MARQUETTE - A newly erected downstate billboard accuses U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek of being a radical and of hurting the middle class.
The billboard, one of 10 placed across the country by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is located in Traverse City.
Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, represents Michigan's 1st Congressional District, which includes the Upper Peninsula and a portion of lower Michigan.
"Congressman Dan Benishek got it wrong," the billboard reads. "Putting radicalism and partisanship ahead of solutions for the middle class."
Benishek's photo sits to the left of the text.
Similar billboards have been erected in the home districts of nine other U.S. representatives.
DCCC spokesman Brandon Lorenz said the billboards are a response to the representatives' affirmative votes on the Paul Ryan budget plan, which Lorenz claims would "raise Medicare costs on Michigan seniors in order to reward millionaires."
"Congressman Benishek's district is a competitive one and one where a vote for raising medicare costs in favor of millionaires is not particularly popular," Lorenz said.
In an email Wednesday, Benishek refuted the claims, adding that he wants to focus on the task at hand.
"I don't see how working to balance the budget for Northern Michigan families or save Medicare for current and future retirees is either a misplaced priority or a radical agenda," he said. "While we may disagree on the details, I work hard to find common ground with my colleagues so that we can find solutions to create jobs and grow our economy. Partisan bickering from special interest groups in Washington only makes it more difficult to find common ground and work together."
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.