UPDATE State Democrats launch anti-Cotton website


LITTLE ROCK — A day ahead of U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton’s expected entry into the Senate race, the Democratic Party of Arkansas launched a website Monday devoted to knocking the Dardanelle Republican’s voting record.

The site, MeetTomCotton.com, claims Cotton is “too reckless for Arkansas.” It criticizes the freshman congressman for voting for measures to transform Medicaid and raise the Social Security eligibility age from 67 to 70, and for voting against a proposed farm bill, a compromise to lower interest rates on student loans and a disaster relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims, among other things.

“Tom Cotton has a reckless disregard for the challenges facing Arkansas families. His willingness to threaten the economic security and well-being of Arkansans in pursuit of his political career is not the Arkansas way,” the website states.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign unveiled a new television ad Monday attacking Cotton on the same points. Cotton is expected to announce Tuesday he will challenge the Democratic senator’s bid for a third term.

Cotton’s political director, state Rep. John Burris, R-Harrison, declined to comment Monday on the Democratic Party’s website.

David Ray, spokesman for the state Republican Party, said Monday, “It’s worth noting that Mark Pryor doesn’t even have a campaign website of his own, yet he has a website attacking his unannounced opponent. That’s because he has few accomplishments to show for his decade as a Washington politician, and his poll numbers are so low that his only strategy is to try and drag Tom Cotton through the mud and tarnish the reputation of a man who served his country honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Pryor won re-election in 2008 with no Republican opponent but is seen by Republicans as vulnerable in next year’s election.

Cotton is expected to announce his Senate bid during a barbecue dinner honoring him at the Dardanelle Community Center. Pryor, meanwhile, is scheduled to make campaign appearances in Fayetteville and Rogers on Tuesday.