Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, trailing his Democratic challenger in statewide polls, launched his first television ads Friday with a spot that argues he’s been tough in cracking down on illegal immigration.
In the 30-second ad, the senator said his father and grandfather immigrated to western Pennsylvania from Italy, and his grandfather worked in coal mines for 30 years.
“Unfortunately today, some enter our country with more sinister intentions,” Santorum said. “That’s why I fought so hard to add thousands of new guards, to beef up our borders and for critical high-tech surveillance.”
Officials said the campaign is spending less than $100,000 to run the ad _ a small sum for a statewide media buy _ on network television in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and on cable in Philadelphia. A spokeswoman for the Santorum campaign said the buy was to be expanded Friday afternoon.
The ad does not mention Santorum’s opponent, state Treasurer Bob Casey.
In response to the spot, the Casey campaign accused Santorum of trying to cover up a “record of voting against more border patrols and against cracking down on employers that hire illegal immigrants.”
Casey had an 18-point lead over Santorum in a Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday, but Santorum has a 2-to-1 cash advantage.
Santorum recently voted against a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Senate that, among other things, would allow a majority of illegal immigrants in the country to eventually become legal permanent residents and citizens after paying at least $3,250 in fines, fees and back taxes and learning English.
Casey has said he had reservations about the bill, but he supported it because it also contained reforms such as increased security at borders.
Democrat John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign and an Arkansas lawyer and his firm have agreed to pay $59,500 in fines for violating campaign finance law.
Tab Turner and his firm Turner & Associates will pay $50,000 in the settlement, and Edwards for President will pay $9,500, said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the Federal Election Commission.
The settlement relates to a pair of fundraisers that Turner held in Arkansas for Edwards in January 2003. The FEC said Thursday that Turner and his firm violated federal law when they made contributions with corporate money in others’ names, used corporate resources to funnel contributions to Edwards’ campaign and made banned corporate in-kind contributions.
The FEC said Edwards’ campaign acknowledged it broke the law when it accepted the prohibited money. The campaign also broke the law when it took a contribution made by Turner in the names of his brother and sister-in-law.
“From the beginning, Turner & Associates worked to correct any mistakes that had occurred in connection with two fundraisers they helped organize for Senator John Edwards,” the firm said in a statement Friday.
“Although not in agreement with all the conclusions reached by the FEC, Turner & Associates is pleased to have worked with the FEC to resolve this matter,” the firm said.
Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, is a potential 2008 presidential candidate. A spokeswoman for Edwards said the fine is a past issue.
“It’s all old news,” Kim Rubey said. “All the issues that have been raised today are issues that the campaign addressed back when they were first raised in 2003.”
On the Net:
Rick Santorum: http://www.ricksantorum.com/
Bob Casey: http://www.bobcasey.com/
© 2006 The Associated Press