A new attack ad launched Wednesday targets California Republicans who voted in favor of the GOP tax overhaul, seen as overwhelmingly unpopular among California voters.
The advertising campaign, funded by former California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s political action committee, comes after 12 of California’s 14 House Republicans voted Tuesday for the $1.5 trillion tax bill that slashes the corporate tax rate to 21 percent and limits deductions for state and local taxes – a provision that hits high-tax blue states like California and New York especially hard.
Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, voted against the tax bill. More than half of California voters believe the federal legislation will hurt the state.
Democrats say the tax vote makes Republicans especially vulnerable headed into the 2018 midterms, and Boxer says it will energize efforts to flip red House districts in conservative California enclaves like Orange County and the Central Valley.
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“They’re hurting thousands of their own constituents, who are going to have to pay higher taxes and insurance premiums,” Boxer said in an interview. “It’s disgusting and disgraceful ... and we intend to use the resources of the PAC to point out the truth. Even Issa and Rohrabacher, who took a pass and voted no, did nothing to stop it.”
Boxer’s “PAC for a Change” is targeting House Republicans who voted for the tax bill – and those who didn’t, with earlier ads blasting Issa as California’s own “mini Trump” and Rohrabacher as “Putin’s favorite congressman.”
The latest ad blasts Republicans, saying they “just scrooged us.”
“They voted to raise taxes on Californians while slashing taxes for corporations, right before the holidays,” the ad says. “It’s time to resist & replace these congressional scrooges.”
It names Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, David Valadao, R-Hanford, Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, Ed Royce, R-Fullerton and Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel.
All five represent traditional Republican congressional districts that Democrats say are vulnerable in 2018, in part because they went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last year.
Republicans insist the tax bill – which makes the largest changes in 30 years – simplifies the tax code, and will result in economic growth.
“By cutting federal tax rates and increasing the standard deduction, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” will help Californians keep more of what they earn and help grow wages and jobs,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said on Twitter. He also retweeted an image from President Donald Trump – a present box full of dollar bills – promising “tax cuts for Christmas.”
Boxer said the bill represents a giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Between Republicans’ vote for the tax bill, and their earlier vote this year to repeal and replace Obamacare, Boxer said she and other Democrats have enough ammunition to carry over into 2018.
“These two votes alone are the path to victory,” Boxer said. She also criticized Trump, suggesting he would benefit.
“Trump said he is going to drain the swamp,” she said. “He’s draining the Treasury for himself, for his family and for his friends.”