(Updated Feb. 8, 5:52 p.m.)
The Emergency Committee for Israel has launched a new ad campaign to oppose former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of defense, after the vote to confirm him was delayed in the Senate.
A decision by the Senate Armed Services Committee to postpone its vote on Hagel's nomination — made because some committee members said they wanted more information about Hagel's speaking engagements — gave the groups spending against him more time to place ads. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the committee, said he plans to hold the vote as soon as possible, but so far no date has been set.
Meanwhile, another group that has been trying to torpedo the Hagel nomination, the well-funded American Future Fund, has unveiled another new ad. So far, no details on the buy have been released, but U.S. News and World Report is reporting that it will begin airing Sunday.
ECI's newest ad, seen above, attacks Hagel's views on Iran. According to Political Ad Sleuth, which compiles political ad purchases from the Federal Communications Commission, ECI paid $15,000 for a single 30-second spot during this Sunday's Meet the Press on WNBC, New York's NBC affiliate station.
This is the first time an anti-Hagel ad from ECI has shown up in the FCC database, but it is not the ECI's first attempt to scuttle Hagel's confirmation. The group placed a full-page ad in the New York Times in mid-January, and also ran two video advertisements on cable television stations and the web.
The FCC only requires stations to disclose political ad purchases if they are in the top 50 broadcast markets and affiliated with the top four networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — which means the numbers in Political Ad Sleuth represent just a portion of ECI spending against Hagel. The group's executive director, Noah Pollak, refused to discuss how much the group was planning to spend in its efforts against Hagel.
Groups opposed to Hagel's confirmation have now spent at least $226,730 on network television ads. For a list of the groups and the amounts they're spending, see below.