By BRIAN TUMULTY, Gannett Washington Bureau
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out a new TV ad in central New York Thursday, as the party's top-tier candidates headed to Manhattan for a fundraiser with former Vice President Al Gore and House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
Attendees at the fundraiser will include freshman Rep. Kathy Hochul of Erie County and former Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei of the Syracuse area.
New York Republicans will hold fundraisers in the next few days with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.
The fundraisers highlight New York's role in the competition for control of the House.
Boehner has a public event Saturday morning in the Buffalo area with former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, who is challenging Hochul in a district stretching from Erie County to the western Rochester suburbs.
Cantor will be in Rochester Tuesday morning for a fundraising breakfast with Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, who is challenging veteran Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter in a Rochester-area district.
The new DCCC ad targets Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle of Onondaga, who is being challenged by Maffei in a Syracuse-based district that includes Wayne County near Rochester.
It's the fourth anti-Buerkle TV spot run by the national party's campaign arm. The ad attacks Buerkle for supporting a budget that the spot says "would end the Medicare guarantee'' and "increases taxes on middle-class families.''
That's a reference to the budget blueprint authored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney's running mate. Ryan's budget would change Medicare into an insurance premium support program for people currently under 55.
Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman, who is running in a Hudson Valley-Catskills region district against freshman Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, also has a new TV ad with a similar Medicare-related theme.
Schreibman's ad features senior citizens accusing Gibson of voting to gut Medicare.
But Gibson is the only Republican in the New York delegation who voted against Ryan's budget proposal this year, after voting for it in 2011. Instead, he voted this year for a bipartisan budget proposal authored by Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio that would combine spending cuts with revenue increases. The proposal got only 38 votes.
Several other New York Republicans also voted for the proposal, but they also voted for Ryan's competing budget plan.
A Democratic super PAC said Thursday it is running TV ads in three New York congressional districts stretching from western New York to eastern Long Island, and plans to spend money in two other districts on TV and direct mail.
The House Majority PAC has ads running in western New York against Collins and on eastern Long Island against Randy Altschuler, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
In the lower Hudson Valley, the super PAC said it's spending $1 million for TV and direct mail to oppose freshman Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, who is being challenged by Democratic attorney Sean Maloney.
The super PAC said it plans to spend $300,000 on direct mail to back Schreibman's upper Hudson Valley race against Gibson, and $175,000 on TV ads in the Syracuse-based district where Buerkle is being challenged by Maffei.