MoveOn vs. Chamber of Commerce in Kentucky, New Hampshire

Rand Paul (AP)

The liberal grassroots group released two negative campaign ads today against Republican Senate candidates Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Rather than attacking the candidates directly, however, the ads attack the Chamber of Commerce and the candidates for associating with the business group.

A narrator in the ads says, "You can judge a person by the company they keep," and highlights the financial support the candidates have received from the Chamber. The organization has so far spent $300,000 in Kentucky and $1 million in New Hampshire. The Chamber aims to spend as much as $75 million on this election cycle, the Wall Street Journal reports; it is one of about a dozen major conservative and business organizations that will spend about $300 million to support Republican candidates.

MoveOn's ads point out the Chamber was recently accused of tax fraud by a labor-funded group called U.S. Chamber Watch. It also blasts the group for what it calls their "partisan agenda," like "tax breaks for the wealthy [and] denying Americans better health care."

MoveOn said in a statement the ads are the first in a new program "to fight back against the flood of corporate and billionaire financed advertisements being run in support of Republican candidates nationwide." Special Report: Campaign 2010

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.