Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Me too, Duffy, me too.



If you're reading my blog standing up, you may want to take a seat, I've got shocking news.

The Iowa Democratic Party Heartland PAC has produced a negative website about Jim Nussle.

It's unprecedented. Oh wait, it's not. Not even close.

Yesterday, I posted about Kevin Wiskus' response to negative ads, and Chris Woods called it "a good one that can change the whole frame of discussion on political advertising." Wiskus was a Republican who refused to go negative and changed his party registration when the RPI did it for him.

Today, Heartland PAC puts together some bullshit on Nussle and Chris gushes over it:

Let’s tell Nussle to put the paper bag back on or send him a denial of credit letter! They’ve got the facts and the hard information on the site too.

Props to Vilsack’s people for getting this stuff going and really working to help elect Chet Culver!


You can't have it both ways, Chris.

There's 49 days left until the November 7 election. Forty-nine days of negative ads, push polling, partisan bickering and bad satire. At the end of those 49 days, we'll elect the candidate Iowans hate less based on the smear campaigns of their opponents, 527 groups and the parties.

Then, on November 8th, we'll wonder why no one voted.

KL

6 comments:

Chris Woods said...

I don't understand what I'm trying to have both ways. I said your post was good and that Wiskus' response to factually innaccurate and smearing ads was a way to change the discussion about negative ads -- those ads that are downright meant only to smear. I never said I made a claim that Republican negative ads are bad and that Democratic ones are good. They're inherently a part of the political process and unless everyone pulls a Wiskus in the next coming weeks, we're going to keep being faced with negative ads until they don't work (and today, at least, we know they do work).

Secondly, the IDP is not the producer of the Paper or Plastic website, Heartland PAC Iowa is. Is it negative? Yes. Is any of the information inaccurate? No. It tells us the facts on Nussle's silence on government reform and ethics problems with his party, even though he was quite outspoken on it when he first got to Congress. It also talks about the problems he's helped to produce with the budget. These are truths about Jim Nussle.

Comparisons between candidates tend to get construed ad being negative when they say 'we can't trust so-and-so' or 'so-and-so voted against this' and so on. They're comparing candidates and discussing the issues. You can't have debate without criticzing or attacking an opponent's ideas and those are generally construed as being negative.

In reality, political advertising is a complex activity that requires strategy and it requires criticisms that can be considered attacks or 'going negative.' But if every candidate only talked about how great their plan is and never responded to an opponent's plan or statements in critical ways (that end up being construed as negative), where would that leave us?

Finally, the reason I gush over this site is because we all know that Blouin was Vilsack's horse in the primary race and all I though Heartland PAC would do is give him some cash. But Vilsack's been out on the stump for him and with him, and now his PAC is getting directly involved in Iowa, helping out local candidates and Chet's race. To me, its a sign that no matter the horse in the race during the primary, the party can get behind the nominee.

Finally, I guess my question is what is 'bullshit' about Heartland PAC Iowa's stuff on Nussle?

KL Snow said...

Ok Chris, here's the problem(s):

a) Nowhere have I seen any proof that the content of Wiskus' ad was inaccurate. Just smearing.

b) I've corrected the Heartland PAC/IDP mixup.

c) You said about the new website, "It tells us the facts on Nussle's silence on government reform and ethics problems with his party, even though he was quite outspoken on it when he first got to Congress."

And then it suggests we send him a letter denying him credit or a paper bag to put on his head. How is that not smearing?

d) You said "Comparisons between candidates tend to get construed ad being negative when they say 'we can't trust so-and-so' or 'so-and-so voted against this' and so on."

'So and so voted against this' is based on a voting record, at least, so I can almost stomach it.

'We can't trust so and so' is a personal attack. It's not about his record, it's not about his stance on issues, it's a flat-out character strike.

e) You said: "In reality, political advertising is a complex activity that requires strategy and it requires criticisms that can be considered attacks or 'going negative.' But if every candidate only talked about how great their plan is and never responded to an opponent's plan or statements in critical ways (that end up being construed as negative), where would that leave us?"

There will always need to be criticism of voting records, issue stances and plans. There is NOT, nor will there ever be, a time when personal attacks are acceptable to me.

So, to summarize:

Criticizing Nussle's voting record is ok.

Questioning Nussle's stances on issues is ok.

Suggesting Nussle put a paper bag over his head or be denied credit is not ok.

Anonymous said...

This race won't be tied the next time the next poll comes out after people hear and read what Sweatty Chetty said in his reactionary press release on Jim Nussle's immigration reform proposal !!!

“Illegal immigrants don’t swim across rivers and walk through deserts to vote in our elections,” said Taylor West, spokeswoman for the Culver campaign.

How would Culver know who is and isn't illegally voting in Iowa elections, because he LOBBIED AGAINST Voter ID and other basic reforms to ensure free, fair elections in Iowa as SECRETARY OF STATE – that’s his record – not a vote from fifteen years ago!

The Real Sporer said...

Bravo Madman! Does anyone remember that much of this bullshit was predicted by the opponents of McCain Feingold, although creative financing was inevitable in the land of free speech?

In the good old days the Republicans said something and the public knew we said it, and you guys said your thing. We all knew who was saying what. Know we have "Americans for Love" saying they favor clean air and their opponents was to kill some segment of the population. The opponent group "Lovers of America" says no, we actually love clean air and our opponents want to kill some part of the population.

There's a place for negativism, and believe me, the Chairman in me says no to unilateral disarmament but our national leaders would all take a good lesson from Ronald Reagan, who was, after all, won 45 states as a challenger and 49 as an incumbant. All this negativism has done is paralyze us in a very dangerous world where our culture is declining and we face enemies who want to kill us regardless of where we stood on impeachment or Florida.

Whew! Thats a mufuggin mouthful.

The Real Sporer said...

By the way, how does a knock down drag out free for all among all of the Presidential contenders in Des Moines in say May of 07 sound.

Put all 20 of the gang on stage for about four hours-the length of an average baseball game-and just have them do real Lincoln Douglas debate?

Now that would seperate the men from the boys ('cause Hillary isn't running and neither is Condi).

Anonymous said...

hey anon 4:18--I can't believe the nussle campaign actually pays you to post snippy things against culver during work hours