By Garren Shipley -- firstname.lastname@example.org
He's not on the ballot this year, but Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, is the target of an attack ad running on local television.
Americans United For Change, a liberal group founded in 2005 to oppose President Bush's efforts to reform Social Security, is running the cable ads in Wolf's district, taking him to task for opposing the American Clean Energy and Security Act earlier this year.
The ad slams Wolf for taking $164,000 in campaign contributions from energy and natural resources companies.
"They contributed to your campaign, and when it was time to vote for the Clean Energy and Security Act, you voted 'no,'" a male voice says. "No to 1.7 million new jobs. No to the jobs we really need."
A nearly identical ad aimed at Rep. Eric Cantor, R-7th -- who represents an area stretching from Page County to the Richmond suburbs -- is running on Richmond TV stations.
It's about accountability, according to the group.
"The money Congressmen Cantor and Wolf have taken from the big oil and gas industry seems like such a small price to turn their backs on the middle-class families they represent and just say 'NO' to creating tens of thousands of high paying, clean energy jobs in Virginia," says Tom McMahon, the group's acting executive director, in a press release.
The group's ad is a major distortion of some well-established facts, according to Dan Scandling, Wolf's chief of staff.
Wolf has taken money from energy companies, but the $164,000 in question is over his entire 29-year career in the House. Out of Wolf's $8.6 million in contributions since 1989, the money in question represents about 2 percent.
And it didn't take campaign contributions to get Wolf to vote against the bill, his chief of staff added.
"Tell people that this bill is
usually called, 'Cap and Trade,' and then see how they react to it," Scandling said.
Wolf objected to provisions that he says will put the U.S. at a major economic disadvantage compared to places like China and India.
Other parts would push electricity rates up 90 percent and gasoline prices 70 percent as energy companies pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide from their facilities.
That would have a direct impact on businesses and families in the 10th District, Scandling said.
The bill, which passed on a 219-212 vote in June, has yet to be considered by the U.S. Senate.
Wolf is due to stand for a 16th two-year term in 2010.