Tag Archives: campaign ads

ACORN raid marks wider fraud probe

The FBI’s raids of the Nevada offices of ACORN are the latest manifestation in the 10-state official investigation of fraudulent voter registration practices by the “community organizing” outfit.  This development could prove embarrassing for the Obama campaign: not only have they paid ACORN $800,000 this election season for their questionable get-out-the-vote services, but Sen. Obama himself has a long history with the group.

This history starts with their recruitment of him in 1992 to run the Chicago branch of their political arm, Vote Smart, and continues with their employment of his wife’s law firm to represent them in an embezzlement case, to his suing the state of Illinois on their behalf to implement their pet “moter voter” law (also a magnet for voter fraud).  His association with them culminates in their vocal endorsement of him for president this year, an odd move for an organization that is supposed to be non-partisan.

According to Investors’ Business Daily (via Hot Air), “Obama downplays his ties to ACORN, and his campaign denies coordinating with ACORN to register voters.”

Further details of the FBI probe, ACORN’s checkered past, Obama’s connection to them, and the implications for the McCain campaign below the break.

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“We’re going to get a little tougher” UPDATE: Even Alec Baldwin, Senator!

Well, they’d better hope so.

According to the Washington Post, the McCain campaign and the Republicans are “readying a newly aggressive assault” for the final month of the election season, moving away from John McCain’s maverick-war-hero biography and shifting focus to Barack Obama and his associates; senior campaign officials offered Tony Rezko and William Ayers as examples.  (I love the WaPo’s description of Ayers, “whom the McCain campaign regularly calls a domestic terrorist because of his acts of violence against the U.S. government in the 1960s.” [Emphasis mine.]  Well, what would you call him?)

Sources at the campaign say that the new ad I touched on earlier, taking Obama to task over his description of himself as a “tax cutter,” was the leading edge of this new aggressive stance.  Hot Air backs me up that McCain will have to do better than that, and the best way to do it is to go national hammering the Democrats’ opposition to his drive for tightened oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Details, and a dimly encouraging quote from McCain, below the break.

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New attack ad from McCain, but still no FM/FM

John McCain is back on the attack following his Palin-induced shot in the arm, and he’s attacking on…taxes?  Senator, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are just sitting there waiting for you.  The NRCC has even got the ball rolling for you.  Your first ad following the debate was a cringeworthy mishmash.  The tax-cutting pitch is all well and good, but take a wild guess as to what’s on people’s minds now?  Hint: it ain’t tax cuts, emphasized in this ultimately wasted ad:

As an aside, James Pethoukokis of U.S. News doesn’t think McCain is going to pick up that ball (and believes ACORN is going to get a pass in the bargain):

1) It is a complicated argument, and McCain is not good at making complicated arguments, not even about earmarks. (Note, additionally, his lack of defense of the war in Iraq during his debate with Obama. Amazing.)

2) There is a racial component to criticism of the Community Reinvestment Act that can make it sound like you are scapegoating minorities for Wall Street’s problems.

3) The campaign believes McCain’s time is better spent talking about taxes and energy and healthcare. Really.

Stephen Spruiell at NRO replies:

1) It’s not that complicated. McCain called for stronger oversight of Fannie and Freddie in 2005, but Senate Democrats (including Obama) blocked reform. Between 2005 and 2007, Fannie and Freddie bought up a trillion dollars worth of subprime mortgages. Some they kept, some they packaged and sold to Wall Street.

Thus Fannie and Freddie enabled and spread the contagion that melted our financial system, while the Democrats enabled Fannie and Freddie over John McCain’s objections. Conservatives cannot afford to lose the argument over what caused this crisis. One would think McCain would feel that pressure more acutely than most.

2) Fine. Steer clear of the CRA and focus on Fannie and Freddie. 

3) Can we not walk and chew gum at the same time?

Dunno about you, Sen. McCain, but I’m with Spruiell (as is Miz Michelle, I hear, though Ed appears pleased with the ad).  Sure, go ahead and slam Barack Obama as a tax-hiker (gawd knows he’s an easy target on that score), but there’s a lot of anger out there about the runup to the bailout just looking for its rightful target, and you’ve got history and a whole lot of C-SPAN footage on your side.

Astroturf copycat/Blogger Neologism Watch

The Jawa Report (via Jim Treacher’s blog) reports yet another viral video along the lines of Ethan Winner’s smear video of Sarah Palin, using “creatively edited” video clips to give the same, tired, utterly fabricated impression that Palin is an Alaskan secessionist, or at least an Alaskan Independence Party supporter (if not a member).

The controversy hovers around five words from a video statement Gov. Palin submitted upon request to the AIP for viewing at their party convention a while back.  The entirety of the quote from Palin says, “I share your party’s vision…” (The video even includes the ellipsis; at least they retain some vestige of honesty.)

A firm debunking of this rumor (can’t believe it’s still alive), and a bonus Blogger Neologism Watch entry, below the break.

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Well, that was ad money well spent

OK…can somebody help me figure out how this latest Obama campaign ad hurts John McCain?

Far as I can see, this ad would be just as effective in turning out McCain voters as it would Obama voters.  The late-appearing caption in the faux-NBC newscast saying “Turnout Lower Than Expected” is easy to miss.  It’s really the only thing that could possibly puncture what amounts to a well-constructed simulation of a McCainiac’s heart’s dream.  The easier it is for McCain voters to visualize what this commerical depicts in painstaking detail, the more motivated they are to bring it to fruition.

Well done, Obama campaign.  Message received:  “McCain = Winner.”  Brilliant.

Where villainy and thugs prevail, there Ted is ever found

I tell you, it seems no matter how bad the Democrats get in terms of campaign thuggery, Republican Senator Ted Stevens never seems to have any trouble helping the GOP keep up with the Joneses.  Yea, verily, a bloated paragon of venality and shady-eyed depravity!

From the Wall Street Journal, via Instapundit, more cease-and-desist abuse, this time in Alaska:

In Alaska earlier this month, radio ads hit the airwaves trumpeting the allegation that Sen. Ted Stevens received a sweetheart trade-in deal on a new Land Rover. An Alaska law firm representing the Republican senator quickly fired off letters to stations around the state demanding they stop running an ad it said was “factually incorrect and a gross distortion of the real facts.”…

While some stations buckle under the pressure and drop the ads, most refuse. “I think candidates want us to become the censors,” says Mike Burgess, general manager of KOB, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque. “I don’t think that’s our job.” The station has already received a handful of letters requesting ad takedowns this political season.

The article also says:

While no one tracks the number of legal notices broadcasters receive on political ads, station managers and lawyers say attempts to block ads are growing both in number and intensity, particularly in states with closely contested elections.

I’d like someone to start clocking and documenting this trend.  If nothing else, when officeholders finally face the prospect of a track record of state-sanctioned harassment of TV and radio stations, it may make them think twice about abusing the legal system to harass legitimate broadcasters (or at least limit their itchy C&D-letter fingers to complaints that actually have legs).

As for Senator Stevens (hopefully soon to be Citizen Stevens, then Inmate Stevens)…enjoy prison, Senator.  You won’t be missed.

Somebody hasn’t stopped running for prez…

Have Joe Biden and Barack Obama actually bothered talking to each other in the last couple of days?

In the space of 24 short hours, we’ve seen:

Caroline Kennedy’s BlackBerry must be smoking with hate email from the Obama campaign these days.  “Thanks a million for the yeoman vetting process, lady.”

It’s hardly unusual for running mates to disagree.  Eight years ago Joe Lieberman was forced to “evolve” his positions on a number of issues (affirmative action, the content of Hollywood output, etc.) in order to make sure he didn’t make things too difficult for Al Gore.  Much was made in 1980 of the differences between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush on supply-side economics (“voodoo economics,” according to Bush during the primaries).

John McCain and Sarah Palin are famously on opposite sides of the fence regarding drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an issue near and dear to the Alaska governor’s heart for years.  However, the difference between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin is that with the latter, you get the clear impression that they have at least discussed the matter between them, even if they haven’t come to a meeting of minds yet.

Points of disagreement between Obama and Biden, on the other hand, always seem to come as a surprise to them both when asked about them by reporters or voters, and you’re invariably filled with dread at what the next conversation between the two of them is probably going to be like.