April 15th, 2010
05:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Battle intensifies for Murtha's former seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/art.critz.youtube.jpg caption="Republicans are running an ad against Democratic candidate Mark Critz that links him to health care reform."]Washington (CNN) - With just over a month to go before the May 18 special election to fill the House seat formerly held by the late Rep. John Murtha, political ads are starting to light up the airwaves in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district.

Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz are both being attacked in TV spots financed by national party committees.

On Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ad alleging that Burns would raise taxes. As the ad's narrator tells it, "Southwestern Pennsylvania is hurting, but millionaire Tim Burns would make things even worse."

The National Republican Congressional Committee went on TV earlier this week with an ad painting Critz as too liberal for Pennsylvania because of his support for federal health care legislation.

"Americans said no to government run health care, but Congress and liberals like Mark Critz didn't listen," that ad's narrator claims. "He'll put the liberal agenda before Pennsylvania."

Though a GOP win in the district would be the first in many years, it would not be a complete suprise. Murtha, who steered millions of federal dollars back to his home district, rarely had any serious challenges in his 18 re-election contests. But the district, which stretches from Cambria County in west-central Pennsylvania down to the southwestern corner of the state, is conserative-leaning one.

In the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John Kerry won Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District by 2 points. But Sen. John McCain narrowly edged out Barack Obama in the district in 2008, even though Obama carried the state by 10 percent.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • DCCC • NRCC • Pennsylvania
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. brian in denver

    These guys aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer; this could very well back-fire on them. "Americans said no to government run healthcare...". That should read "some Americans..." Most folks are behind the plan & welcome some degree of fairness in the system.

    April 15, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |

    First, the govenment is not running health care!
    That is a GOP lie!
    The insurance companies will still be controlling the care and money.
    The hospitals will still be doing their thing. The government just created a fair playing field that the people can choose their pricing and not be taken advantage of.
    If the health care insurance companies didn't keep screwing us over and over again with denying services and increasing prices, then they wouldn't have to be regulated like selfish children!
    THIS IS A LIE...designed to deceive you, to get you angry or frighten you.
    It is sad that these lies are used to let the insurance companies keep doing the things they are doing and pricing as they wish, with no control. They are paying off the GOP law makers to do their bidding!

    April 15, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Yet another example of how much contempt the GOP has for its constituents: The health care reform legislation recently passed isn't "government run" (which, by the way, should be hyphenated, since it's a compound adjective ... ) – and the GOP knows it.

    They're just hoping they can scare people into voting for them, so the GOP can continue its tried-and-failed economic, military and foreign policies that benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

    April 15, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Glenn Koons

    Tim Burns is a guy who should and could end the reign of these Murtha pork people in the district. Critz is just a Murtha aide as one of his aides and another Obama vote which Pa. doesn't need if it wants to regain any fiscal and national defense balance. Time for Pa. to wipe out the Dems in that area as well as in the State Leg. Burns will be a good rep for the people and not for SEIU as Murtha and his ilk were.

    April 15, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Bob in Pa

    I see the Ticker edititor is falling down on the job again.
    need to correct that line to read:

    "Murtha, who "stole" millions of federal dollars"

    April 15, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. gary21

    We need socially liberal, fiscally conservative congress people. flatten the tax rate, stop the entitlement spending, stop the wars, cut every program 5% until the budget is balanced. That is what we need. Sorry that he died by frankly Murtha was pathetic and irresponsible.

    April 15, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Duck Fallas

    Say no to government run health care. Repeal Medicare NOW.

    April 15, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Keith

    Newsflash: the topic of increasing taxes at this point is moot. Taxes have to go up to repair the damage this administration has done over the past year. The topic should be how to stop the reckless spending and increasing control over American's lives by the government that put us into this mess in the first place!

    April 15, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Sean

    When will some people realize that the healthcare reform bill IS NOT "GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTHCARE"? How can we even have a constructive conversation about it when some people seem so content to wallow in blatant ignorance?

    April 15, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. ib

    Kaine and the DNC are talking about someone raising taxes. Just ask Kaine he knows all about raising taxes especially in Va. when he was gov.

    April 15, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Pkm

    Just think the dem are going to pick up 23 millon votes becaure the will get health care do you really want to vote foR the gop who does care if you live or die

    April 15, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |

    The problem with the RNC's ad is that there is no government run health care, except for Medicare. Is the RNC proposing to eliminate Medicare? I know that the people in PA can see right through the RNC's scare tactics and lies. You can only lie so long until the truth catches up with you. The RNC hasn't learned that lesson yet, but they will in November.

    April 15, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Nick Jacobs

    I'm a little confused. You clearly describe the ad that the National Republican Committee is running against Mark Critz, but you don't indicate how absurd it is. Critz was NOT in Congress and could not have voted for healthcare reform??? Mark Critz is not a Liberal. He is clearly a Moderate, and, I'm sorry to say that there aren't many of those left anywhere in National Politics.

    April 15, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Aspen Professor

    Ah yes, the Repub fools are at it still with their message - "Just say no to the Government controlled health care>"

    Yea right - Lets cancel Medicare and funding for the VA hospitals. What an unbelieveable bunch of fools running the Republican Party!

    April 15, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. Aspen Professor

    Ah yes, the Repub fools are at it still with their message - "Just say no to the Government run health care>"

    Yea right - Lets cancel Medicare and funding for the VA hospitals. What an unbelieveable bunch of fools running the Republican Party!

    April 15, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Concerned Citizen

    It seems like no one is talking about Tim Burns' countless extramarital affairs when he was at TechRx. He was openly sleeping with his own employees. Why isn't this part of Tim's life being covered?

    April 15, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |