When Jersey Shore beachgoers lie down on their backs to soak up the sun this weekend, they'll likely see an airplane flying around with a banner advertising the anti-gay views of a New Jersey congressman.
The Democratic group House Majority PAC will have a plane with a banner reading "SCOTT GARRETT: ANTI-GAY BIGOTRY WONT FLY" and directing people to its new anti-Garrett website. The plane will be visible at beaches from Belmar to Sandy Hook on Sunday and Monday.
Garrett has had a bullseye on his back since Politico reported last year that he told fellow Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he wouldn't pay his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because of the organization's support for gay candidates.
Since then, Wall Street and corporate donors have stopped donating to Garrett -- a considerable show of no-confidence for the congressman who chairs a key House financial services subcommittee and whose favor the firms would normally want to curry.
Garrett has since clarified that he doesn't oppose gay people running for office, but he believes the GOP should not support candidates who back same-sex marriage.
"I said I support anyone's right to run for public office and will support those people who support positions that's in the Republican platform," Garrett said, referring to the platform's line that the "union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard."
"Nancy Pelosi's political hacks are spreading lies on lies in a mud-slinging attempt to paint Scott Garrett as something that he's simply not," Sarah Neibart, Garrett campaign manager, said in response to the House Majority PAC efforts.
Democrats see his district as a very real pick-up opportunity for Josh Gottheimer, a corporate executive who has worked for the Clintons.
"From land, sea, and sky, House Majority PAC is making sure as many voters as possible learn the facts about Congressman Garrett’s hateful agenda," House Majority PAC Communications Director Jeb Fain said. "Scott Garrett's bigoted views have no place in Congress, and they won't fly with North Jersey voters this November."
House Majority PAC will also have three billboards along Route 17 in Bergen County, targeting voters in Garrett's 5th Congressional District. An image of one of the billboards:
House Majority PAC had already been running a TV ad against Garrett on cable in the 5th District since June 14, and it will be extending the run through July 12. The new total for the buy is $320,000.
This piece has been updated with comment from the Garrett campaign.