Mayday PAC, a super PAC aiming to overhaul campaign finance laws, will spend $1.5 million to target House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton in Michigan, the group announced Thursday.
The group will spend $1.2 million of those funds on a 30-second ad that seeks to connect the PAC money Upton has received from drug and health insurance interests to his vote against allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. The rest of the money will go toward a grassroots field operation and direct mail campaign, the group said.
The spending comes on the heels of the group's Tuesday announcement that it will spend $1 million in South Dakota's open-seat Senate contest in support of the Democratic nominee, Rick Weiland.
Mayday PAC is spending millions this cycle, an ironic effort to elect a congressional majority in favor of ending super PACs.
Upton, a 14-term Republican, represents Michigan's 6th District, which runs from the Indiana border and heads north along the coast of Lake Michigan in the southwestern corner of the state. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried it by a 1-point margin in 2012, which means Upton could face a competitive race against a top or well-funded candidate.
But Democrats did not target the seat as a pick-up opportunity this cycle. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic House candidates, pulled their buys from other offensive opportunities in the state.
Upton faces college professor Paul Clements.
As of July 17 — before Michigan's primary — Clements reported $349,000 in cash on hand. That sum was dwarfed by Upton's nearly $1.6 million war chest as of the same date.
Michigan's 6th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report.
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