An ad featuring Congressman Brian Bilbray’s daughter has introduced a very personal note to the tight race between Bilbray and Scott Peters for the 52nd congressional seat. But the ad reveals contradictions in Bilbray’s position on health care.
In the ad, Bilbray’s 25-year-old daughter reveals a deeply personal tragedy that the congressman has openly acknowledged is changing his life.
"I’m Briana Bilbray and I have terminal cancer," Brianna says in the ad. "My dad’s work may not save my life but it could save thousands of others."
Earlier this year, Bilbray set up a skin cancer research fund. However, the money for that fund would come from a 10 percent tax on tanning salons.
That tanning salon tax is an element of the Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, which Bilbray has pledged - along with his party - to repeal.
Carl Luna, a political science professor at Mesa College, said the inconsistencies in Bilbray’s political position get lost in the drama of the ad.
"What you’re seeing more is the rise of political campaigning as a docudrama," Luna said. "You don’t want the facts to get in the way of a convincing ad narrative."
Bilbray’s campaign said Bilbray has not identified any alternative money for the cancer research fund if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Since the story was written, Bilbray's office said that his legislation creating the cancer research fund seeks to separate the tanning salon tax from the Affordable Health Care Act.