WASHINGTON — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., with a website and Google Ads regarding a lack of public town halls held by the congressman.
The website, http://mooneytownhallwatch.com/, is designed to look like a web error page, with the title “404 no town halls found.” The website also includes a timer counting from Jan. 31, 2015, four weeks after Mooney was sworn in to replace U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in the 2nd Congressional District seat.
According to the timer, it had been 921 days between that date and Thursday.
The online advertisement has the banner, “Rep. Mooney’s town halls – view his schedule,” with the sub-headline, “Rep. Alex Mooney is dodging his constituents. Demand a town hall today.”
The Google Ads are targeted for searches regarding Mooney and will run through the month of August.
The 2nd Congressional District goes from Mason County in western West Virginia to Jefferson County in the eastern panhandle. Mooney won the 2014 midterm election over former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey, who is now chief of staff for Gov. Jim Justice.
“Mooney’s constituents are doing everything they can to hold him accountable and our latest digital ad campaign shows that we’ll stand with them to make sure Alex Mooney is held accountable for his votes,” DCCC Regional Press Secretary Cole Leiter said.
An issue Leiter mentioned was Mooney’s vote for the American Health Care Act, the U.S. House of Representative’s plan to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Congressional Budget Office reported 23 million more Americans would be without health care coverage compared to if “Obamacare” remained the law.
Mooney voted for the legislation, as did Reps. David McKinley and Evan Jenkins. The House bill passed, but the U.S. Senate rejected its own version of a health care bill in July.
“Congressman Mooney’s vote to rip away health care from West Virginia families shows he’s heartless, his refusal to hold a town hall and answer for the Washington-Republican agenda he’s supporting shows he’s a coward,” Leiter noted.
Mooney spokesperson Ted Dacey called the campaign a “silly partisan attack.”
“They would rather lob baseless attacks then talk about the issues West Virginians care about like repealing and replacing Obamacare, creating jobs and reducing taxes,” he said. “These tactics are right off the failed Hillary Clinton presidential campaign playbook.”
Dacey added Mooney has met with business leaders multiple times during his two terms in Congress, noting 62 meetings and business tours in Kanawha County alone.
According to Mooney’s congressional Facebook page, he has held three telephone town halls this year.
The Federal Elections Commission reports Mooney has $725,474.57 on hand for the 2018 midterm election.
Former U.S. Department of State staff member Talley Sergent and U.S. Army veteran Aaron Scheinberg have announced they will run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Mooney next year. Sergent was also the state director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.