Challenger’s First TV Ad Claims Sen. Alexander “Snuck In” Billions In Shutdown Deal

This is State Rep. Joe Carr's first television ad, in his primary challenge of Senator Lamar Alexander. Tea Party groups and conservative activists are dissatisfied with Alexander, saying he's not conservative enough. Image: Joe Carr Campaign

This is State Rep. Joe Carr’s first television ad, in his primary challenge of Senator Lamar Alexander. Tea Party groups and conservative activists are dissatisfied with Alexander, saying he’s not conservative enough. Image: Joe Carr Campaign

A challenger to Lamar Alexander is using a new TV commercial to criticize his vote to end the partial government shutdown. The ad from State Rep. Joe Carr says the Senator snuck in funding for a costly project.

The 30 second spot features Carr standing in front of a dam, telling viewers that conservatives “fought the good fight” trying to defund Obamacare.

Carr is referring to $2.9 billion in funding for a lock and dam project on the Ohio River in Kentucky. Alexander says he included the money in the shutdown deal because millions in government contracts were at risk of being cancelled. Tennessee’s senior Senator sits on the committee that approves funding for water projects.

Carr’s campaign says its spending $20,000 to run the ad on Fox News Channel statewide and online. Its release comes after Carr announced last week that he raised just $56,000 in the third quarter.  But Alexander raised 12 times as much.

UPDATE (10/22/12): Alexander campaign manager Alice Rioli provided this statement in response to Carr’s ad:

“If Pinocchio had written this campaign ad, his nose would be a foot long. According to the Army Corp of Engineers, instead of costing money, this provision actually saved taxpayers $160 million in canceled contracts and restart costs. It had already been approved once by the House and Senate this year and only allowed spending already appropriated. One-fifth of all traffic on the American Inland Waterway system goes through this lock and dam. It was built in the 1920s and the Corps says it is ‘failing,’ crumbling and obsolete. Every time a ship goes through the lock, workers must remove and replace 487 wooden gates.”