Reporting from Washington —
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a powerful ally for Republican candidates in this year's midterm campaigns, quietly moved across the aisle this week and bought ads touting nearly a dozen Democratic House members.
The "voter education" spots are running on behalf of 10 members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, many of them in the South, including Georgia's Jim Marshall, Virginia's Glenn Nye, Maryland's Frank Kratovil, Mississippi's Travis W. Childers and Alabama's Bobby Bright.
The ads were spotted by political media trackers. A spokesman for the chamber would not confirm the buys, but filings with the Federal Election Commission show that the Chamber spent a total of $1,899,772 to run two separate ads for each candidate.
The pro-Democratic media campaign marks a sharp pivot for the influential business lobby, which has poured millions of dollars into ads supporting Republicans. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the organization is the top-spending third-party group so far this cycle. This week alone, it dropped nearly $10 million on ads around the country, most of them aimed at lifting GOP candidates.