Progressive mega-donors have launched a massive, concerted advertising effort against Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. The effort targets the senator for refusing to fall in line with progressives in the Democratic party who want to overhaul the Senate with a repeal of the filibuster rule.
According to NBC News, a group called “Just Democracy” is spending $1.2 million in TV ads and another $200,000 for digital ads in Arizona from June 21 to June 30. It is planning to release two ads on cable news, local news, and local sports in Arizona.
Sinema is a co-sponsor of the “For the People Act,” which seeks to overhaul election laws in the United States, and has found no support among Republicans. However, despite Sinema’s official support for the bill, progressives see her refusal and hesitance to ram the legislation through by repealing the filibuster as a sign that she isn’t fully onboard.
An ad released by the progressive organization portrays images of Sinema voting against raising the minimum wage and claims that she “didn’t even show up” to vote on the January 6 commission, which sought to hold former President Trump accountable for rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol.
Sinema explained at the time that she was absent due to a “personal family matter” and stated that she would’ve supported the effort had she been present.
The ad also holds Sinema responsible for Democrats being unable to push their bills through. As the GOP tries to silence our voices, she’s just standing by, supporting a Jim Crow relic instead,” reads the ad. “You’re refusing to stand with us, Senator Sinema. Why should we stand with you?”
Speaking to NBC News, a spokesperson for Sinema said: “Kyrsten believes the right to vote, faith in the integrity of our electoral process, and trust in elected officials are critical to the health and vitality of our democracy. She is a co-sponsor and supporter of both the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act because she supports legislation restoring critical safeguards that protect every American’s right to vote.”
Sinema has long opposed a repeal of the filibuster rule, explaining most recently that its existence “protects the democracy of our nation rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly ever two to four years.”
“To those who say that we must make a choice between the filibuster and ‘X,’ I say, this is a false choice. The reality is that when you have a system that is not working effectively — and I would think that most would agree that the Senate is not a particularly well-oiled machine, right? The way to fix that is to fix your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change the behavior,” Sinema said in June.