PHOENIX — A well-financed group of conservatives launched a digital ad campaign this week targeting U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema and her future vote on the Biden infrastructure plan.
Coalition to Protect American Workers says the $3 trillion infrastructure plan is too expensive, and only 15% of the money goes to roads, bridges, and airports.
“We think you can be in favor of infrastructure spending but that does not necessitate that I support $3 trillion in taxes on the American people,” Coalition to Protect American Workers chairman Marc Short said.
The Coalition to Protect American Workers supports public-private partnerships.
Short is the former chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence. His organization plans to spend at least $25 million dollars on TV and digital ads.
They will target select members of Congress. The one focusing on Senator Sinema started running earlier this week.
“Arizona is very proud of that legacy of senators who protect Arizona interests. Perhaps bucking their own party,” Short said, “Since she has shown that interest perhaps she’ll stand up again against a massive tax increase on the Arizona people.”
In just her first two years as Senator, Sinema has risen to a level of influence practically unheard of in the body.
Politico reported this week Majority Leader Mitch McConnell instructed his conference to “say nice things” about Senator Sinema and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin because “they could save this institution.”
Republican Party political consultant and lobbyist Stan Barnes is not surprised.
“I think Senator Sinema is the single most talented political figure in Arizona today maybe even in a generation,” Barnes said.
Senator Sinema’s positions on the filibuster and refusing to go along with a hike in the minimum wage as part of a COVID relief package have put her at odds with progressive Democrats. But the purple wig she wears from time to time sends a clear signal to those back in Arizona who voted for her. She works both sides of the aisle.
“She voted for Chuck Schumer to be the majority leader. That is the big payoff for having a “D” behind her name in the U.S. Senate. And after that she is her own woman,” Barnes said.
Sinema’s spokesperson released a statement Friday saying, “As the economic recovery continues, Kyrsten will keep working across the aisle and with leaders in Arizona to communicate Arizona's infrastructure priorities to the administration. Kyrsten believes infrastructure investment, if done correctly, can immediately put people back to work, relieve the burden on state unemployment systems, and prepare Arizona communities for future challenges. She supports developing infrastructure legislation in a bipartisan way - because working across party lines is the best way to achieve lasting results.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would like to vote on an infrastructure package by July 4. The earliest the Senate would take it up is in the fall.
Plenty of time for the Coalition to Protect American Workers to make its case to Arizona voters and for Senator Sinema to consider all her options.