12:43 pm Mar. 27, 20121
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee is trying to make sure riders of the Staten Island Ferry don't forget about the recent allegations against Republican Representative Michael Grimm.
The DCCC announced a new ad today that highlights a few headlines from late January and early February, when a flurry of stories accused Grimm of fund-raising and business improprieties. The ads, which go for a sort of dossier style and don't feature any photos of Grimm, are running on the Staten Island Ferry through April.
Democrats considered Grimm's seat a possible opportunity to pick off a Republican freshman even before the New York Times reported allegations that Grimm accepted cash in excess of campaign limits, and engaged in less-than-upright business practices before he was elected to Congress. But the controversy appears to have died down in recent weeks, leaving it up to Grimm's opponent, the first-time candidate Mark Murphy, and the DCCC to keep the narrative going.
Part of the problem for Democrats is the expensive nature of advertising in the New York market, where they'll be competing with Grimm's $1 million dollar war chest. The display ads on the ferry appear to be a low-cost way to reach a captive audience during the half-hour commute.
A DCCC spokesman declined to say the amount of the ad buy. A Grimm spokeswoman did not immediately return an email for comment.
UPDATE: Carol Danko, a spokesperson for Grimm, emailed the following statement from Grimm: "This brings credence to our call that this is political from the beginning. The people of Staten Island and Brooklyn know I have been fighting hard for them and I have the record to prove it, which is why the DCCC must resort to smear tactics. This is politics at its worst, and exactly what I would expect from Washington Democrats. My constituents know better than to fall for these disgusting tactics and will reject these claims when they cast their votes in November, overwhelmingly re-electing me to Congress."