Behind the Ad: Shadowy outside money in Iowa (#IA-Sen)

Who: American Heartland (Conservative PAC)
Where: Iowa
What: Daily Kos refers to American Heartland as a “previously unknown PAC.” The only thing known about them at this point is that they really dislike Iowa GOP Senate candidate Mark Jacobs. And the animosity is coming at Mr. Jacobs from his right, not his left. According to the ad, Jacobs allegedly supported cap-and-trade and made long-ago donations to Democrats Jon Corzine and Arlen Specter (post-party switch).
The text of the piece, as described by the Des Moines Register, includes this:

When nobody was looking, Texas millionaire Mark Jacobs spent his time advocating for Barack Obama’s liberal cap-and-trade scheme and his fortune supporting Democrat politicians like Jon Corzine and Arlan Specter,” the GOP super PAC’s ad says. “Now Mark Jacobs is running here as a Republican, spending millions to buy himself a brand new set of Iowa values. No matter how hard he tries, Mark Jacobs’ millions can’t hide the fact he’s in the wrong state and the wrong party.

A spokesman for the Jacobs campaign says that the candidate does not support cap-and-trade legislation and that “over 90 percent of Jacobs’ political contributions went to Republicans.” Glad that was cleared up.
Five Republicans are in the hunt for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination with the goal of replacing retiring Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin. The presumptive Democratic nominee is Bruce Braley, whom Harkin has endorsed.
The Register notes that this is the second outside group running ads against Jacobs.
According to state party rules, if no candidate gets 35 percent or more in the primary, it goes to a state convention. If it goes to a convention, anyone can be nominated whether or not they ran in the primary. Mark Jacobs is the frontrunner, and his closest competition is state Sen. Joni Ernst.
For what it’s worth, Ernst has been endorsed by both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. It still doesn’t tell us who is behind the attacks on Jacobs, but it probably tells you who they like.
As noted above, the winner of the GOP primary will face Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley in the general. A Quinnipiac University poll done in early March had Braley ahead of Jacobs, 40 percent to 31 percent, and leading Ernst, 42 percent to 29 percent.
Shadowy outside money is clearly one of the key factors in this year’s cycle. 
Grade: Giving money to Democrats in past elections is not a good thing for Republicans in this hyper-partisan environment, and Jacobs isn’t denying that. Not sure where the cap-and-trade thing comes in, unless there is proof that Jacobs has supported it.  I must say, I like the “wrong state, wrong party” tag. It’s succinct and effective. One thing about the ad that I find odd though effective is their use of  music that sounds like it came from cable show Arrested Development. It makes you feel like something is not quite right, in this case with Jacobs, the candidate being attacked. Good ad. B

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