Updated: 7:10 p.m.
A new TV ad from Democrat Ami Bera slams Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) for using a loophole to attend a lobbyist event in Hawaii. The spot features a shirtless Lungren putting on sunscreen poolside at a high-end resort.
The ethics issue is one Bera brings up often as he looks to unseat the Sacramento-area Republican now in his second stint in Congress.
Bera's new ad uses old information: interview clips from an ABC News report in May 2008, which detailed Lungren's trip. That year, he attended an American Association of Airport Executives conference, where aviation industry lobbyists reportedly held a fundraiser for him to pay for the trip. Lungren defended the trip at the time to ABC News, saying organizations tend to have events in nice places and that he was discussing important business.
"This is a pattern of behavior with Lungren — ignoring the rules and looking out for himself," Bera campaign manager Lucinda Guinn said. "From voting himself pay raises, to spiking his own pension, to lobbyist-funded luxury trips, Lungren has shown northern Californians over and over again that he's not fighting for the kind of change we need."
The 30-second ad went on the air Monday on broadcast and cable stations. It is accompanied by an online advertising campaign, with banner ads reading "Travel the Congressman Dan Lungren Way" and diverting clicks to LoopholeLungren.com.
"Bera is like most Pelosi-backed candidates," Lungren spokesman Rob Stutzman said in response to the ad. "He never wants to talk about himself or the issues. Tax and spend doesn't fly in this district, and that's his platform. Lungren withstood this same attack in '08. He'll certainly withstand it in '10."
While that was Bera's second ad, Lungren just went on broadcast and cable with his first TV ad of the cycle. He's been on the radio since early September.
The ad does not mention Bera, but it indicates Lungren will work against the Democratic agenda.
"For whatever reason, they voted for something new," Lungren says in the ad. "But they did not vote for this madness. And I'd like to make sure that the madness does not continue."