It's also about as subtle as a bag of hammers.
Click here to see Nancy Johnson's new ad, which makes fun of Murphy ads in which he is out knocking on doors. Here's Rinker Buck's summary:
"I'm Chris Murphy," the Johnson ad begins, featuring five seconds of footage from Murphy's ad. "And I'm running for Congress by knocking on doors."
But then the ad quickly shifts to a rear shot of Murphy, now played by an actor impersonating the state senator walking door-to-door. The next frames show a woman telling Murphy to "keep walking!" because he "raised our taxes 27 times," and then another woman slapping Murphy because he provided "housing for sex offenders." The ad closes when Murphy reaches another house, where he is warmly embraced by a garishly dressed drug dealer.
"Murphy!" the actor playing the drug dealer says. "You want to weaken penalties for drug dealers, man! That's so cool. Come on in." (Buck)
A drug dealer? Is this ad implying that Murphy has been looking out for his pot-smoking friends? Jeez.
Murphy hasn't exactly run a positive campaign, but it seems like Johnson has been pushing the envelope much more--for example, this ad, the wiretaps ad from last month, and the repeated, somewhat misleading assertions that Murphy has voted to raise taxes "27 times".
The cululative effect of a blizzard of negative ads often seems to be that voters, especially independents, get thoroughly sick of both candidates. I wonder if that's happening in the 5th District?
For the sake of reference, all of Murphy's ads are here, and a good share of them are negative. Johnson's ads are here and on her home page.
Buck, Rinker. "Johnson Ups Ante In New Ad Salvo." Hartford Courant 26 October, 2006.