Thursday, July 27, 2006

Johnson Releases Attack Ad: Murphy Responds

Rep. Nancy Johnson recently released an ad attacking rival Chris Murphy (click for ad--.wmv format), in which she accuses him of being "a tax-hiking politician Connecticut can't afford." Yesterday, Murphy released his own ad (not yet on web), the transcript of which is as follows:
[Shot of Johnson ad on a television--Murphy turns off ad with remote]

I’m Chris Murphy, and I approved this message because attack ads like this are why I’m running for Congress.

Nancy Johnson’s misleading ad against me proves she’s been in Washington too long.

I’m running not only to change Congress, but to change what people expect from politics.

That’s why I’m doing things differently, going door to door, listening to people.

You’ll be hearing more from me soon.

Until then, you might just want to keep this handy. [Holds up remote]

Murphy also disputed the charges made in the Johnson ad. For example, the Johnson ad claims that Murphy raised taxes $3 billion, but the Murphy campaign said that, according to the Office of Fiscal Analysis, the overall tax burden has decreased by $300 million since Murphy took office eight years ago.

The Murphy campaign also says that "the federal tax burden on Connecticut families has increased from 21.6% when Johnson took office in 1983 to 24.6% in 2006."

However, this information (and other rebuttals to Johnson's attacks) were not included in Murphy's ad--but only in a press release.

Johnson's ad is pretty vicious, is an obvious attempt to define Murphy before the campaign really gets started--and is probably a response to some recent (albeit biased) polls showing Murphy in the lead. Murphy's response, while a nice effort to change the tone, is rather weak by comparison because it addresses none of the charges leveled against him. Dave Boomer, Nancy Johnson's campaign manager pointed this out in the Hartford Courant this morning:
About Murphy's "little fluff ad," Boomer said that the Democrat "is trying to answer [our ad] by avoiding answering it."

"If I had his record on taxes, I wouldn't want to talk about it either," Boomer said. (Cohen)


However, the fact that the ad wars are beginning already in the 5th District is just one more indication that this is going to be a close, tough race.

Source

Cohen, Jeffrey. "Sparks Fly In Race To Sway." Hartford Courant 27 July, 2006.

71 comments:

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

".. attempt to define Murphy..

Failure to define Murphy has been proven to be fatal.

Nancy's never been good at going negative but some of us that have been with her all the way back to her primary with Nick Schause (before some of you were born) have convinced her of the need to do it with this guy.

The truth has never gotten in Murphy's way and we doubt we'll hear much of it out of him this campaign either.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

Why oh why oh why do politicians insist upon running that script- I'm talking about Murphy's response.

Does anyone remember Michael Dukakis running the same ad? Shutting off an ad on a television by HW Bush, decrying the discourse... it looks like whining.

Echoing ACR, people know who Nancy Johnson is. Chris Murphy's complaint ad about her ad will do very little to change voter opinion about her. Nancy's ad is going to have more of an effect (if any) on the tabula rasa of Chris Murphy- a man without an identity.

One odd thing about Nancy, by way of anecdote. A friend of mine was running a hapless congressional campaign against an entrenched West Virginia Dem. Nancy had some control over money- she was quite clear that this race was not a great investment. But that's not what was interesting. She took my friend and the candidate on a tour of her office. Nancy was adamant about showing the special bathroom in her office, which she emphasized was EXCLUSIVELY for her use. Nancy likes privacy and cleanliness. Nothing wrong with that.

Never ever say you didn't learn something on this board.

David said...

Johnson ad is a joke. Johnson has cut taxes massively on the rich and corporations, voted for budgets with huge deficits (CT has to balance our budget unlike Nancy at the federal level) and cut state & municipal aid, as well as cuts to veterans, college students. She thinks Murphy who has had to clean up the fiscal mess at the state level that Johnson has pushed down from Congress is fiscally irresponsible? Talk about Orwellian speak.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

ACR: who could ever forget the barn-burner race in the 6th CD (ahh...the late and lamented 6th) when Nick Schause tried to oust Toby Moffett. I think that was in 1980- should have been do-able. But that was when Toby could win races.

Do I have my facts wrong? Mad cow is settling in. And it's hard to find a politician from 1974-1986 who did not in some way run against Toby Moffett. Thank goodness for WVIT-30 for getting him back on track with a stop-gap career. Toby meant well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, David ... You're being paged in the preceding thread ...

Genghis Conn said...

Nope you're right: Schaus was creamed by Moffett in 1980, the same year Lieberman lost to DeNardis. Johnson beat Schaus for the GOP nomination in 1982.

Anonymous said...

Murphy is on NPR right now (90.5).

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Genghis Conn said... the same year Lieberman lost to DeNardis

DeNardis had his career shortened by his own party due to his actions at the 1982 GOP convention.

Served him right, I'm still glad we did it.

Anonymous said...

WHy is it that everytime someone brings up someone's voting record it is considered negative? If you ask me, it's fair game.

I don't see this one being as close as everyone thinks.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

I will say- aside from 1970, when there was a hell of a Republican convention- was it in Waterbury? that 1982 convention was perhaps the most educational for me. Wore a hole in my shoe, literally, going back between the Hilton and Sheraton with the Weicker and Bush camps. Fun to be courted and yelled at at the same time. Must have been like serving in LBJ's Senate.

What I really remember about DeNardis was how Joe sat on a lead in 1980 and blew the seat. Which taught him to play rougher- really set him up for his 1988 approach. And perhaps for this one.

OK, I'll stop with the reminiscences- but I do think the preceding paragraph is classic "past as prologue."

LMcfly5 said...

Chris said that Johnson ad is "misleading" but I read he admits voting to increase the taxes she cites. A direct hist by N.J's campaign. I remember when they reaised the income tax bck in 2003- if you earned more than $22,000 (hardly millionaire status) it went up to 5%. Thanks Chris.

Anonymous said...

David said- "She thinks Murphy who has had to clean up the fiscal mess at the state level that Johnson has pushed down from Congress is fiscally irresponsible? Talk about Orwellian speak."

Earth to David... there's a $910 million surplus. That means that people are being taxed too much. And stop the class warfare.

Sick of the spin said...

Anon 9:47,

Why not fault Jodi Rell for signing all those "tax hikes" into law? Or rail against the R's for voting yes too? I love how people try to pin legislation on one legislator when it takes a majority and a signature. Take a civics class.

Creepy music with low-voice-tone announcer guy talking about tax hikes on seniors in nursing homes is an attack ad...I thought Nancy Johnson was above this?

Anonymous said...

I can accept Chris voting to raise the gas tax to repair the roads. But he shouldn't try and deny that obvious. That hike took effect July 1 and immediately caused gas to go up a dime a gallon. Chris take responsibilty for your actions.

Anonymous said...

i think we should all be excited for an ad that's not one of these disguting attack ads - with all the races going on in this state right now (lieberman/lamont, JDS/DM, the other congressional races) all we're going to be seeing for the next 3 months are politicians attacking eachother over and over again. at least murphy is making an attempt to change the discussion, as futile as we think it may be. shouldn't we be embracing this instead of attacking him for not attacking her enought?

Anonymous said...

What's that I smell? I think it is fear and desperation by Nancy Johnson.

She has got to be in bad shape with the all of the negative stuff she has been throwing at Murphy. This is more than trying to define your opponent -- it's trying to destroy him. And the only reason why a longterm incumbent would be doing that so early is that she is in trouble.

Johnson's calculus is this... if this race is about me, or the Republicans in Washington I am going to lose.

Otis0906 said...

"I remember when they raised the income tax back in 2003"- Lmcfly5

But the income tax increase isn't the really bad one. The bad ones are new taxes on businesses and self-pay patients in nursing homes. They both got hammered with increases.

sickandtired said...

Unbelievable. Does anyone seriously think taxes in connecticut have gone up 3 billion dollars in the few years murphy has been in the state legislature? That's ridiculous. Article I read said murphy had numbers showing total taxes in connecticut went down something like 200 million dollars since he has been around.

Nancy can ssay whatever she wants but people are sick of her lies and of all these politicians who are in the back pocket of big corprations. My taxes to the feds have gone way up, and she just keeps cutting taxes for millionares and big companies.

CT Progressive said...

The fact that Nancy Johnson is running negative attack ads in July tells you all you need to know about this race. Her people can deny all they want and say that they aren't worried about Murphy, but as long as they are paying for TV spots to attack him this early in the campaign I won't buy it. Johnson's campaign has obviously gotten some very bad numbers back from their pollsters and they see smearing Murphy as the only way to improve the situation. They can attack all they want, but everyone I talk to (though most may lean left) seems to be generally tired of Nancy Johnson...24 years is a very long time to be in Washington.

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon 11:03 -

What a load man...first, if you think for one moment that Murphy won't "attack" you are nuts...next, whaty is wrong with exposing one's record? He voted that way, she is simply letting the people know it. He does the same thing, just look at the press release page of his website.

Furthermore, I never saw Murphy issue any press release asking moveon.org to stop the negative attack ads against Johnson. Now I know that he cannot control them but he can very legally issue a press release asking them to stop...but he didn't and wouldn't count on it ever happening.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with anonymous earllier comment-talking issues and voting record in an ad is not negative. Should we all know how our representatives will vote.

Anonymous said...

Michael Schiavo is coming to Connecticut to support Lamont. Creepy!

GMR said...

I don't know the specifics here, but usually when one politician cites a tax increase number of their opponent, that's the amount in new taxes that would have been raised had the bills they voted for passed.

So Murphy may have voted for some tax increases that never passed.

Is this fair? Well, usually, although obviously, if you attempt to pass a tax and it fails, then you attempt again, and it fails again, you shouldn't double count. But I don't know what the case is here.

Anonymous said...

Ya--It's ok for Ned to get negative on Joe, but poor little Chrissy poo is being hammered by Johnson. Crybabies.

Sick of the Spin said...

Voting records are important, no question, but don't lay blame solely on one person. It doesn't work that way...Murphy, nor anyone else, are singularly responsible for 3 billion dollars in taxes. Just isn't true.

amazins860 said...

It seems to me instead of Chris is spinning NJ's ad as negative (which I have to say is dark, however I wouldn't put it in the negative category). He should have responded to it. Is it me or if your a candidate you should respond to issues and your past voting record.

amazins860 said...

Ok, Anonymous,

Let's not go to name calling, sounds like something the other side would do. Let's stick to the facts.

Anonymous said...

it's not name calling--it's the truth. the liberals on this board complain about a supposed attack ad on Murphy--yet have nothing say about the constant attacks Ned launches on Joe. Cause that's speaking "truth to power"

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Nancy attacks Murphy on tax hikes, when it's the federal tax rate that has gone up while Nancy has been in Washington and the state tax rate that has gone down while Murphy has been in the state legislature. So who's the tax hiker???

CTColonial said...

I heard Chris today on NPR restate (a few times actually) that ALL 527's should stay out of this race. He even went as far as calling MoveOn out by name. If that's not telling them to stop I don't know what else you want.

Anonymous said...

Murphy's campaign responds to Johnson's attack ad on their blog, and they say they'll have their new TV ad on the web site soon.

You can listen to Murphy's WNPR interview from this morning.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lamont's really getting the A-list talent with Michael Schiavo coming. I can see the rally now...

Schiavo: "That's right, I pulled the feeding tube out of my brain dead wife and let her starve to death. Oh yeah!"

And the libs roared for more...

CTColonial said...

I heard Chris on NPR today restate (a few times actually) that all 527's should stay out of this race. He even called MoveOn out by name. If that isn't telling them to stop, I don't know what is. He apparently wants them to stop so now it appears the ball is in Nancy's court.

Anonymous said...

Yeah--and then Michael can accompany a minor to Massachusetts for an abortion and perhaps a gay marriage just to make everything special!!!

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Sick of the spins sez Voting records are important, no question, but don't lay blame solely on one person. It doesn't work that way

Unless ... it's Joe Lieberman on, say, the Alito filibuster?

;-)

Anonymous said...

When i saw Johnson's ad, I was suspicious of the idea that taxes have gone up $8billion in last ten years or so. And sure enough, that suspicion was justified - Murphy has the numbers from the state that show that his votes on taxes have resulted in CT residents paying a couple hundred MILLION LESS in taxes.

ctkeith said...

IT"S THE WAR STUPID!!

Nancy and all the Republicans can spend as much money as the want attacking whatever they want and crying about taxes all they want.

When Lamont wins the Senate Primary the next 90 days are going to be about one thing in this state and across the country.

ITS THE WAR STUPID,and if you have an R after your name YOU OWN IT.

Anonymous said...

CT Colonial-

Wink Wink!

Anonymous said...

So do Hillary and Kerry.. don't forget them.

Anonymous said...

Sure Ctkeith, sure...

kinda like the millions who keep on showing up at the anti war protests.

Or the masses of twenty year olds who are going to vote the Halliburton, Dick Cheney war profiteers out of office.

Dream on buddy.

Sick of the Spin said...

Different Anon -

I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering...I haven't actually seen Murphy's ad yet...does anyone have a link to it or anything?

CC said...

We should all be offended by the following comment made by the Murphy campaingn:

"Chris has time and again said he believes all third parties should stay out of the race and let the candidates speak for themselves," said Sarah Merriam, Murphy's campaign manager.

Since when does less speech equal greater democracy and greater information?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05---

Murphy can prove that his votes have resulted in CT residents are paying a couple of hundred million less in taxes?
Please, please let me know how I am paying less in taxes... that would really make my day...

Murphy probbaly did vote for all those tax increases.... and yes, taxes didn't actually go up $8 billion because some of those taxes he voted for were not passed out of committee, died on the calender or were vetoed.

It clearly does show a pattern of raising taxes -- and that he cannot easily refute.

Nancy is doing textbook Campaign 101 -- define your opponant. And this will be hard to overcome.

disgruntled_republican said...

"Chris has time and again said he believes all third parties should stay out of the race and let the candidates speak for themselves," said Sarah Merriam, Murphy's campaign manager.

Hmmm...do you think he will turn down the union endorsements and lobbyist money then? I mean c'mon, that is blatantly being involved in the "speach" of campaigns.

CT_Defender said...

As far as Murphy denouncing the Moveon 527 people that is a joke, it is the same as when lefties cried about the swift boat people who supported Bush, bush asked them to stop airing the Ads....but it wasn't enough for you guys.

Murphy loves the attention and he loves the fact he is getting the help..lets be real...

Anonymous said...

Here is Chris Murphy's TV ad.

CC said...

Check out the Murphy interview, as linked in one of the posts above. Around the nine minute mark he explains that he supports a "timetable for withdrawal" from Iraq. He goes on to explain that a "timetable is not a deadline" because the timetable can be adjusted as needed.

disgruntled_republican said...

Interesting CC-

So CTKeith, TrueBlueCT, et al...

You can start calling for Murphy's head now...I will be waiting.

Anonymous said...

Murphy commercial is up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU3d8v8oPl0

CC said...

I view this whole complaining about negative ads as a horrible (and whiny) mistake by Murphy.

Two axioms hold true about negative ads: (1) they "convey true and useful messages," (George Will 5/15/06) and (2) they work!

CC said...

Murphy interivew cont.

26:30, when asked by a caller how he would "help consumers with rising gas prices" Murphy explains that he would provide funding for "alternative energy sources" and that in his view by 2015 50% of cars should be hyrbids.

Not much of an answer to the question.....

CC said...

Murphy interview thoughts cont.

I've never heard Murphy speak before listening to this interview and having listened to him for a while now I think the less people hear him the better. He is hardly inspiring and his voice and mannerisms are pretty annoying (keeps talking about speaking with people on their porches). His commercials thus far are pretty good and he should stick with those.

Anonymous said...

CC -

You can't possibly believe that Nancy Johnson IS inspiring do you? Talk about annoying...

CC said...

Anonymous: I do not think Nancy Johnson is inspiring and I do not mean to make it seem like I am a fan. Still, I do think she's a heck of a lot better than a 32 year old politician whose claim to fame is that he helped pass the smoking ban legislation. Further, to the extent that people tout Murphy's impressive rise at such a young age I would point out that he is nothing more than the son of an influential family. No mystery how he got going....

Anonymous said...

I find it incredibly galling that Johnson would attempt to criticize Murphy's voting history on taxes given that she is part of such a fiscally irresponsible government.

Brassett said...

Whoever devised Johnson's ad is still living in 1992. This election is about different issues - corruption in Washington and the Iraq War.

CC said...

Brassett: You must not be a Republican. Johnson is basically the same as her opponent on social issues so running on the issue of taxes -- arguably her only firmly conservative position -- makes sense. Also, speaking as a Republican, it's an issue that matters hugely to me, especially since I just paid my property taxes.

Meghan said...

Chris Murphy has been working to make Connecticut better for the whole of his distinguished career. Connecticut and the country need the new and positive energy Murphy exudes. Creating solutions for our national and international problems will requires the kind of intelligence, stamina, fresh eyes and fresh thoughts that Murphy possesses.

He’s a man of integrity who can be trusted, who can lead, who represents Connecticut’s future. He can bring respect back to a state that was not too long ago the butt of national jokes.

The Republican majority in the House, of which Johnson has been an integral part, has
come undone, between scandal and abuse of power.

With the weakened state of the Republican Party and after so many years of opportunity, one can not expect Johnson suddenly to accomplish anything of note in the next Congress. She ties Connecticut to its past, when what we need is to be forward looking.

Nancy is and has always been part of the tainted and corrupted Republican Congressional Establishment. Because of that, her shrill arguments lack credibility. Her base ad is a desperate act, merely showing she knows she's on the ropes. It’s time for her to throw in the towel.

Anonymous said...

CC -

I find it incredibly irresponsible of you to talk about Chris Murphy's rise to success coming solely from an influential family. He grew up in Wethersfield, moved to Southington and became a State Rep (knocking out a 14 yr incumbent) AND got his law degree at the same time - if that isn't impressive enough - he then beat a long serving Republican House member for the Senate seat he held when he not only passed the smoking ban, but, wrote the Stem Cell legislation.

I'm not sure about you, but I would much rather have a 32 year old who has a drive and proven successes over a 70-something that has had the same job for 24 years. But, that's just me.

Anonymous said...

CC-

Son of an influential family? Not quite sure where you got that one. Last time I checked his family seemed pretty blue collar to me. I've never heard of anyone in the Murphy family being a powerful member of CT, but whatever...

Anonymous said...

Isn't Murphy's dad the managing partner of a big, white-shoe law firm in Hartford? He is a carpet bagging opportunist who is going to lose.

Where is this going? said...

Wow - the Johnson staff has gone so far as to start making up personal crap? Hey Genghis, I thought we were moderating this site...lets not let this turn into a gutter smear fest of untruths and personal attacks. That's total crap and this site has been better than that in the past.

Anonymous said...

I don't know everything about these two candidates, but the biggest issue for me is their records on the environment. I just saw some information yesterday that Murphy received a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters this year while Johnson's was around 50%. I could not believe Nancy had such a horrible voting record on the environment. That's enough to make me vote for Murphy.

Anonymous said...

So now the Johnson campaign is attempting to "define" Murphy through anonymous, slanderous attacks on his personal life? Disgusting.

CT Progressive said...

Anon:

Despite her claims that she's a moderate with a good environmental record, Nancy Johnson has been nothing short of horrendous when it comes to protecting the enviornment. A League of Conservation Voters Rating in the 50s tells you all you need to know. Murphy, on the other hand, has a stellar enviornmental record as his perfect LCV rating shows.

P.S. Some really classy posts by the Johnson camp above...but that's about what I've come to expect now from Nancy Johnson

Genghis Conn said...

Sorry, folks, every once in a while one gets through.

ModernMiracle said...

So... you think Murphy's biggest accomplishment is the workplace smoking ban? That's great for waitresses. But personally, I think that 100 million bucks he got for stem cell research is even better. It's not often you can say that a candidate seriously did something that will change the course of lives as much as that.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

CT Progressive said... "..
Nancy Johnson has been nothing short of horrendous when it comes to protecting the enviornment..."



That sure explains this
Sierra Club Award she got less than a year ago.

CT Progressive said...

Interest groups awards are often quite political. They all suck up to the politicians whose offices they want to have an open door to. What really tells you something about where a poltician stands on an issue like the environment is their voting record. The differences there are clear: Murphy received a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters this year while Johnson voted wrong on the environment half of the time with a rating of 56%.

Anonymous said...

Chris Murphy knocked on my door 8 years ago and told me it was time for a change. I listened, and liked what I heard. At my request he promised to visit my place of work after the election so he could better understand what CT manufactures were up against in providing good jobs to our work force. He won, and in spite of two years of me asking him to visit my place as promised, he never did.

I heard from him again as he ran for re election. He once again promised me to visit my place after the election. He then asked for my continued support, as well as a campaign donation in the mean time......

I asked him several questions on where he stood on certain issues, and never got any answers.... I made repeated trips to his headquarters to talk to him himself on these issues. Still no answers... I then told him I could no longer support him, but if he wished to contact me we could talk, and if he was interested I would allow him to change my mind.... I never heard back from him.......... Just my experience with this guy.......

If this is what we are hoping will be an improvement over what we already have, he has certainly earned our vote. I was hoping for a change from politics as usual. I didn't see it, but then maybe I set my hopes too high.......... Al