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Re: [prezveepsenator] The Year Of Playing Dirtier: Negative Ads Get Positively Surreal

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    I can t wait for this to be over..... ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/26/AR2006102601811.html ... === message truncated ===
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 30, 2006
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      I can't wait for this to be over.....

      --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

      > The Year Of Playing Dirtier: Negative Ads Get
      > Positively Surreal
      >
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/26/AR2006102601811.html
      >
      > By Michael Grunwald
      > Washington Post Staff Writer
      > Friday, October 27, 2006; Page A01
      >
      >
      > Well, that's what the Republican challenger for his
      > Wisconsin
      > 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
      > country."
      >
      > To Mr. Nelson, that doesn't even qualify as negative
      > campaigning.
      >
      > "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
      > extremes."
      >
      > 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.
      > Kagen.
      >
      > 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
      > asked."
      >
      > In the week's most controversial ad, the Republican
      > National Committee
      > slammed Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., for attending a
      > Playboy-sponsored
      > 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:
      > portraying
      >
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