Katko Trump AAN

A Facebook ad paid for by American Action Network is targeting voters in the 24th Congressional District. The ad praises U.S. Rep. John Katko for his stance on the impeachment inquiry. 

Digital advertising praising U.S. Rep. John Katko for his stance on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump is part of a $2 million campaign paid for by a national conservative organization. 

American Action Network, a conservative advocacy group that is linked to Congressional Leadership Fund, a House Republican-backed super PAC, is spending $50,000 on social media ads lauding Katko, R-Camillus, for "working for us" by "standing against impeachment." 

The text of the sponsored Facebook post states that Katko is "focused on issues that matter: securing better trade deals and creating good jobs." A call to action asks visitors to email Katko and urge him to oppose the "partisan impeachment charade." 

American Action Network is paying for social media ads targeting voters in six other congressional districts held by Republicans. A bulk of the campaign focuses on districts held by Democrats. Digital advertising will appear in 31 districts held by Democrats, including four New Yorkers: U.S. Reps. Anthony Brindisi, Antonio Delgado, Sean Patrick Maloney and Max Rose. 

The ads in Democratic districts have slightly different wording. The posts urge Democrats to "work on issues we care about" and "stop this partisan charade." 

"Dan Conston, president of the American Action Network, said Congress should be addressing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement — job creation and border security. 

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"It's time for members of Congress to take a stand, vote no on impeachment and get back to work on the issues that will actually make a difference in the lives of Americans across our country," Conston said. "Let voters decide elections." 

The $2 million ad campaign launched Wednesday — the same day the House Intelligence Committee held its first public hearings on the impeachment inquiry. 

House Democrats are advancing an impeachment inquiry of Trump based on a phone conversation between the president and Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's leader. A whistleblower's complaint and the White House's memo summarizing the call show that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. 

Trump is accused of withholding millions in military aid to apply more pressure on Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, who was on the board of a gas company in the country. 

While Democrats believe there is a strong case for impeachment, Republicans disagree. After Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry in September, Katko called it a "dramatic overstep." He believes the president's conduct should be investigated, but doesn't think it should be done through the impeachment process. 

Katko later said that Democrats are rushing to impeach the president. Two weeks ago, he voted against a measure to establish rules for the next phase of the impeachment proceedings. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.