Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Club For Growth Takes on Wil Cardon in Arizona by Stephanie Palla - National Journal


The Club for Growth announced Monday it is spending $500,000 on advertisements attacking businessman Wil Cardon, marking the first time the group has waged a paid media campaign against Rep. Jeff Flake's opponent in the Arizona's Republican Senate primary.

The campaign will consist of two television ads along with a sixty-second radio ad. The ads will begin airing on Tuesday on both broadcast and cable stations throughout the Grand Canyon State.
In a release announcing the buy, the anti-tax group, which has endorsed Flake, accused the wealthy businessman of being an conservative "imposter." The group cited a $9 billion dollar tax increase supported by Cardon as evidence, and touted Cardon's affiliation with the Urban Land Institute, a group that supports increased taxes on gas and cap and trade.


The Club's ad campaign also comes on the heels of a television spot Cardon released on Friday, which accused Flake of having a liberal approach toward illegal immigration.

Cardon's early attacks against Flake's immigration stance and his ability to self-fund have turned heads in Arizona. The Club's attack signals it also views him as a threat.

Immigration remains a divisive issue in Arizona and Flake's record - including once helping introduce the STRIVE Act, which included a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants - could be problematic among an electorate where immigration is still. In March of 2011, Flake rejected his previous views on broad immigration reform, citing that border security must first be addressed.

Flake's camp was quick to refute Cardon's attacks on immigration and argued the broadsides will not gain traction. His spokesman pointed to today's endorsement of Cochise Co. Sheriff Larry Dever as evidence of Flake's border security bona fides and reiterated that the congressman does not support amnesty.

Cardon, meanwhile, has his own challenges. He's a former Flake donor and as a first-time candidate, hasn't been through the rigors of a campaign.

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