A Democratic outside group and a prominent labor union have launched a $1.3 million ad buy accusing Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of using a bill after 9/11 to help donors and lobbyists.
The ad, released Thursday by Majority Forward and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says that at the behest of tobacco companies, Blunt tried to add a provision to prevent the smuggling of contraband cigarettes into the bill that created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.
At the time, Blunt was House majority whip, and the provision reportedly came at the request of Philip Morris, where his now-wife Abigail Perlman and his son were lobbyists. The provision was eventually pulled from the bill.
The ad says Blunt had received campaign donations from Philip Morris executives “just days” before the vote, calling it “Washington at its worst.”
Republicans have called hypocrisy on such charges, and have claimed that the wife of Blunt’s Democratic opponent, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, once worked as a lobbyist in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Washington, D.C.
But Kander’s wife Diana said in a statement that it was inaccurate to call her a lobbyist, pointing out that she was an intern in Washington doing legal research, and then a first-year associate in Kansas City.
“Sen. Blunt is maliciously spreading misinformation for his political gain about the beginning of my career,” she said.