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GOP ad puts Minnick front and center

 BOISE – Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick is featured in a new political ad, but it’s not from who you might expect.

A new Republican National Committee Web video features Minnick touting his record of voting against legislation like health insurance reform – a key part of President Barack Obama’s and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.

 Other Democrats featured in the RNC production are Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota, Rep. Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Rep. Bobby Bright of Alabama, and Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

 All have campaign ads that seek to underscore their credentials as politicians willing to go up against their own party leadership.

 This phenomenon – Democrats distancing themselves from Democrats – underscores just how uncertain the 2010 election may be for incumbents from conservative-leaning districts. They’re fearful discontented voters will extend their unhappiness with Democratic leadership in Washington, D.C., to their own races on Nov. 2.

 “In campaign appearance after campaign appearance, President Obama and Democrats continue to try to paint Republicans as the ‘party of no,’ when in fact, Republicans have put forth ideas and proposals,” said RNC spokesman Doug Heye. “And Democrats are saying no, to not just the Obama-Pelosi agenda, but to Obama and Pelosi personally.”

 The excerpt is from Minnick’s first campaign TV ad of this election season. It shows Minnick telling TV viewers, “I’ve had to say no far more than I’ve said yes.”

 China Gum, the spokeswoman for Republican challenger Raul Labrador, said Minnick still votes with Pelosi and Obama much of the time.

 According to the Washington Post’s political database, Minnick votes with his party the least of any of the 435 U.S. House lawmakers.

 But Gum said that’s still more than two-thirds of the time.

 “We expect that Congressman Minnick will start to throw Nancy Pelosi and even President Obama under the bus,” Gum said. “But it’s all lip service, because he’s voted with them 70 percent of the time.”

Associated Press

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