Senator John McCain, whose reelection campaign has adopted a decidedly anti-maverick slant, released a new radio ad Wednesday assailing his primary challenger J.D. Hayworth's proclivity for earmarking while in the House of Representatives.
The 60-second spot features anti-pork crusader Congressman Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, who credits McCain with a career devoted to eliminating wasteful federal spending and aligns Hayworth with big spending Democrats.
"Republicans, including Senator McCain's opponent, lost their bearings on federal spending," Flake said. "They loaded up bills with pork barrel projects, and the voters punished Republicans by putting Democrats in charge."
Hayworth's earmarking is a familiar refrain from the McCain camp, who last week released a web video highlighting a few of the more outlandish of the Hayworth-endorsed pork projects, including a $5.8 million snowmobile trail in Vermont and the infamous $233 million "Bridge To Nowhere."
Flake and Hayworth have long been in opposing corners on the practice of pork barrel spending, with the two butting heads in the Congress as member's of Arizona's delegation.
Flake introduced an amendment to the 2004 Road bill that mandated all pork barrel spending be subtracted from each state's individual share of non-discretionary, formula-driven federal funds. But Hayworth rebuffed Flake's efforts, saying that earmarks "reflect the priorities of local and state officials to help our transpiration infrastructure keep pace with the extraordinary growth we are experiencing in the East Valley."
A poll by DailyKos/Research2000 released last Friday showed McCain leading Hayworth by a solid 15 percentage point margin.