Negative Ads Account for 90% of NRCC Ad Budget newsvine furl google yahoo netscape

If you believe in the sentiment that desperate times call for desperate methods, you'll find company with the National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization whose purpose is to fight the national fight to keep Republicans in control of the house. Their strategy, in part, this year involves spending 90% of their advertising budget on negative, attack ads.

To say that the ads stretch the truth doesn't begin to do justice to what's going on. Consider this example:

In New York, the NRCC ran an ad accusing Democratic House candidate Michael A. 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 Arcuri's aides had tried to call the state Division of Criminal Justice, which had a number that was almost identical to that of a porn line. The misdial cost taxpayers $1.25.

If you think that's bad, try these from the Republican National Committee (RNC):

In the most controversial recent ad, the Republican National Committee slammed Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (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 Ford, who is black. That ad has been pulled, but the RNC has a new one saying Ford "wants to give the abortion pill to schoolchildren."

The issue with the playboy ad is to play at bigotry. Interracial relationships are still a big, scary issue in places like Tennessee. For the most part though, that ad seems to have backfired with even the Republican candidate coming out against it. That is, of course, the whole plan behind this strategy. The national party slings the mud and the local candidate can swear it's not their fault if it blows up. There's almost no risk to the candidate.


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