Americans for Tax Reform is investing $495,000 into a targeted campaign in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District in defense of Republican Keith Rothfus. After a barrage of proven-false negative attack ads from the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee and their allies, ATR is fighting back on behalf of Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer Keith Rothfus.

ATR has reserved $385,000 in air time for a television ad in the Pittsburgh and Johnstown media markets.

The ad explains that the Taxpayer Protection Pledge “is a simple Pledge, to not raise your taxes.” It is a Pledge that Rothfus has made to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. 

The ad will air on all major network and cable television channels for 16 days beginning today.

In addition to reserved airtime, ATR will be investing nearly $110,000 in a targeted direct mail campaign, live phone calls, and online ads. The campaign will highlight the fact that Rothfus has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising Pennsylvanians that he will oppose any effort to raise taxes.

The DCCC and SEIU have run two specific ads over the past month targeting Rothfus for signing the Pledge. The attack ads contain recycled claims made against Pledge signers in 2010, suggesting that Pledge signers promise to “protect” tax breaks for “companies that ship jobs overseas.” The Associated Press labeled the attack as “one of the wildest claims of the 2010 campaign.” Adding insult to injury, the non-partisan rated the attacks against the Pledge as “blatantly false.”

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge that Keith Rothfus signed reads as follows:

I, Keith Rothfus, pledge to the taxpayers of the 12th District of the state of Pennsylvania, and to the American People that I will:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing taxes.

When the DCCC said the exact same thing against Republicans in 2010, another independent fact-checking organization weighed in. To the accusation that the Pledge “protects” companies who ship jobs overseas, Politifact noted that the claim about the Pledge included a “spurious connection” that requires a “huge leap of logic,” concluding that the DCCC’s claim was “False.”

As a result, Americans for Tax Reform has made its first television ad buy to defend Rothfus from the barrage of false claims in his bid for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District.

“Democrats seem to lack the kind of negative attack ad creativity we have come to expect from their organizations over the past couple of election cycles,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Recycling a proven-false claim against Pledge signers is perhaps the best they’ve got as an alternative to explaining their plan for an economic recovery: higher taxes and more government spending.

Keith Rothfus has made a simple promise to Pennsylvania voters. He has promised them that when he gets to Washington, he will not raise their taxes. Voters would do well to protect their pocketbooks by voting for Keith Rothfus, the only Pledge signer in the race,” continued Norquist.

[PDF of Press Release]