Thursday, October 26, 2006

Johnson Lampoons Murphy Ads

It's clever. It's nasty.

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.


Janet said...

That's a great article in the Courant today that you linked to. It does a good job of explaining most of the votes that Murphy is being attacked for and showing that they were all common sense votes.

Even Johnson's campaign spokesperson had to admit that the votes they were criticizing Murphy for were mostly bipartisan, unanimously voted on bills.

Nice article.

Shadow said...

This is an example of the kind of negative ad that can really hurt the candidate who puts it on the air.

First, of all, it's offensive in the same way as the Corker ad in TN about Harold Ford was (well, minus the racism), because it trots out all these negative images that conservatives have had enough of seeing on TV PERIOD; whether it's mockery or not, social conservatives certainly don't want Republican candidates putting the concerns of the drug constituency on TV, or showing some hooker that says "Call me" to the camera (as in the TN example).

Having the candidate approval the message at the end is also a huge liability with these counterproductive kinds of negative ads. In the case of Johnson's end of ad approval, she appears to look up from having just been watching the drug skit on a TV, forms a huge grin on her face, and says she approves the message; it looks like she's reveling in the dirty ad and gushingly proud of it, and that Nurse Ratchet style of empathy just doesn't look good to moderates. Also, believe it or not, Johnson's mockery of pot smokers may actually hurt her among moderates in CT more than help her, considering the high percentage of state residents that smoke marijuana one or more times per month, particularly in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

He nailed it on the head, "Any tax increase I voted for, so did Jodi Rell."

The next 12 days can't get here quick enough...Sick of all of it.

Any word of legal ramifications regarding Johnson's ad for portraying Murphy w/out announcing or "fine printing" that it's an actor?

Anonymous said...

This one is funny - A nice spin on negative ads, which despite how everyone decries them, are here to stay. I liked it.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe this ad when I saw it on TV yesterday- it's utterly repulsive and dripping with desperation...I am embarassed for Nancy Johnson when her face shows up at the end saying how she approved this message. (Proudly I might add.)

Anonymous said...

Riiight -- This ad is repulsive. Too bad it couldn't take the high moral tone of all those those MoveOn ads.

Anonymous said...

Move On? Give me a break.

1. Those Ads were from 6 months ago and NOT paid for by Murphy.

2. Murphy's name is never mentioned in the Move On ads, nor did he ever endorse them.

3. Nancy Johnson's smug face is all over the end of the latest piece of filth to come out of her camp.

When you have to refer to ads from 5 or 6 months ago, you are really making a reach, huh?

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe Nancy Johnson ran this ad - it's a true measure of her character, or lack thereof. How could she possibly believe that her smarmy "And I approve this message" at the end isn't going to turn off voters. She will definitely win the limbo contest this year because no one else could possibly go this low. It's unbelievable to me that having served in Congress for as long as she has that she has to resort to this type of ad. Apparently, she has no accomplishments to highlight - except the convoluted Medicare Plan she foisted on us. Time for Nancy to retire...

disgruntled_republican said...

A new low?

I couldn't stop laughing. Probably the best negative ad ever, if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

Some people think fart jokes are funny too - but that doesn't mean they are appropriate for a political ad. This ad demonstrates to me that Nancy Johnson has absolutely no integrity.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone checked out the latest post by on the Authentic Connecticut Republican blog. The blogger is a contributor and administrator to this supposedly free speech platform here but he decries the Hartford Courant endorsement of the Democrats for Congress by calling the Courant not only un-American but anti-American. That's not the lowest level of debate but it's low and un-Amercan.

Anonymous said...

Oh - I agree it's funny as hell. Just not the kind of class you'd expect from a 70 yr old grandmother, who's also a 24 yr incumbent.

Anonymous said...

Please stop the whining!

The Murphy supporters or Johnson haters who have posted here decrying this ad as negative, over the top, classless, etc. are probably the same people who were defending Democrat Zoni's hit piece on Republican Caliguri.

Fact: both parties and almost all candidates in close races run negative misleading ads.

Fact: candidates from both parties are supported by third party groups that run negative misleading ads.

Fact: every year the ads get more and more negative - the TN Senate race is a pretty good example of that.

Fact: supporters on both sides whine endlessly that their candidate is being unfairly attacked.

Fact: unless you want to suspend the first amendment, there is not much we can do about it unless everyone who claims to be upset by these types of ads had the guts to vote for 3d party candidates and boot out both Democrats and Republicans (and we all know that will not happen).

Anonymous said...

OK anaonymous 11:02, then why don't you speak to the Republican whiners too. Waterbury Republican Chairperson Charles Stango was whining about the Zoni ad saying it made it hard for him to find good candidates. Popycock, he wouldn't know an honest candidate if he saw one becasue Caliguiri certianly has had his less than honest moments. Recycled Rowland generation but then maybe Stango owes his day job to the Rowland Waterbury machine so he knows no better.

Anonymous said...

For a negative add, this one is at least entertaining and no where near as disgusting as some of the other's like Zoni's mailing.

Over the years a dependable Chris Murphy trademark campaign tactic has been to knock on our doors, introduce himself, and start the conversation off by telling us he was running for office because "it's time for a change". Just like this add shows.

Certainly for some of us at least, the change we got could have been a lot better.

From that point of view this add does not offend me nearly as much as some others do/did.

Of far more serious concern here to me is that both candidates in the 5th district have spent so much time bashing each other, that neither has made a case for their own election.

Sadly this has been a very negative campaign, virtually void of any usable intellectual content from either of them.

I am forced to conclude no matter which of these two career politicians gets elected in the 5th district at least for the next two years,we get no change.

Anonymous said...

It's rather sad that a 71 year old woman can't articulate her position on issues, so instead approves ads that deliberatley falsify her opponents positions.

Maybe Chris Murphy is right, and being in Washington too long does change people.....

CC said...

In a few week we'll know if the ads worked.


A funny ad - with a well timed release at the point people are looking for some comic relief from the doom & gloom...

Simple, symbolic, thought-provoking.

Good one Nancy!

Anonymous said...

au contraire, CC, in a few weeks we can debate what worked.

Jandtheargonauts said...

Very interesting and humorous spot but what's up with Johnson's campaign manager referring to himself in the third person?

Anon. 11:02 said...

Anon. 11:10 - I think you have both missed my point and made my point for me.

I used the Zoni piece as an example (I could have picked any one of hundreds of ads or push polls). It is just one example of an outrageous negative ad run by a Democrat, that I used to contrast with an outrageous negative ad run by a Republican (ie the Johnson ad that is subject of the post).

I know the Republicans are whining over that ad (I do read this board) and I have no doubt that the Republicans in Waterbury have, are and will in the future run negative ads just like the Democrats.

My point was that both party's are wrong (that is what you missed) and that partisans see the ads against them as negative (and whine) and the ads for them as truthful (your response proves this point).

Genghis Conn said...


I noticed that, too. Weird.

anonymous 11:10 said...

anonymous 11;31 should re-read his anaonymous anti-Democrat lead in 11:02 post.

Not David Boomer said...

I love me some David Boomer!

I think 3rd person debates should be a requirement for office...At least it would be entertaining.

Anon. 11:02 said...

Anon. 11:10 - I am not registered with either party, but admittedly I lean Republican. So what?

The difference between us is that I am willing to criticize the candidates or people I support when they engage in negative ads. I am voting for Johnson, but I believe her ads have been over the top. I know Chris Murphy and I think this newest ad is unfair to him. Having said that, he has also run unfair ads. Both parties have run outrageous ads too.

Truthfully, I wish we didn't have to send either to Washington because they are both career politicians (admittedly Johnson has had a longer career).

Should I expect more whining from you, or are you willing to criticize your own when they go wrong?

Anonymous said...

This ad by Nancy Johnson is the sleaziest I have ever seen and the people of the 5th CD should vote her out of office.This must of been another David Boomer and Brian Schubert Production Two typical GOP Sleazebags and Im sure that punk a** State Rep from Watertown Sean Williams had a hand in this ad too Because he wants to succeed Nancy one day in Congress.

The Johnson Campaign makes the Lamont Campaign look like a bunch of choir boys.

This shows how desperate and sleazy Nancy Johnson is and can be I think a lot of people who know Chris Murphy know this is a GOP Propaganda Ministry Manuever and I am very turned off by Johnson and her GOP Sleazeoids.

Chris Murphy will win on November 7th and those jacka**es like Boomer, Schubert and Williams can take a hike. I think to use an imposter Chris Murphy in one of her ads is reason enough to send this desperate, frail old lady into retirement and back to New Britain.

It is time for a CHANGE!!!!!!!

Gabe said...

Personally, I think this ad is a joke and the Courant article points out why.

What has received little notice, here or in the article, is that the Nintendo -Game ad that Johnson ran claiming that Murphy wants to give terrorists free phone cards (or something like that) is 1000 times more dishonest than this ad or any other ad ran in CT (that I have seen, at least).

In the ad, Johnson claims that Murphy wants to require law enforcement to get a warrant before beginning a wire tap. That is provably false. Murphy is on record (over and over again) in supporting current law which allows law enforcement to get a warrant immediately and then gives them 72 hours to get the warrant (and the application for the warrant can include materials overheard in that 72 hours) from the FISA court (a court which turned down something on the order of 4 warrants in 20 years).

To top it off, she (not a lawyer) implies that Murphy (a lawyer) doesn't understand the complicated law.

It would be laughable if ads like this didn't work.

anonymous 11:10 said...

anonymous 11:02

I am an Unaffiliated voter that tends Republican when the "R" actually stands for Republican but I don't live in the fifth district. Yes, you lean Republican and your post showed your leaning. That's what.

Anonymously yours,
anonymous 11:10

Anonymous said...

I saw Johnson defend the terrorist surveillance program or warrantless wiretapping program depending on your political persuasion. She obviously didn't know what she was talking about from her explanation and as far as I know she doesn't know much about the program because she has never been briefed on the details.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line as someone just posted here "It's time for a change" This has been Chris Murphy's story line now for over 8 years since he first used it to run for the General Assembly.

He has now had well over a year in this Congressional race to articulate for us interested why he is that instrument for positive change. As the challenger making that claim it falls on him to show us, not just tell us.

Instead, he chose to use negative campaigning himself. He has less than two weeks now to do what he has not done in a year. If he wants my support give me the right reason(s) to support him. Not just his negative logic why I should not support Johnson. He has the same job to do as Ned Lamnot has clearly list out the differences.

I am not interested in digging through web sites looking for answers. He should run an add on TV, look us all in the eye and tell us what to expect from him the next two years. Give me the POSITIVE reason(s) to want this change....

Enough negativity from them both. As someone else just posted right now it's a shame we have to send either of them to Washington. They have both turned this into a Vince McMann side show.

Anonymous said...

She sure is a nasty old bat, isn't she?

zepp714 said...

I find it so frustrating that Murphy is lumped in with Johnson as running "nasty, negative attack ads". Nancy runs ads in which:

1) She never appears on camera to voice her attacks herself.

2) Her claims are always false or wildly misleading (27 times, wiretapping, child sex predators, drug dealers...the list goes on).

3) She ran the first attack ad against her opponent in the COUNTRY.

4) SHE HAS NO VISION. It's just a stream of unfounded accusations. What do she want to do in D.C.? What are her plans? Nada.

Murphy has run ads that tilt toward negative. But his claims are fair, and he's always in his ads. Murphy has so much of the high ground here he could rent it out to Nancy.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that it's nearly impossible to have a convincing political ad that explains in detail why you should vote for one candidate rather than another. These ads are 30 seconds long and any amount of simplification of the issues is going to come off as misleading. People should take the 10 minutes out of their day to read the paper or candidate's websites to find out the truth about the issues. Nancy's new ad is disgraceful and embarrassingly juvenile because they think people are too lazy to really research the issues. Prove her wrong and do your civic duty. Don't weigh who to vote for based on who can cram the most information into a 30 second ad.

Anonymous said...

Zepp714: You are claiming that Johnson started this ridiculous back-and-forth. Not that it matters who started it, but were you living in CT when and several other 3d party groups were running ads, making robo calls and basically attacking Johnson for the past 2 years. The fact of the matter is that the attacks against Johnson have been going on a lot longer than the attacks against Murphy. And, yes, I know Murphy did not run the "red hand" ad, but he didn't stop it. Moreover, he should be ashamed to take help from a group like

Anonymous said...

anon 2:22

If a candidate tells us "it's time for a change" then I am ready to listen. If that same candidate wants to use the 30 seconds you speak of to tell me why their opponent is unfit for the job, why can't that same candidate take another 30 seconds to tell me why he/she is fit to make the change spoken of?

That is his civic duty. He, not me, is the one failing that test.

Don't tell me I'm not doing my civic duty by not hunting for the answers on the partisan web sites of these two candidates. I'm not running for office I'm just trying to vote responsibly....Unlike these two who can't seem to campaign responsibly.

Or let's just try this the old fashion way.... I have never gone on a job interview and gotten the job by telling the person making the decision why someone else was the wrong guy. I got the job by selling myself....

Your telling me when we ask Murphy why we should vote for him his answer should be look at my web site????? Yah great!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nancy doesn't post all of her ads on her website.

And she posts only about 1/10 of her press releases.

Murphy posts everything he puts out there. At least he's not hiding from his actions.

Anonymous said...

Nancy posts 1/10 of her press releases.....Murphy posts them all. Wow now there is a great reason to elect this guy...

OK let's try looking at results we can measure. Next time your out driving just count how many people you see talking on cell phones as they drive.... As I recall Murphy championed legislation making that illegal.

To make change effective, we need effective leaders.....Leaders with effective solutions to problems far more complex than passing ineffective, and unenforceable legislation regarding cell phone use while driving for example.

If mother's driving cars while they talk on their cell phones are comfortable to ignore his solutions, are we to expect the Iraqis, and the pharmaceutical companies will do differently?

Anonymous said...

If mother's driving cars while they talk on their cell phones are comfortable to ignore his solutions, are we to expect the Iraqis, and the pharmaceutical companies will do differently?

Ha, Ha, Ha....

That post was a joke right?

Fuzzy Turtle said...

great. nancy get get a job on SNL in two weeks when she gets booted out of office.

Anonymous said...

I think Murphy did denounce Move On. He didn't ask them to remove the ad, and he shouldn't, but he did denounce them. He didn't take anything from them...They have the right, and the resources, to run any ads they want. If they choose to point out that Nancy Johnson is a red-handed lap dog, well, so be it. It isn't up to Murphy (or Johnson for that matter) to determine what should and shouldn't be said on the airwaves when they dont write it, appear in it or approve of it.

I'm so sick of Nancy supporters constantly pointing towards the Move On Ads (from May) and saying how she never excepts 3rd party help. Just yesterday I saw back-to-back ads for Johnson. The first was paid for by the For Profit Nursing Homes and the 2nd was paid for by the American Medical Association.

She's desperate, and David Boomer, who loves David Boomer, will start running spots on how Chris' mother folds socks if it helps Nancy get elected.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:22, no that post, 7:03 was serious.....

The point should be obvious. Solutions at the national level require more than feel good legislation. They require solutions that produce effect results. You may find that funny, I don't .... It serious.

But then I am only concerned that we elect those from any political party who are best able to provide the results that lead to the positive, and effective solutions, we need in this country. I have no interest in anything less.

If you think that is funny, I am sorry.

zepp714 said...

To the Anonymous poster who responded to me, writing "Moreover, he should be ashamed to take help from a group like" Clearly, you don't follow much in the way of FEC law. Murphy by law cannot do anything to take 3rd party ads down. He's gone on record numerous times saying that he wishes other groups would stay out of the race, but he is prohibited by federal law to do anything about it. Murphy didn't call up Johnson in March and say "Hey, run attack ads against me!" Murphy ran his campaign clean, and she came out like a pitbull.

Anonymous said...

I am not the anon poster you addressed in your last post here but as a fairly neutral observer let me post my take on this 5th district mess.

1. MoveOn.Org was the first to go negative with it's disgusting adds a full 6 months ahead of the election.

2. While those adds did not ever mention Murphy by name, they were vicious attack adds against Johnson, from which only Murphy could benefit.

3. Murphy did claim no part in those adds,and did say third parties should stay out of this election. But by then the damage was done.

4. Johnson defended herself as she had a perfect right to do. Given Murphy never tried to actually help Johnson clear the air from the stench of those adds, it would appear she had no choice but to point her finger where those adds forced her to.

5. Both campaigns armed with more money than the GNP of some small nations totally ignore the interests of the voters in the 5th district, and focus their full attention to see which can out slander the other.

6. Both candidates then turn what should have been an interesting campaign of ideas, into a full blown exchange of hi megaton negative campaign garbage. A constant barrage of negative adds fired from both camps laid to waste any thought that either of these two are capable of positive change.

7. As a result, politically intelligent life as we once knew it in the 5th district has now to cease to exist.

8. MoveOn.Org having helped both candidates in the 5th district look like two playground bullies has by now crawled back under it's rock looking for it's next chance to start another nuclear winter.

Nice job guys!!!!!

zepp714 said...

To the anonymous poster above -- who seemingly equates negatives with a the complete failure of the American political system - needs to calm down, have a sandwich, and think things through a little more.

1) OBVIOUSLY the ads were directed to help Murphy. This is hardly some nasty secret. Chris can't do much about who wants to help him, especially when the law prohibits him from doing do.

2) Watch all Murphy's ads on his site and compare them to Johnson's. At what point does he accuse her of helping drug dealers? Pedophiles? Terrorists? Getting kids drunk? At what point does Murphy use an actor to imoersonate Johnson? Not once. He says her support of the war has made us less safe, and that he was able to help one her constiuents which she refused to. I'm sorry, if you detect no difference here in content or tone, you're hopeless.

3) As a result, politically intelligent life as we once knew it in the 5th district has now to cease to exist.

I'm sorry, this comment is moronic. It's also insulting to the people who live here. Because congressional candidates run negative ads, that makes us all idiots? Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zepp714..... Hey man chill out... I simply point out the people of the 5th district deserve an intelligent discorse from the two canidates running for office there.

Clearly they are not getting it. None of us win if all we get is negative nonsense from these two.

All I am saying is by now they both look pretty foolish and the people of the 5th district are left to wonder which is realy worse, not better. It didn't have to go this way, but they both chose to play it that way. We all lose. If thats a moronic observation on my part, so be it. Maybe I was foolish to expect better.

Anonymous said...

Actually in a way I agree with you. To me, these two career politicians using their 30 second adds to bash each other, rather than to inform us what they themselves would try to accomplish over the next two years, is almost like treating the voters as idiots.

Are both afraid to say specifically for example, "these are my top three priorities over the next two years and if elected, in two years you can measure how well I did"?

Is it asking too much for a 30 second positive TV add from them both on this subject? Is there really any question which reaches more people? A 30 second positive add on prime time TV with that message. Or that message somewhere on a Web site?

At the risk of sounding politically naive, I would suggest that some of us (at least those of us who don't just blindly vote party lines) who would use that simple clear information to help chose the best candidate(s) in our minds.

I myself have little interest in arguing who has run the more negative adds. They are both very guilty. To me all negative adds are distortions of the truth anyway, so as far as I am concerned they are all totally wasted on me.

I have far more interest in specifically what the candidates say about themselves that I can measure. It's not enough to simply say "it's time for a change, because everything my opponent has done is wrong". Any more than it's enough to simply say "stay the course because any change will make things worse". Give me the specifics, so I can decide which makes more sense to me.

Maybe this is asking too much from either candidate. Maybe most voters are happy to "stay this negative campaign style course". Maybe most voters don't think "it's time we change" this level of grade school discussion.

If so, then I must assume your correct, and it's me who's the moron.