It's never too early for an attack ad, apparently. The 113th Congress is barely a month old and the National Republican Congressional Committee already is beginning to lay the groundwork for Election 2014, pouncing on a recent report that newly-elected Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., failed to pay nearly $11,000 in property taxes.
The ad, so far airing just on the Internet, is not the NRCC's only hit against a Democrat likely facing tough competition two years from now. Less than two weeks ago, the GOP campaign committee also pumped out an ad against freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., showing him speaking in a promotional video for a Democratic super PAC after he criticized the role of outside money groups during his 2012 race.
On the issue of taxes or campaign finance, the GOP House campaign committee will keep trying to pin Democrats as hypocrites, according to northeast regional press secretary Ian Prior.
"Many of these members of Congress...take advantage of the very same system that they campaign against," Prior said.
Kuster, who backed a bill to increase taxes on millionaires in her campaign, has since paid the back taxes. The NRCC isn't calling on her to resign -- it is "holding her accountable" with an eye towards the 2014 race, according to Prior.
Prior would not say how much the web ad cost nor if it would be used as a TV commercial. But the ad's production value and length makes it ready for the airwaves. The advertisement popped up on Ad Hawk, a mobile app Sunlight developed that allows users to learn the identities of groups behind political ads and their funders.
The two congressional campaign ads are among a barrage of political advertising in what is supposed to be a politically dormant year. The Karl Rove-run American Crossroads, one of the highest-spending super PACs in the 2012 election, launched a web ad last week against actress Ashley Judd, a Democrat who is considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Former McConnell aide Steven Law runs the group. Rove has said more ads are coming.
Pro-gun control group the Progressive Change Campaign Committee also entered the McConnell race last week. Sunlight's Political Ad Sleuth, which compiles ad spending records from a Federal Communications Commimssion online database, shows the group placing ads in the Louisville market to criticize McConnell's stance against gun control. The group is spending about $43,000 on the ads, which also will air in Washington, the Huffington Post reported.
In December, the Democrats' House campaign arm ran a series of radio and web ads against Republicans likely to face close races in 2014, criticizing them for not being willing to raise taxes to stave off the then-looming fiscal cliff.