 vote against PTSD and suicide funding for veterans, referring to House bill HR-2055, which appropriated funds to several government agencies and the military. According to Congress.gov, Tipton voted NAY on a motion to include an amendment to increase funds for veterans’ medical services for post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention by $20 million. The veterans in the video declare Tipton’s voting record a “deal-breaker,” before Mitsch Bush says she’ll “always defend our veterans and their families.”
Mitsch Bush’s YouTube channel also includes eight 7-second videos titled, “Tipton’s Terrible Record,” with graphics on Tipton’s voting record during his four terms as a congressional representative.
Mitsch Bush’s ads mainly focus on Tipton’s voting record and campaign, including two ads that count up to 155 corporate donors for Tipton’s campaigns and zero for her own.
Tipton’s corporate donors include Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobil, Home Depot and McDonald’s Corp. The site stipulates that the organizations themselves did not donate, but the money came from PACs, members, employees, owners or families associated with these companies. She ends with a message to “vote for accountability in Washington.”
Scott Tipton Tipton released two campaign ads, both posted on his YouTube channel, that attack Mitsch Bush. His first ad, titled “Almost Everything,” labels his Democratic opponent as “a liberal career politician who would cost us too much.”
Tipton argues that Mitsch Bush supported higher taxes and fees for Colorado families through voting for higher property taxes, income taxes, business taxes, vehicle registration fees and sales taxes. The ad cites the Colorado Secretary of State, a Colorado Mountain College news release from November 2017, a Colorado House bill HB16-1275 from March 2016, a Steamboat Pilot & Today article from 2009 and another Colorado House bill HB14-1269 from April 2014. Tipton did not include any of his positions on taxes in the ad.
The second ad, titled “Openly,” accuses Mitsch Bush of socialist policies. The ad said Mitsch Bush funded a leading socialist magazine called In These Times in 1999, 2002 and 2004, and would encourage a “government takeover” of health care that would “kick” Coloradans off their health care plan, citing his opponent’s June 23 guest column in The Durango Herald. Both ads take aim at Mitsch Bush’s tax policy, saying her single-payer health care policy would need a tax increase to work. Both ads end by calling Mitsch Bush a “career politician.”
An earlier version of this story implied that Diane Mitsch Bush accepted donations from Apple Inc. and Twitter. Rather, it appears that individuals who work at Apple and Twitter donated to her campaign.