North Carolinas most expensive congressional race is winding to a close in the 9th District with more sniping between candidates with sharply different views of government.
Republican Robert Pittenger and Democrat Jennifer Roberts have taken to the airwaves, phone lines and mailboxes in the final days of their campaign to replace longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick.
Pittenger, who has given his campaign $2.3 million, has loaned it another $380,000, including $50,000 last week. Only four House candidates in the country have spent more of their own money, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
But Pittenger also has gotten $650,000 from individuals. Thats more than the $525,000 Roberts has raised from all sources in her campaign in the Republican-leaning district.
Roberts, a Mecklenburg County commissioner, is on the air with ads accusing her opponent of supporting cuts in Medicare benefits. Pittenger, the ad says, would leave you on your own with the insurance companies and that will cost you over $6,000 a year.
The claim is based on a study by Harvard economist David Cutler of Medicare changes proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romneys vice presidential running mate. But the Congressional Budget Analysis has not published an analysis of Ryans most recent Medicare plan.
Pittenger called the attack a typical untrue scare tactic.
The Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare which I support does not reduce any payments to seniors, he said. There is no change in Medicare to anyone 55 years or older. And those under 55 will have an option for a premium support with options for coverage through the private market, or remain on Medicare.
Former GOP Gov. Jim Martin has come to Pittengers defense. He recorded automated calls that accused Democrats of trying to scare us seniors about Medicare.
Pittenger is running a TV ad that features supporters offering testimonials on his behalf. Hes also sending out mailers that accuse Roberts of supporting an energy tax. They say she would be a rubber stamp for (Democratic leader) Nancy Pelosis partisan agenda.
Roberts said Pittenger is distorting the truth.
As a candidate for Congress, she said, I have called for cutting taxes on middle-class families . I support creating jobs by expanding clean energy and reducing harmful carbon pollution.