A Todd Tiahrt Senate campaign ad aimed at hitting opponent Jerry Moran on his tax record is drawing attention for another reason.
The beginning of the ad, available on Tiahrt’s campaign website, includes images of New York tax forms.
“You can easily make out word ‘Yonkers’ and ‘York’ on two different forms on the Tiahrt attack ad against Moran. Ooops,” tweeted Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director.
Leading up to the Aug. 3 primary, Tiahrt and Moran have both tried to paint themselves as the most conservative candidate, and Moran has often said he is more in tune with Kansas voters.
Tiahrt campaign spokeswoman Michelle Schroeder said Moran was trying to change the subject and attempted “the oldest trick in the political book when you have no defense for your record.”
“The tax form could have been from any state in the nation because the numerous tax increases Congressman Moran has supported would affect every American,” Schroeder said.
Joe Aistrup, a Kansas State University professor of political science, said he didn’t see the image of the New York tax forms used in the ad as a Tiahrt gaffe.
“The substance of the ad will be the thing people talk about. It clearly follows, if you will, the track of this campaign to the part of both these representatives to move themselves to be as far to the right as possible,” Aistrup said.
Aistrup said the key will be how widespread the ad is played in the state, and he said part of it seemed to be telling that most of the votes referenced in the ad were Moran’s votes in the 1990s as a state senator.
The Moran campaign on Wednesday defended his 2003 vote in Congress against President George W. Bush’s original $726 million tax relief plan because the plan didn’t decrease enough spending. Moran later supported the $350 billion Bush tax cut plan.
Moran campaign staffers also pointed to a statement Tiahrt made in 1990 as a Kansas House candidate in support of a 1-cent sales tax increase.
Tiahrt and Moran, two Republican congressmen from Kansas, are competing for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sam Brownback, a Republican running for governor.
In a Survey USA poll released Monday, Moran had a 23-point lead.