Baucus Campaign Advertising to Begin Monday

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Commercials in the re-election campaign of Sen. Max Baucus are set to begin Monday, launching an advertising package with a tab exceeding the campaign funds raised by the Democrat’s Republican challengers.

Baucus spokesman Barrett Kaiser said “substantial” advertising — enough that “you’d have to be living under a rock the size of Canada” to miss it — is planned in Baucus’s campaign for a sixth Senate term. Baucus has no Democratic opposition in the June primary election. Three Republicans are vying to challenge him in the fall.

The Baucus campaign did not disclose the cost of the advertising, but said the bill will exceed $26,000. Campaign-finance records show that altogether, the three Republican challengers have raised a little more than $26,000. Baucus has raised almost $9 million.

The Baucus advertising includes cable and network television commercials featuring three Montanans, two of them Republicans, who speak about the senator’s work. The TV spots highlight Baucus’s chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee, and money that has been routed to Montana through legislation.

Republicans in the commercials are Helenans Robert Peccia, a highway engineer, and James Ahrens, former head of the Montana Hospital Association, Kaiser said. Also appearing is Rhonda Hinrichs, a Helena nurse.

The TV commercials produced by Virginia company GMMB Creative are set to air for several weeks. So are radio spots highlighting Baucus’s role in development of an economic stimulus package that includes tax rebates.

Even though Baucus does not have a Democratic challenger, the campaign advertising is beginning now because he has “a 30-year record of doing what’s right, and we thought it was time to start talking about that,” Kaiser said.