Democrats want voters to know when and where some Republican lawmakers will hold public events during next week’s Congressional recess — and they’re willing to pay to get the word out.
Priorities USA, a Democratic Super PAC that backed Hillary Clinton during last year’s presidential campaign, is launching a digital ad campaign aimed at informing people of their Republican representative’s public schedule. The effort is aimed at 12 GOP lawmakers who represent districts or a state that Clinton won, including Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J.
Priorities wouldn’t say how much it was spending on the effort, or which GOP lawmakers it was targeting other than Heller or Lance. But it’s paring its effort with a progressive advocacy group Indivisible, a group created by Democratic former congressional aides who developed a widely read manual among liberals of how to protest Republican town halls.
The ads will run alongside search engines and Facebook and will provide details about events in their area. People who click on the ad, according to the Priorities press release, will be sent to Indivisible’s website, where they will be asked to RSVP and be given instructions for preparing for the GOP town hall.
“The upcoming recess week promises to provide even more scenes of grassroots activism by everyday citizens concerned about our country's future,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, said in a statement. “We are inspired by Indivisible and couldn't be prouder to partner with them to empower those who want to make their voices heard and engage in social action. Republican lawmakers who refuse to stand up to Donald Trump should be prepared to answer for that to their constituents over the coming week, and beyond.”
Democratic activists are angry at Republicans over their support of President Trump and promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which they argue is essential for the health care of many low-income Americans.
Republican-led town halls have already made major news earlier this month, when people angrily confronted Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, at his own event.
Chaffetz and other Republicans have accused liberal activists of packing their events with out-of-state agitators who are not representative of their constituents.
“Democrats are tapping a well-organized network of progressive groups to try and derail Republican efforts to engage with members of their community,” said Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political arm of the House GOP. “Obamacare is imploding in front of our eyes and the activist left is clinging to the failed policies that caused the healthcare mess in the first place.”