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American Future Fund

Senate Roundup: The Usual Attacks And A Puzzler

The campaign clock is running down, and it's tough keeping up with the new ads. Here's a new crop from Senate races — advertisers include the American Future Fund, League of Conservation Voters, Chamber of Commerce, Freedom's Watch and Susan B. Anthony List.

Let's start with one that presents a logical challenge.

The American Future Fund released a new ad in its ongoing campaign against Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall in Colorado. The ad implies Udall is bad on education, needs a "reality check," and then — curiously — urges him to support Senate bill 12.

First of all, the bill was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in February and hasn't gone anywhere since. Second, the bill's only education provision is an "enhanced charitable deducation for corporate contributions of computer equipment for educational purposes." Third and perhaps most important, Udall is a member of the House of Representatives, not the Senate. He wouldn't be able to vote for S. 12 unless he gets elected, an ambition the American Future Fund hopes to thwart. Right?

Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters produced an ad tying Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) to "Big Oil;" Freedom's Watch, in a rare positive ad, boosts Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) as an anti-tax crusader; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hits Minnesota Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken on taxes and being funny.

Franken also takes a beating in a radio ad by the Susan B. Anthony List, which supports anti-abortion Republicans. A woman calls in to the "Delusional Politician Hotline" to report an angry, foul-mouthed politician with "funny glasses" — that would be Franken. The woman is concerned about Franken's support of abortion rights. "'Does sort of make his support of pornography make sense," says the hotline operator. The woman asks fearfully, "Is he — serious?" The laconic operator responds: "He's a comedian, ma'am."