A super PAC associated with Emily's List -- the Washington-based group that has endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards' campaign for Senate -- is going back up on the air in Maryland this week with a six-figure commitment in the competitive race.
The group, Women Vote!, has purchased airtime on WBAL-TV in Baltimore and WJLA-TV in Washington on Monday, according to contracts posted on the Federal Communication Commission's website on Monday. The extent of the buy is likely much larger.
The new advertising marks a return to the airwaves for Emily's List in Maryland for the first time since early January. And it comes after two polls found the race between Edwards and Rep. Chris Van Hollen for the state's open Senate seat to be within the margin of error.
Because Van Hollen has a better than 10-to-1 advantage in fundraising, he would ordinarily be able to blanket the airwaves and control the message in the final weeks of the campaign. But the decision by Emily's List to reengage after a $1 million ad buy late last year, shows that the group will stick with Edwards.
And that could change the landscape of the race entirely.
It also marks the first time anyone in the race -- or associated with it -- has bought airtime in the Washington media market, which is pricier than in Baltimore.
"It's about taking a stand. For too long, Wall Street banks had their way. They crashed our economy," the ad's narrator says. "But Democrat Donna Edwards won't take their money because she stands up for us. As a single mom, she knows the challenges our families face. She'll be our voice."
A spokeswoman for Van Hollen accused the group of trying to buy the seat.
"We are seeing something unprecedented here in Maryland -- an out-of-state super PAC trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat," the spokeswoman, Bridgett Frey, said in a statement. "We're confident that our state won't fall for it...It is Chris's Maryland coalition of working families, community leaders, and grassroots advocates -- not a super PAC blitz -- that will elect Maryland's next U.S. Senator."
Emily's List described its most recent ad buy as a "six-figure" commitment. Politico, which first reported the new campaign, cited a media buyer who said the group purchased $430,000 worth of airtime from March 1 to March 21 -- most of it, of course, spent on broadcast television.
The Edwards campaign is prohibited from coordinating with Emily's List.
"EMILY's List was there for Senator Barbara Mikulski from the beginning. Thirty years later, we're proud to have their support and the support of working women all across Maryland and around the country," Edwards spokesman Benjamin Gerdes said in a statement.