The National Republican Congressional Committee made an abrupt about-face Friday only 24 hours after its chairman, Rep. Gregory Walden of Oregon, trumpeted the NRCC’s commitment to spending $80,000 a week on TV ads for state Sen. Jack Martins through Election Day.
Chris Pack, NRCC spokesman, acknowledged Friday that officials had decided to cancel funding for Martins’ ads as word leaked out about a Newsday/Siena College poll in the race. The poll showed Martins’ Democratic opponent in the 3rd Congressional District race, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, 15 points ahead.
Despite the funding cancellation, Pack said, “We are extremely confident that Jack Martins will defeat Tom Suozzi in November.”
Suozzi campaign spokeswoman Kim Devlin said, “What the national parties do, or don’t do, will not change Tom Suozzi focusing on what people really care about, holding as many town halls as he can on issues such as national security ... while reminding voters that he is the only candidate in this race who will take on powerful interests ... ”
The GOP pulled the plug a day after Walden, in a telephone interview with Newsday, touted the NRCC’s commitment to fund TV time for Martins.