Dale Peterson for America with a hat tip to The Hill. Should be interesting to see the sales of lever action rifles.
Vox populi, vox dei
The Daily Caller writes about Alabama’s own Ladd Ehlinger, Jr. today. Ehlinger is the mastermind behind such political ads as Dale Peterson’s “We Are Better Than That,” and Rick Barber’s two, “Gather Your Armies” and “Slavery.” The article is a good read. Sample:
“On television, you’re buying lazy people who are too fat to hit the mute button during commercials,” Ehlinger said. “On the internet, nobody has to watch your stupid ad. You have to come up with something interesting and entertaining for them to look at.”
It’s a potent strategy. Collectively, the spots Ehlinger has created have reached more than a million viewers on YouTube and have been replayed on cable news shows, reaching millions more.
Ehlinger says he’s working on about four more campaigns. Read the whole article here.
A reader writes in email last night:
I received a political ‘poll’ this evening in Montgomery between seven and eight from Comquest or Conquest Media. They first asked if I’d voted in the recent primary, who I’d voted for governor, then for Ag commissioner. Finally, they asked if I’d rather vote for ‘John McMillan, who’s worked as a lobbyist in Montgomery for 20 years or Dorman Grace, who’s a small farmer in south Alabama.” That’s not a direct quote, as I didn’t have any way of recording it, but the gist of what I remember.
Have you heard from any other readers who have received a similar call?
The reader writes in a follow-up, “I did a Google search after I sent the email, and it looks like it may be Conquest Communications Group, out of Virginia.”
The email reminded me that I had received a similar call for this race on the morning of the primary, pushing Dorman Grace and disparaging John McMillan and Dale Peterson. That call I received on the morning of the primary clearly felt like a push poll. (One obvious consideration: what would any campaign do with poll results collected on the morning of the election?)
So how about it? What are your experiences?
Well… not literally rides again, because there is no horse this time.
His last internet spot had been called the best political ad ever. In this one, Peterson endorses John McMillan in the GOP primary runoff for Agriculture Commissioner after finishing third behind McMillan and Dorman Grace.
About the claim that Dorman Grace took illegal campaign contributions? PolitiFact rates that one “half-true.”
And I’m a bit concerned about what might have happened to the horse from the last spot.
We have had several oddities during the primary season. I present this Top Ten list, but because we strive to be better, in this case 20% better, it is a Top 12 list (unranked).
- State Rep. Thomas Jackson (D – Thomasville) is receiving a primary challenge from another Thomas Jackson. At his request, the incumbent will be listed on the ballot as “Thomas ‘Action’ Jackson.”
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Robert Bentley wanted to get around the Republican Party’s ban on titles appearing on the ballot and so legally changed his first name to “Dr.”
- Longshot Agriculture Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson (R) had his web ad go screaming through the internet. Best ad of the race? Of the Alabama primary? Of the year anywhere in the country? No, some called it the best campaign ad ever (see here and here). Though Politifact raised some questions.
- Noted Democrat Paul Hubbert of AEA set up a front group called True Republican PAC to run ads attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne for, among other things, not being conservative enough and wanting evolution taught in schools. Yes, that’s a left-winger paying for ads complaining that Byrne is “another liberal politician trying to look conservative.”
- From the Creative Endorsements Department… The campaign of Republican Congressional candidate Les Phillip announces that Phillip is endorsed by the National Veterans for Republicans, an outfit created by his brother. The group was established after Phillip announced his candidacy. Brian at Flashpoint tells the story.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore gained 1700 followers on Twitter in one day. And speaking of oddities, you should check out who he has been following on Twitter (or at least was at the time I drafted this post): In looking at about two dozen of the thousands that he is following, I found a Senior Web Manager for a department store in London, an entrepreneurial lawyer from Morelia, Mexico, Ms. United States of 2008-09 (from NY/NJ), a cigar-smoking Israeli woman who co-founded Twitter Analyzer, and a Nairobi, Kenyan who is making the easiest money and wants to tell you how you can too. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
- A new and mysterious group called the New Sons of Liberty set the Alabama political world abuzz when it reserved TV ad time in the last days of the campaign for an ad buy of more than a million dollars. Speculation ran rampant about what candidate(s) would be the beneficiary or target of the ad buy, but the ad buy was cancelled the day before it was supposed to begin.
- The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks put out a press release [.pdf] saying that “[Primary rival Artur] Davis pays kool-aid-drinking bloggers to misinform the rest of us, claiming that the gaming positions of Ron Sparks and Artur Davis are IDENTICAL.” Really? Bloggers are getting paid by a candidate? What bloggers? How does the Sparks campaign know this? I found this to be a fairly extraordinary claim to put out in a press release, but the Sparks campaign never responded to my email with these questions. Left in Alabama had a lot of fun with it though – including surveying state bloggers on the matter.
- Last June, GOP Congressional candidate Les Phillip held a fundraiser with Mike Huckabee as the speaker and lost over $25,000 on the event.
- Republican state Senator Charles Bishop stepped down from the Senate and decided to run for the state House in House District 14 – apparently because of his dislike for incumbent Ken Guin, the House Majority Leader for the Democrats.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James told staffers of the University of Alabama student newspaper in an off-handed remark that as governor he would not cut the salary of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban. (James’ father Fob was a football star at rival Auburn.) All well and good, but after his campaign tweeted, “Dispelling another untruth from the Byrne camp: I will neither be firing nor cutting Coach Saban’s salary if elected,” the remark went supernova. After re-tweets, an explosive radio segment with Paul Finebaum (who said “James turned a mild tempest in a teapot into a nuclear war”), and finger-pointing, we find James at a press conference wearing a “Saban Rules” cap. Alabama politics and Alabama football… when worlds collide.
- In the trial of Judge Herman Thomas, state Senator Vivian Figures and her son testified against Thomas. He was acquitted, and now Thomas is challenging Figures for the Democratic nomination for the Senate District 33 seat. Nothing personal, I’m sure.
Note that we didn’t even get into the oddities of the Tim James commercials with the pauses, the ambling, and the unusual pacing of the ads that made this parody so fun.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked some oddities that should be included. What would be on your list?
Candidates in Alabama looking for an advertising vantage are finding it in going viral. First GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim James. Now it’s GOP Agriculture Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson with a video viewed 41,000 times on YouTube since it went up 14 hours ago. It doesn’t appear to be an actual ad that would show up as is on TV in that it clocks in at 1:10 instead of the usual 30 or 60 seconds, but with the kind of buzz the ad is getting he may find some money to go on the air. (His 45-day report last month showed about $700 on hand, after raising $4,000, loaning himself $34,000 and spending almost all of it.)
Gawker says it as well as anyone:
Maybe you remember Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James’ flag-waving “We Speak English” ad. This spot from Republican Alabama Agricultural Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson makes James look like a gay Commie terrorist. Dramatic music! Guns! Horses! Drawling! God Bless America.
And lots of tough talk. He calls primary opponent Dorman Grace “a dummy.” He calls out “thugs and criminals” who “don’t give a rip about Alabama,” and I suppose he means some combination of Grace, primary opponent John McMillan, Democratic candidate Glen Zorn and current Ag Commissioner Ron Sparks.
It’s a must see.