Seeking to turn Republican opponent Gabriel E. Gomez’s resistance to raising taxes into a political liability, US Representative Edward J. Markey’s has begun airing a television ad playing up the congressman’s advocacy for higher taxes on corporations and millionaires.
The 30-second spot, entitled “Tax Fairness,” hits Gomez on tax policy—the same issue that the GOP nominee’s campaign has said it will focus on this week, arguing that Markey’s consistent support for higher taxes is out of step with voters.
Markey’s campaign announced the ad in a release on Tuesday, but it began airing on Friday, prior to the long weekend. A Markey spokesman said the ad would appear statewide, but declined to answer questions about how long it would run or how much the campaign paid for airtime.
In the new Markey ad, a narrator points to Markey’s support for “closing corporate tax loopholes and passing the Warren Buffett rule, making millionaires pay the same tax rate as the middle class.” The so-called Buffett rule would restrict the accesss that affluent taxpayers have to loopholes and tax rates that allow them to pay lower effective tax rates than middle-class ones.
“Gomez thinks the rich already pay enough,” intones the ad’s narrator. “He refuses to ask millionaires, like himself, to pay their fair share.”
In response, Gomez spokesman Will Ritter wrote in an email, “Gabriel Gomez supports comprehensive tax reform for everyone, closing tax loopholes and lowering the tax rate so Massachusetts companies can hire again and bring back jobs. Ed Markey has voted in favor of raising taxes 271 times. Now he wants to distract from that record with tired political theatre and negative ads.”
Touting, rather than shrinking from higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy has worked in Massachusetts Senate races as recently as last year. Democrat Elizabeth Warren pushed an ardently populist line of attack against then-Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, in an election won by Warren.
The Markey campaign did not respond to several requests for comment.Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at James.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.