Liberal groups launch air war pressing Flake, Heller to oppose Mnuchin

The liberal interest group Allied Progress launched a six-figure advertising buy this week in a bid to pressure Republicans to oppose President-elect-Trump’s pick for treasury secretary.

Television spots are on the air in Arizona and Nevada, where Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Dean Heller are up for re-election in 2018 and Democrats are hoping to scare Republicans into opposing Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation or cause them problems at the ballot box. Various Trump Cabinet nominees are under attack from liberal groups.

Donald Trump said he’d hire the best people,” the voiceover says as the ad opens.

It continues: “But is his pick for treasury secretary the best for us? Former Goldman Sachs Banker Steven Mnuchin raised millions to elect Trump. Now Trump picked him to be America’s top economic official, even though Mnuchin made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners and discriminated against Latinos.”

The Trump transition team accused progressive activists of playing politics and dismissed the substance of their criticism of Mnuchin.

“These ads demonstrate one thing: that the far left is more focused on playing politics than working with the future administration to get things done for the American people. Steven Mnuchin got over 100,000 homeowners loan modifications and reduced thousands of loan balances,” transition spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw said.

A spokesman for Allied Progress told the Washington Examiner that the group hasn’t ruled out expanding its advertising to target other Republican senators, who could vote this month on Mnuchin’s confirmation.

For now, they are running only on cable and network television in Arizona and Nevada and are focused on Flake and Heller. Both Republicans kept their distance from Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, rankled by his controversial rhetoric on immigration and race.

Both states have significant Hispanic populations. In Nevada, a surge of Hispanic voters helped Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton defeat Trump while also lifting Democrats to down-ticket victories for Senate and the House.

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Mnuchin was the Trump campaign’s finance chairman. He previously ran a bank that came under federal scrutiny for its foreclosure practices during the real estate crisis that spawned the Great Recession.

The institution, IndyMac, was active in Arizona and Nevada.

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This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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