A Coachella Valley congressman was among six Democrats targeted Tuesday in an ad campaign assailing the lawmakers for their votes on a Republican-led proposal to streamline dam permits.

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Running Us Dry” campaign on YouTube targets Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, and five other congressmen from California and Arizona for voting against H.R. 23, sponsored by Reps. David Valadao, R-Hanford, and Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove.

The proposed resolution, which passed the House last week, seeks to limit regulations on dam building and expand water storage. Opponents say it would aid powerful agricultural interests at the expense of local fisheries and consumers.

The 23-second spot Ruiz states that “after years of record drought, Congressman Raul Ruiz opposes expediting a project that would provide water security for more than 100,000 residents of the Coachella Valley.”

Roy Behr, Ruiz’s campaign consultant, called it a “cookie cutter attack ad” that “shows once again that the Republican campaign committee in Washington, D.C., doesn’t understand the Coachella Valley or California. The legislation in question would have harmed tribes and fisheries, cost thousands of California jobs, and damaged the local tourism industry. The Republican campaign committee should get the facts before they go on the attack.”

Other Democrats targeted in the campaign include Scott Peters of San Diego, Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara, Ami Bera of Elk Grove, John Garamendi of Walnut Grove and Tom O’ Halleran of Sedona, Arizona.

Each lawmaker is identified in six separate short spots, which the NRCC hopes will sway moderate swing voters. The spots will run online in each of the lawmaker’s districts for one week, according to NRCC spokesman Jack Pandol.

–City News Service

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