11:50 am Aug. 8, 20122
Friends of Democracy, a new super PAC funded with seed money from Jonathan Soros, is getting involved in the race against Hudson Valley congresswoman Nan Hayworth.
The new PAC spent $7,300 on Tuesday for a mailer opposing Hayworth, according to filings on the F.E.C. website.
Hayworth is running against Sean Patrick Maloney, a former aide to Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer, in a swing district that has attracted the attention of both national parties.
The mailer accuses Hayworth of being beholden to special interests from outside the district, and tries to paint her as insufficiently supportive of women's health, at the behest of insurance industry donors.
"Insurance companies gave Nan Hayworth's campaign money in hopes she would help them draw the line on women's health. It worked," says the front of the mailer.
The back says Hayworth accepted more than $600,000 from insurance companies and "voted to allow them to deny women access to birth control, mammograms, and even cancer screenings."
The mailer also claims that 85 percent of Hayworth's contributions came from outside the district and asks, "Who do you think she looks out for?"
The out-of-district charge is something of a role reversal. Hayworth has emphasized that she has deeper roots in the district than Maloney, who only recently moved into the district after years of owning a second home in the area.
The help from Soros' group could help Maloney offset Hayworth's financial advantage.
Hayworth reported $1.4 million in cash on hand at the end of June, compared to just $264,000 on hand for Maloney, who has raised a respectable $645,000 so far, but was forced to spend heavily on a competitive Democratic primary.
Friends of Democracy has previously stated that it intends to spend as much as $8 million helping Democrats in 10 to 15 competitive House districts, and specifically named Hayworth as a potential target in a June story in the Washington Post.
The group had collected just $145,214 through the end of June, with $106,000 coming from Soros, the son of financier George Soros. (The elder Soros helped bankroll many of the attacks against George W. Bush in 2004, but has declined to be as involved with the Democratic efforts against Mitt Romney this year, investing heavily in voter turnout instead.)
A spokesman for Hayworth, Michael Knowles, responded in a statement:
"This 'pot call the kettle black' strategy is pretty perplexing. The outside interest group that sent this mailer would better serve Mr. Maloney's campaign by avoiding the issue of 'outside influence,' seeing as their candidate continues to live 60 miles from our district's border and raised a whopping five contributions from local voters during the second quarter.
"Hudson Valley voters sent Congresswoman Hayworth to Washington to support pro-growth policies that protect taxpayers, slash this monstrous deficit, and preserve entitlement programs for future generations. If fulfilling campaign promises is the test for re-election, she's passed with flying colors."