Re: [prezveepsenator] The Year Of Playing Dirtier: Negative Ads Get Positively Surreal
- I can't wait for this to be over.....
--- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:
> The Year Of Playing Dirtier: Negative Ads Gethttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/26/AR2006102601811.html
> Positively Surreal
>=== message truncated ===
> By Michael Grunwald
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Friday, October 27, 2006; Page A01
> Well, that's what the Republican challenger for his
> congressional seat, Paul Nelson, claims in his new
> ads, the ones with
> "XXX" stamped across Mr. Kind's face. It turns out
> that Mr. Kind --
> along with more than 200 of his fellow hedonists in
> the House --
> opposed an unsuccessful effort to stop the National
> Institutes of
> Health from pursuing peer-reviewed sex studies.
> According to Mr.
> Nelson's ads, the Democrat also wants to "let
> illegal aliens burn the
> American flag" and "allow convicted child molesters
> to enter this
> To Mr. Nelson, that doesn't even qualify as negative
> "Negative campaigning is vicious personal attacks,"
> he said in an
> interview. "This isn't personal at all."
> By 2006 standards, maybe it isn't.
> On the brink of what could be a power-shifting
> election, it is
> kitchen-sink time: Desperate candidates are throwing
> everything. While
> negative campaigning is a tradition in American
> politics, this year's
> version in many races has an eccentric shade, filled
> with insinuations
> of corruption and sexual perversion.
> At the same time, the growth of "independent
> expenditures" by national
> parties and other groups has allowed candidates to
> distance themselves
> from distasteful attacks on their opponents, while
> blogs and YouTube
> have provided free distribution networks for
> eye-catching hatchet jobs.
> "When the news is bad, the ads tend to be negative,"
> said Shanto
> Iyengar, a Stanford professor who studies political
> advertising. "And
> the more negative the ad, the more likely it is to
> get free media
> coverage. So there's a big incentive to go to the
> The result has been a carnival of ugly, especially
> on the GOP side,
> where operatives are trying to counter what polls
> show is a hostile
> political environment by casting opponents as
> fatally flawed
> characters. The National Republican Campaign
> Committee is spending
> more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on
> negative ads,
> according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the
> party seems to be
> following suit. A few examples of the "character
> issues" taking center
> stage two weeks before Election Day:
> In New York, the NRCC ran an ad accusing Democratic
> House candidate
> Michael Arcuri, a district attorney, of using
> taxpayer dollars for
> phone sex. "Hi, sexy," a dancing woman purrs.
> "You've reached the
> live, one-on-one fantasy line." It turns out that
> one of Mr. Arcuri's
> aides had tried to call the state Division of
> Criminal Justice, which
> had a number that was almost identical to a porn
> line. The misdial
> cost taxpayers $1.25.
> In Ohio, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kenneth
> Blackwell, trailing by
> more than 20 points in polls, has accused
> front-running Democratic
> Rep. Ted Strickland of protecting a former aide who
> was convicted in
> 1994 on a misdemeanor indecency charge. Mr.
> Blackwell's campaign is
> also warning voters through suggestive "push polls"
> that Mr.
> Strickland failed to support a resolution condemning
> sex between
> adults and children; Mr. Strickland, a psychiatrist,
> objected to a
> line suggesting that sexually abused children could
> not have healthy
> relationships when they grew up.
> The Republican Party of Wisconsin distributed a
> mailing linking
> Democratic House candidate Steve Kagen to a
> convicted serial killer
> and child rapist. The supposed connection: The
> "bloodthirsty" attorney
> for the killer had also done legal work for Mr.
> In two dozen congressional districts, a political
> action committee
> supported by a white Indianapolis businessman,
> Patrick Rooney, is
> running ads saying Democrats want to abort black
> babies. A voice says,
> "If you make a little mistake with one of your hos,
> you'll want to
> dispose of that problem tout de suite, no questions
> In the week's most controversial ad, the Republican
> National Committee
> slammed Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., for attending a
> Super Bowl party. In the ad, a scantily clad white
> actress winks as
> she reminisces about good times with Mr. Ford, who
> is black. That ad
> has been pulled, but the RNC has a new one claiming
> that Mr. Ford
> "wants to give the abortion pill to schoolchildren."
> Some Democrats are playing rough, too. House
> candidate Chris Carney is
> running ads slamming the "family values" of Rep. Don
> Sherwood, R-Pa.,
> whose former mistress accused him of choking her.
> And House candidate
> Kirsten Gillibrand has an ad online ridiculing Rep.
> John Sweeney,
> R-N.Y., for attending a late-night fraternity party.
> "What's a
> 50-year-old man doing at a frat party anyway?" one
> young woman asks,
> as a faux Sweeney boogies behind her to the Beastie
> Boys. "Totally
> creeping me out!" another responds.
> But most harsh Democratic attacks have focused on
> the policies and
> performance of the Republican majority, trying to
> link Republicans to
> Mr. Bush, the unpopular war in Iraq and the scandals
> involving former
> Rep. Mark Foley and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
> That is not
> surprising, given that polls show two thirds of the
> electorate thinks
> the country is going in the wrong direction. And
> studies show that
> negative ads can reduce turnout; Democrats hope a
> constant drumbeat of
> scandal, Iraq and "stay the course" will persuade
> conservatives to
> stay home on Nov. 7.
> It is harder for Republicans to blame out-of-power
> Democrats for the
> current state of Washington, but they are equally
> eager to depress
> Democratic turnout and fire up their own
> conservative base. One GOP
> strategy has been raising the specter of House
> Minority Leader Nancy
> Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal, becoming speaker;
> for example, Rep.
> John Hostettler, R-Ind., is airing radio ads warning
> that a Democratic
> victory would allow Ms. Pelosi to "put in motion her
> radical plan to
> advance the homosexual agenda." Then again, Mr.
> Hostettler's opponent,
> Democrat Brad Ellsworth, has accused him of
> promoting the sale of guns
> to criminals, "including child rapists."
> Some of this year's negative ads are more
> substantive, reprising a
> successful Republican strategy from 2002 and 2004: