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Aug 12, 2010 9:10 PM by Alison Haynes

Vitter, Melancon launch attack ads in Senate race

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter launched
his TV re-election campaign Thursday casting likely Democratic
nominee Charlie Melancon as a congressional spendthrift who favors
millionaires and illegal immigrants at the expense of working
people.
Melancon, who aired an ad earlier this week, previewed on
Thursday his latest, which accuses the incumbent of voting against
women's interests. It's set to begin airing Friday.
Vitter's 30-second ad accuses Melancon, a U.S. House member from
Napoleonville, of driving a sport utility vehicle at taxpayer
expense. It is critical of a 2008 Wall Street bailout vote by
Melancon and says he voted to provide benefits for illegal
immigrants.
"Millionaires, illegals and Charlie Melancon are counting on
you," the narrator says as the ad closes with a composite picture
of a somber looking Melancon next to three dark-skinned youths
eyeing the camera.
Melancon's ad touches on Vitter's 2007 admission of an
unspecified "serious sin" after his phone number appeared in the
records of a Washington prostitution ring. It also touches on
Vitter keeping an aide on staff for two years after the aide
pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a
knife-wielding altercation with a woman.
The ad also accuses Vitter of voting against equal pay for
women, mandatory medical coverage for mammograms and protections
for women raped on the job.
"His serious sin isn't even his worst," the narrator says.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor, challenging
Vitter for the Republican nomination in the Aug. 28 primary, has
yet to air TV ads. Traylor was a last-minute entry in the race and
it's unclear whether he will be able to raise enough money to mount
a serious challenge to Vitter.
Melancon faces two little known opponents in the Democratic
primary.
The winners of the party primaries will be on the Nov. 2 general
election ballot, which will also include state Rep. Ernest Wooton,
who is running for Senate as an independent.

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