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UPDATED: Weekend offers good news for Carnahan, bad news for Lambert

The national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is finally swooping into Missouri with a TV ad aimed at helping Democratic nominee Robin Carnahan by bashing her Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt.

The DSCC ad began running Saturday. It comes as several independent conservative groups -- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- are filling Missouri TV screens with spots attacking Carnahan, currently Missouri's secretary of state. (Click here and herefor earlier Beacon stories on the independent ads.)

Like Carnahan's own ad, this spot attacks Blunt for his leadership role in late 2008 in getting the $700 million bank bailout  through the U.S. House.

The line of attack is somewhat ironic, since most House Democrats backed the measure, which was originally crafted by then-President George W. Bush's administration. Carnahan's brother, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, was among those voting for it. Robin Carnahan has said she would have opposed it because of the lack of adequate oversight.

The DSCC ad is the first TV spot purchased by the Democratic operation since it recently announced plans to spend $4 million in Missouri on behalf of Carnahan. (The money, or at least a sizable chunk, was likely raised when President Barack Obama headlined a fundraiser for Carnahan in early July.)

Blunt's campaign issued a statement today saying, "The Washington Democrats are so desperate for another rubberstamp for Obama, Pelosi and Reid, they will say and do anything to mislead Missourians, even if their attacks hit Robin Carnahan and other Democrats."

Blunt's campaign continued its assertion that Carnahan secretly backed the bailout, although she denies it.

Airport woes

Also over the weekend, the web -- and local TV stations -- were filled with reports about the latest issue of Travel + Leisure magazine that backed up why officials at Lambert St. Louis International Airport are busily sprucing up the place.

Lambert was rated the third worst in the country by the magazine's readers, trailing only the airports in New York and Los Angeles. Rounding out the five worst were the airports in Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Among the complaints about Lambert: The airport still charges for wi-fi access.

The three airports rated by the magazine as the best were, in order: Houston, Orlando and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.