Dueling ads on gun rights from NRA, Bloomberg enter Virginia campaign

by Fredrick Kunkle, The Washington Post  |  published on October 23, 2013

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Dueling ads on gun rights by the National Rifle Association and a group backed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have joined the onslaught of campaign advertising in Virginia’s elections this year.

Two new ads this week from the NRA’s Political Victory Fund PAC have targeted the Democrats’ candidate for attorney general, Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) in his race against Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). The NRA ads link Herring to gun control, higher taxes and — Bloomberg.

“Mark Herring supports more gun control and will tax your freedom away,” one of the spots says. “Mark Obenshain defends your freedom and your safety.” Says another: “Herring will back Bloomberg’s big government agenda: gun control, gun rationing, a ban on the most popular rifle in America” — an apparent reference to the semiautomatic AR-15. Both ads tout Obenshain’s endorsements from several law enforcement groups and his backing from the NRA.

“It’s no wonder that fringe groups like the NRA are doing everything they can to help tea party candidate Mark Obenshain, because he agrees with them and votes with them,” Herring campaign spokesman Matt Wojtkun said in an e-mail. “Virginians are rejecting this extreme Cuccinelli-Obenshain ticket because it’s wrong for Virginia.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC sponsored an ad attacking Cuccinelli’s record on firearms, including his opposition to closing “the gun show loophole.”

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