Ladd Man

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.

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Top Ten Oddities of the Alabama Primary Campaigns

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?

Les Phillip Ad Gets National Attention

Les Phillip, Republican candidate for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, gets tough on President Obama and touts his conservative bona fides in this vivid ad*.

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Phillip’s website touts a favorite comment about the ad from Jim Geraghty of the National Review Online: “This ad for Alabama House candidate Les Phillip makes Alabama agriculture commissioner candidate Dale Peterson look like a squish.”

Phillip is racing in the GOP primary against Mo Brooks and incumbent Parker Griffith.

* The photo of Obama with the cigarette reportedly was removed from the ad.

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Fighter Les Phillip's First TV Spot of AL-05 Race

Republican Les Phillip, candidate for the 5th Congressional District, is on cable TV in Huntsville with this spot. No indications from this perspective that his campaign has yet found traction in a tough primary against incumbent Parker Griffith and Mo Brooks, a long-time Republican standard-bearer for the area.

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The GOP nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary race with Mitchell Howie, David Maker, Steve Raby, and Taze Shepard.

Les Phillip Committed to AL-05 Race

Les PhillipIn a release today from the Les Phillip campaign (full text below), the candidate for Alabama’s 5th Congressional seat dismissed Wayne Parker’s endorsement of rival Mo Brooks as “good ol’ boy politics.”

Jamie Gilliam, the Communications Director for Les Phillip’s campaign, tells the Political Parlor that Phillip is committed to the race for the GOP nomination in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. “There’s no truth to the rumors that he’s dropping out,” he said, adding, “I think it’s coming from other camps. I wish we knew where that was coming from. There’s no way we’d put out a release like this if there was any truth to the rumor.”

Here is the full text of the release:

Continue reading “Les Phillip Committed to AL-05 Race”

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Wayne Parker Endorses Mo Brooks in AL-05

Wayne Parker, the 2008 Republican nominee for the 5th Congressional District, announced this morning that he is throwing his support behind Mo Brooks over Democrat-turned-Republican incumbent Parker Griffith.

We also hear rumblings that GOP candidate Les Phillip may be considering leaving the race. (Update: Phillip’s campaign communication director says Phillip is committed to the race.)

Stay tuned.

Alabama's 5th Congressional District

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