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'Time for Joe to go,' say conservative group's new TV ads against Miami Rep. Joe Garcia

@PatriciaMazzei

Yet another conservative group has launched television advertisements against U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat.

The American Action Network's $1.1. million ad campaign features TV spots in English (to air in broadcast and cable networks) and Spanish (broadcast only) as well as a shorter, online-only spot in English. In March, the same group ran web ads targeting Garcia over Medicare Advantage cuts, though the congressman opposed them.

The new ads, titled "In His Own Words," use footage of Garcia speaking two years ago about then-rival David Rivera, who was plagued by scandals and lost his congressional seat to the Democrat. "We've seen what happens when a politician breaks the public trust, when they are dishonest and corrupt," Garcia says, looking into the camera.

Then come the headlines of scandals that engulfed Garcia's own office. His former chief of staff pleaded guilty to attempted absentee-ballot manipulation. His 2010 campaign is under federal investigation over a suspected straw candidate. "Time for Joe to go," the ads conclude.

"Joe Garcia is the dictionary definition of a hypocrite, promising strong ethics and instead delivering more scandal," Emily Davis an American Action Network spokeswoman, said in a statement. "For all Joe Garcia's talk about keeping the public trust, he's up to his eyeballs trying to defend himself while criminal investigations have already landed his right-hand man in jail."

For their part, Garcia and national Democrats have used Republican opponent Carlos Curbelo's words against him as well, in ads highlighting his comment that Medicare and Social Security amount to a "Ponzi scheme."

Miguel Salazar, a Garcia spokesman, called the ads "lies and false attacks."

"These outside interest groups, with no ties to South Florida, account for more than $4 million in ads that benefit lobbyist Carlos Curbelo," Salazar said in a statement. "This is just the latest sign that Curbelo can't be trusted to put South Floridians over his own political ambitions and the special interests that pay for his campaign."

View the English-language ad below.

 

 This post has been updated with comment from Garcia's campaign.

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