June 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Dems criticize Land for D.C. fundraisers

Washington — As Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land began airing a new TV ad Tuesday comparing Congress to two youngsters getting into trouble, she is here in Washington raising tens of thousands of dollars with Republican leaders.

Michigan Democrats seized on the fact that Republican Land is holding fundraisers Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington as she decries the nation’s capital. Land will hold a luncheon fundraiser on Capitol Hill Wednesday featuring the entire Senate Republican leadership including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, along with Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Jerry Moran of Kansas, according to an invitation obtained by The Detroit News.

Her campaign is also holding a fundraiser Tuesday with Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, at a District of Columbia law firm that costs between $200 and $1,000 to attend, according to another invitation. She is attending both events.

Land, a former Michigan secretary of state, is running against U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit.

“It’s clear Michiganders can’t trust Terri Lynn Land, because the day she’s launching her newest ad gimmick, she’s in Washington, D.C., cashing in with the very special interests and Washington insiders she pretends to be critical of,” said Kevin McAlister, a Michigan Democratic party spokesman.

The new ad features two child actors — age 8 and 9, wearing sport coats and acting out —representing Congress. It comes as voters hold Congress — the Democratic-controlled Senate and GOP-led House — in low esteem according to many polls.

“As a mom, I know how to break up a fight,” Land says in the ad. “That’s a lesson I’ll teach to Washington, D.C., and Congress. They fight too much … spend too much … work too little — and we’re getting stuck with the bill with nothing to show for it. As Michigan’s secretary of state, I brought people together, cut waste, and saved taxpayers millions of dollars.”

But the Land campaign said the trip highlighted the candidate’s message.

“When Terri Lynn Land travels to our nation’s capital, she tells Congress that they spend too much and fight too much, and that Michigan gets stuck with the bill,” Land spokeswoman Heather Swift said.

Wednesday’s luncheon to be held at the National Republican Senatorial Committee near the Capitol costs $5,000 for a political action committee to sponsor and $2,600 for individuals. Donors can attend for $500 or if they raise $5,000 from other donors.

Supporters include Dow Chemical Co.’s political action committee and the PAC of Michigan-based Alticor, the parent company of Amway, as well as the National Restaurant Association and Ford Motor Co. chief lobbyist Ziad Ojakli.

Swift noted Peters attended a February fundraiser for California billionaire and environmentalist Tom Steyer and arguing he is willing to “sell out Michigan’s blue-collar jobs” to radical environmental policies.

“Whether it’s his support for cap-and-trade, which would have cost Michigan nearly 100,000 jobs, or supporting the new EPA regulations which will cause electricity rates to skyrocket for Michigan families and businesses, it is clear that Congressman Gary Peters will sell any Michigan job to get the big money from California kingpin Tom Steyer,” Swift said in a statement.

dshepardson@detroitnews.com