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Future Plans

The liberal 527 group Campaign for America’s Future today plans to announce an ad campaign attacking Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) for his ties to Washington lobbyists and what the group called “abuses of power.”

“Rep. Ney’s abuse of power has helped create the most corrupt Congress in recent history,” said Toby Chaudhuri, communications director for the Campaign for America’s Future. “He’s busy with gambling deals in Texas and Florida while millions of people in Ohio are struggling to make ends meet.”

At the same time, Campaign for America’s Future is also releasing a research report on Ney that outlines his connections to lobbyist-under-investigation Jack Abramoff and Abramoff’s casino and American Indian clients.

“Bob Ney has had an extensive relationship with notorious Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. ... The right-wing lobbyist has funneled cash into his campaign and sent him on luxury trips around the world,” according to a draft of the report.

The 527 group plans to start with print ads on Thursday in the two largest papers in Ney’s district, located in Chillicothe and Zanesville.

After that, the group plans to air ads on local radio and television stations. The budget for the ads is in the tens of thousands of dollars, a source said.

The group today will also officially launch an Ohio-based spinoff called “Ohioans for a Cleaner Congress.”

Brian Walsh, communications director for Ney, called Campaign for America’s Future, “the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party” and added that the “partisan and personal attacks are not going to sit well in the 18th district.”

Leveraging the Farm. Several groups representing rural populations are joining with Democratic lawmakers today to announce a rural campaign to lobby against President Bush’s proposed Social Security overhaul.

Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Reps. Bob Etheridge (N.C.), Stephanie Herseth (S.D.), Colin Peterson (Minn.) and Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) are helping roll out the effort.

They will be joined by umbrella group Americans United to Protect Social Security, the League of Rural Voters, the American Corn Growers Association, the National Farmers Union and others.

Organizers said details will be released today, but they billed the effort as the most significant yet to oppose Bush’s plan in rural areas.

— Kate Ackley and Tory Newmyer

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