Bipartisan Group Backs TV Ads for 7 House Centrists

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 02:08 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Centrist group Center Forward, which spent more than $5 million in the 2012 election, says it will spend even more this year pushing candidates from both parties who voted to withhold salaries from lawmakers until Congress passed a budget.

The group announced it is releasing an initial group of ads, at a cost of $755,000, over the next two weeks, to back the campaigns of five Democrats and two Republicans over the next two weeks, reports The Hill.

The advertising is supporting Democratic Reps. Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona; Cheri Bustos of Illinois; Pete Gallego of Texas; and John Carney of Delaware, along with Republican Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Richard Hanna of New York.

Hanna is expected to face a tea party challenge this year, while Sinema, Barber, Bustos and Gallego are all face potentially tough reelection campaigns this fall.

Former Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala., who chairs Center Forward, said the group "will be a force to contend with from now on" and will spend more than $5 million this year.

The group decided on the "No Budget, No Pay" members because they showed they were willing to fight Congressional leadership. Center Forward is a revamping of Cramer's Blue Dog Coalition, which urges Congress to balance the federal budget while electing centrist lawmakers.

"We felt this was an issue where some members in a bipartisan way stepped forward," he said. "It demonstrates to the public that is hearing so much extremism from the far left and far right, here's a voice for the center."

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