Liberal veterans group targets Allen in ad

 ·  Jeremy Herb, The Hill   ·   Link to Article

VoteVets.org, a liberal veterans group, is jumping into the Virginia Senate race with a $200,000 ad buy targeting former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.).

The new ad attacks Allen on veterans' issues in a Senate race that has been heavily focused on the military and defense cuts that could occur at the beginning of next year.

The group's ad features a veteran on camera accusing Allen of voting against bills to fund veterans' priorities while in the Senate, then hits him for his 2009 statement that "whatever the government program is, no matter how essential it is, it is a waste."

VoteVets.org said the ad will run on broadcast and cable in Virginia for one week.

An Allen spokeswoman said the ad "turns it back on the truth to play politics for veterans' votes." 

"Virginia veterans know that George Allen repeatedly authored and voted for legislation increasing TRICARE benefits and other veterans' benefits," spokeswoman Emily Davis said in a statement.

The ad campaign could help former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) push back against Allen's attacks that have accused Kaine of supporting cuts to the military.

Allen released an ad earlier this month hitting Kaine for supporting the debt-limit deal last year that led to the sequestration cuts, which could reduce Pentagon budgets by $500 billion over the next decade.

Sequestration has been a big issue in Virginia, a state with a sizable military presence, and has come up frequently in the debates between Allen and Kaine.

The issue is playing in both the Senate campaign and the tight presidential race in Virginia.

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