Ignoring criticism - namely from Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid - that intra-party targeting was ineffective, Barack Obama's campaign arm is expanding its health care ad buy into the districts of key conservative House Democrats.
Late Friday night Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee announced the expansion of the "It's Time" ad purchase, which uses personal stories of health care struggles to drive home the need for reform. The initial purchase was on national cable and in eight states with critical Democratic and moderate Republican Senators.
Now the scope of the campaign is expanding. The ad will appear in the media markets that overlap with the congressional districts of 15 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Eleven of those districts belong to Democrats, including Rep. Zack Space (Ohio), Rep. John Barrow (Georgia), Rep. Jay Inslee (Washington), Rep. Mike Ross (Arkansas), Rep. Bart Gordon (Tennessee), Rep. Baron Hill (Indiana), Rep. Charlie Melancon (Louisiana), Rep. Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania), Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), Rep. Bart Stupak (Michigan), Rep. Jerry McNerney (California).
The four Republican districts belong to Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (California), and Rep. Greg Walden (Oregon), Rep. Sue Myrick (North Carolina)
For reform advocates, the Energy and Commerce Committee remains the toughest venue of the three committees handling health care in the House of Representatives, in large part because of the Blue Dog and moderate Democrats that make up its ranks. In making this purchase, Organizing for America either is worried about the committee's progress or -- much more likely -- sending a message that it has no problem applying pressure on fellow party members.
No representative is named in the ad. But every one of the aforementioned members will know that the spots are airing in their districts. The markets where the ad will run, according to the OFA/DNC press release, are: Savannah, Palm Springs, Seattle, Nashville, Bloomington, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Little Rock, Columbus, Marquette, Grand Rapids and Medford.