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GOP-aligned super PAC attacks Martha Coakley in new TV ad

A GOP-aligned super PAC that has already spent millions of dollars on the Massachusetts gubernatorial race today released a new ad attacking Democratic nominee Martha Coakley.

The 30-second spot reprises familiar attacks on the attorney general: That she is out of touch and has no plan for Massachusetts.

The ad from Commonwealth Future Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee, a group funded primarily by the Republican Governors Association, attacks her for incorrectly guessing the state’s per-gallon gasoline tax during a pop quiz on a TV show, and for not having a plan to fix welfare fraud.

“Martha Coakley: Out of touch. No plan for Massachusetts,” a female narrator says in the spot, which is set to begin airing statewide on Tuesday.

The new spot includes a clip from Coakley’s May appearance on the WCVB-TV (Channel 5) program “On the Record,” which regularly quizzes political guests.


It shows Coakley’s response to a question about the state’s current per-gallon gas tax.

“Uhh,” Coakley grimaces. Then she guesses “10 cents.”

The ad plays the sound of a buzzer before the narrator alerts viewers that it’s actually 24 cents.

Last year, the tax increased by 3 cents as part of a controversial transportation funding package. The tax is set to be linked yearly beginning in 2015 to the Consumer Price Index, which means it will go up with inflation, as goods and services get more expensive.

But a ballot initiative in November will allow voters to repeal the requirement that the gas tax be adjusted annually for inflation. Coakley has said she opposes repeal.

A previous ad from the group used the same video of Coakley’s gas tax flub. Another ad from the group also focused on welfare reform. Still other ads from the well-funded PAC have boosted Charlie Baker, the GOP nominee for governor.

Filings with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance show the PAC had spent $3.6 million on the race through earlier this month.


A Coakley spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Besides Baker and Coakley, three independent candidates are also running for governor: Evan Falchuk, Jeff McCormick and Scott Livley.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.