Thursday, September 28, 2006

Government by Madison Avenue

It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

If you buy enough slick advertising, people will actually think you are a viable candidate for an office you have no business running for! And, if you drink enough Bud Light, the hot girls will fall at your feet!

Just trust us. It's all true.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Television viewers who feel bombarded by ads in the governor's race aren't going to get a break any time soon.

Spending on TV ads is close to $26 million so far and is going to intensify in October, the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network reported Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has spent $2.5 million for ads and the Michigan Democratic Party has spent $5.5 million for issue ads supporting Granholm's campaign through this past Wednesday. Republican challenger Dick DeVos has spent $17.9 million on ad buys through Oct. 2.

"My opponent has set new spending records in every election she has run in... And I will not be at all surprised if we are outspent in this race by my opponent."

-Dick DeVos, Grand Rapids Magazine, Sept. 2006

Well, the Governor better get out the 'ol checkbook and cough up about $16 million just to break even at this point. Wouldn't want to mess up her streak of "new spending records" in all those races she has run in... you know, both of them.

John Truscott adds to the inanity with this statement-

DeVos spokesman John Truscott said the disparity in spending isn't as great as it appears. Commercials run by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the state tourism department help the governor's cause, but aren't considered campaign ads.

"When you factor in all the state money being spent on her behalf, we probably are in the ballpark of what she is spending total," Truscott said.

If Johnny wants to count the state advertising, perhaps we should count all that Amway advertising for Dick, don't you think? How much was that total again, John?

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, DeVos has funded 80% of that $17.9 million all by himself. That's a lot of pissed off Amway distributors right there.

Despite the onslaught, Rich Robinson of MCFN said voters aren't learning much about where the candidates stand on the issues.

"Michigan voters have been subjected to an unprecedented barrage of shallow messages designed to drive an emotional reaction to the candidates," he said in a release. "It remains to be seen whether voters will be shown enough depth to make a thoughtful choice on Election Day."

Because all the other election years were just chock-full of informative advertising. Don't you remember all those ads where George Bush said he was going to make us "safer"? And look how well that turned out!

Let's go to that font of wisdom Tim Skubick at this point-

"If you make a decision about who to vote for based on what you see in TV commercials, do the democracy a favor and stay home on Election Day."

Not only do we have deep pockets Dick splurging on misinformation like Paris Hilton on a bender, we have the other Pubs starting to take an interest in what they see as an opportunity to find a place to shore up the tattered remnants of the conservative base. They want to set up shop right here in Michigan after the rest of the country kicks them to the curb.

Beginning Thursday, the Republican Governors Association was to run ads for 10 days supporting DeVos.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said last month that the group will commit $750,000 to run issue advertisements in Michigan promoting DeVos. Republicans count Michigan as the most likely state where they can defeat a Democratic incumbent.

And Zack over at Pohlitics found this at the bottom of a Detroit News editorial-

Meanwhile, local GOP activists are muttering about a Vice President DeVos in 2008, and national Republicans are excited by the prospect of a re-energized state party that could help the GOP reclaim the Michigan electoral vote in 2008 after three straight losses to Democratic presidential candidates.

Michigan could give the world the next George W. Bush- all thanks to millions of dollars spent on misleading advertising.

How scary is that.