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Tipsheet exclusive: In ad, Anderson accuses Allen of pay-to-play

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State Rep. Lee Anderson will unveil on Friday a new television advertisement accusing his Republican rival Rick Allen of pay-to-play political contributions, the latest in a series of volleys in the hotly-contested runoff to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. John Barrow.

The 30-second spot probes a donation Allen, a successful Augusta building contractor, made to Champ Walker, the 2002 Democratic challenger to then-GOP Congressman Max Burns.

“Why was Rick Allen one of liberal Democrat Champ Walker’s biggest donors?” the narration opens to an image of the two men. “Greed. Big money to liberal Walker secured secured huge government contracts. See, Allen doesn’t care which side he’s on, long as he’s getting paid.”

An accompanying press release, expected to be circulated later today, struck an even-sharper chord.

“He used his massive taxpayer-funded wealth to buy influence with local and state political leaders,” Anderson campaign strategist Joel McElhannon said. “Rick Allen used these relationships to make millions on the backs of taxpayers with SPLOST and government funded construction projects. He doesn’t care what party he supports, as long as he gets paid.”

But the ad isn’t entirely negative.

It transitions at its midpoint to an image of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Anderson shaking hands in the Capitol, saying the former had praised the Grovetown lawmaker as a “tax cut champion,” and closes with the endorsement of former rival Wright McLeod.

An Anderson campaign aide told Tipsheet the ad will run only in the August media market while an earlier spot, wherein Allen is rapped as a “manure spreader,” will remain in tandem circulation throughout the district.

- James Richardson

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