Democrats are launching a series of robocalls today against six vulnerable House Republicans who have been caught in ethics scandals.
As part of the Democrats' campaign to win back the House, the robocalls focus on six relatively new GOP members: Reps. Scott Tipton of Colorado, David Rivera of Florida, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee were all elected in 2010. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida came into office in 2007.
"House Republican leaders pledged a zero tolerance policy to ethics problems in their conference, but their answer has been to turn a blind eye, " said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the official campaign arm of House Democrats.
Bass, for instance, was accused of using his influence as a congressman to help his nephew's company profit and then buying stock in the company.
The robocall against Buchanan focuses on charges that he illegally funneled $67,900 to his campaign. "The Federal Election Commission called it an 'extensive and ongoing scheme' of 'secret illegal contributions,'" the DCCC robocall says. "We don't need a congressman like him representing us."
Most of the allegations noted in the robocalls surfaced before Election Day 2010, but there have been new developments since then in most cases. For instance, Fincher came under scrutiny in 2010 for allegedly failing to disclose a loan of $250,000 to his campaign, but the Federal Election Commission has since opened an investigation into the charge.The robocall targeting Guinta focuses on an investigation into his campaign funding, while the call targeting Rivera highlights a series of charges against the congressman, including the accusation he received "secret payments" from his mother's company.
Democrats need to win 24 seats to win the House back in 2012.