Posted 10/10/2013 12:32 pm
Updated 2 months ago
LITTLE ROCK - Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign on Thursday called on Republican rival and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton to pull down a TV ad that accuses Pryor of backing a congressional exemption from the health care law, but Cotton's campaign said it was instead considering running the spot more.
Pryor Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver said Cotton should stop airing the ad, which began running Saturday on Little Rock television stations, after PolitiFact.Com said it was false. The 30-second spot accuses Pryor of supporting "special subsidies" for Congress for the federal health care law.
The claim centers on a part of the 2010 overhaul that requires members of Congress and their staff to purchase their insurance through the exchanges set up under the law. The law, however, did not say what would happen to the employer contribution that Congress and its employees currently receive.
The Office of Personnel Management in August proposed that the federal government will continue to pay its standard share of premiums. That proposal, however, has been met with criticism from Cotton and other Republicans who have called it a special subsidy for Washington.
PolitiFact on Wednesday called Cotton's ad false, and FactCheck.org has disputed similar claims made by other Republicans.
"It's his responsibility to do the honorable thing and stop misinforming Arkansans," Weaver said.
The ad was the first Cotton has aired since announcing in August that he was challenging Pryor, who is seeking a third term. Cotton was elected in November to represent south Arkansas' 4th Congressional District. Pryor on Tuesday began airing an ad refuting the claim and criticizing Cotton for missing two House votes last month to attend a campaign fundraiser.
Cotton's campaign stood by the ad and continued its assertion that Pryor was supporting an exemption. The campaign said it has spent $67,845 to air the ad on four TV stations and Comcast cable in Little Rock.
"Not only will Cotton for Senate not be pulling our factual and well-documented television ad, we are considering extending our buy," Cotton campaign manager Justin Brasell said in an email.
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