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Fix the Debt hits the airwaves to influence 'fiscal cliff'

December 14, 2012|By Melanie Mason
(Fix the Debt )

WASHINGTON -- Fix the Debt, a coalition of business executives and policymakers advocating for sweeping deficit reduction, will release its first television ad Sunday, marking a new phase in the group’s efforts to influence the fiscal debate.

Formed five months ago as an offshoot of the Center for Responsible Budget Priorities, the nonprofit group has assembled a roster of influential politicians—including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg--and major business leaders.

Members of the group regularly take to op-ed pages and cable news to urge a deficit reduction deal that brings in new revenue, cuts spending and includes major reform to social programs like Social Security and Medicare. They also have visited the White House and Capitol Hill.

The group has chapters operating in 17 states, and is backed by a reported $43 million war chest, seeded mainly by corporate donations.

But while Fix the Debt had been running print and online advocacy campaigns, it had so far stayed off the airwaves.

Sunday’s ad offers a taste of what will likely be an escalating television campaign as contours of a possible fiscal deal take shape in negotiations between the White House and Republican leaders in the House.

The ad features interviews with several Americans who talk about their concerns over America’s debt. Accompanying text--“we need to do more than avoid the fiscal cliff”-- speaks to the group’s desire for a broad deficit reduction plan.

The commercial  will air on national broadcast and is backed by a six-figure buy, according to Jon Romano, the group’s spokesman. In all, the group has spent $3 million so far on a media campaign that includes this commercial and ads appearing in print, online and on public transportation.

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melanie.mason@latimes.com

@melmason

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