Ad targets Marco Rubio for taking PAC money, opposing HR 1
Marco Rubio.

The elections reform bill has been a priority for Democrats and drawn animus from Republicans.

A progressive group is launching a digital ad opposing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for accepting money from big donors and prioritizing their interests in his bid for reelection.

The 15-second ad from End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, which started running the ads Tuesday as part of a $250,000 media buy, highlights $3.2 million the Republican has taken from “corporate PACs” since stepping into federal politics. The ad also targets him for opposing the For the People Act (HR 1), which includes campaign finance law changes and using his vote to “protect his wealthy, dark money allies.”

“Marco Rubio won’t bite the hand that feeds him. He’s taken millions in contributions from corporate interests and voted against getting dark money out of politics,” according to the ad. “Rubio’s counting on them, so our democracy can’t count on him.”

The ad is running on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google and CTV.

End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund is to reform the political system. In End Citizens United’s titular court case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that interest groups’ political spending is protected speech under the First Amendment.

HR 1 has been a top priority for Democrats in Congress. Despite Democrats controlling both houses, Republicans blocked the elections overhaul with a filibuster along party lines in the Senate in June.

The bill would touch on virtually every aspect of how elections are conducted, striking down hurdles to voting that advocates view as the Civil Rights fight of the era while also curbing the influence of money in politics and limiting partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts. But many in the GOP say the measure represents instead a breathtaking federal infringement on states’ authority to conduct their own elections without fraud — and is meant to ultimately benefit Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat, is challenging Rubio as he hopes to win a third term in 2022. Rubio and Demings, who launched her campaign in June, both raked in more than $4 million in the second quarter.

Three-term former Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson entered the Senate race Friday when he began running social media ads attacking Rubio and touting his own commitment to universal health care.

The Orlando-area progressive gave up his seat in 2016 for a chance to run against Rubio and lost in the Democratic primary. Then he lost in another primary in a 2018 attempt to win back Florida’s 9th Congressional District from his successor, Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. Republished with permission.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


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