Monday, October 23, 2006

Negative Campaigning

This election has certainly brought out an increased share of negative ads and mailings about candidates. We’ve all seen them:

“Taxes on every conceivable action were increased in obscene amounts”
“The iraq war is the personal responsibility of candidate X”
“Every tax imaginable was cut”
“Candidate Y wants to cut education”
“Seniors are being attacked”
“Candidate Z wants terrorists to live in your backyard”

Well, maybe not quite that last one … but I’m sure some lackey at the NRCC has approved it and it’s being printed as we speak. Heading into the final weeks of the election, it seems that some campaigns have ratcheted up the negativity, and others have opted for a different tone.

Then there’s the Rell campaign, which has held to being basically pro Rell. So it’s no surprise that she’s got the widest margin on a lead in the polls, or is it? Do the polls show that negative ads don’t work?


Anonymous said...

And speaking of negativity, why was it necessary to peg it all on the NRCC? Does the DRCC not use attack ads? Or Chris Murphy? Or Diane Farrell? Or Joe Courtney? Seems a bit like the pot calling the kettle black turfgrrl, doesn't it?

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 10:51-- In the 4th CD I have only received NRCC negative mailings, and one in particular, Coffee with the Taliban inspired my "terrorists living in your backyard" contribution. Now, who would you think would be more likely to use it, the NRCC or the DCCC?

Anonymous said...

Rell is trending down day after day as more folks get to know what she isn't through various media. She isn't in command of the issues or state government becasue she is the disengaged Alice-in-Wonderland lady. She will be re-elected.

CTRevolution said...

I would say the most offensive ad so far was Jodi Rell's ad where she sits in a rocking chair with her Grandson. The nerve her campaign has of running such a bs ad, when 70,000 children don't have health care in the state and when she refuses to do anything about it. It's obvious from the debates that she isn't knowledgeable about the issues, about the problems facing the state. But she could at least make one serious ad that talks about the issues. I mean her jobs one was close albeit funny, "Were a leader in job growth.", yeah, and the Iraq war ended 2 years ago.

cgg said...

The Coffee With the Taliban mailer was a new low.

I'm not sure that it's about positive or negative anymore though. I feel like the perception of being positive or negative seems to matter more than what the campaign is actually doing. It's like that thing about talking points are true because they're said a lot. Accuse your opponent of running a negative campaign enough times, and people will start to believe it.

I shudder to think of the ads we'll see in the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Is it considered negative campaigning when a candidate brings to light issues that were actually voted on by their opponent?

That seems to be what Zoni is doing. People have a right to know what candidates do and don't do.

Gabe said...

Negative ads work - I don't want it to be true, I wish we lived in a world where it wasn't true, but it is. They do it every election because it works.

And by works, I don't mean that more people vote for your guy, because that it isn't so. It works because it supresses turnout for the other side.

brickbat said...

No, turfgrl, with Rell it's the other way around - she doesn't use negative ads because she's high in the polls. If she were in trouble she'd be tossing dirt like the rest of them. She simply doesn't have to go negative.

The public always says they don't like negative ads, but the ads work. If nothing else, they get people who might have voted one way to say about the other side "I don't like him/her either, I wish there were someone else."

Historical footnote: negative advertising was around in the 1980s, but wasn't brought to CT until Joe Lieberman used it against Weicker in 1988.

Thanks, Joe!

BrassBoy said...

No way the Taliban Coffee was lower than Zoni's child molester mailer. It's probably been well documented in the state senate thread, but since the comments aren't working I haven't seen anything.

I've been around campaigns and politics since I was a young boy, especially in Waterbury, where the tactics can sometimes be filthy. But this mailer takes the cake. It is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I got a glossy mailer over the weekend showing cocaine lines on the cover and a big DRUGS logo but when I opened it there was the incumbent Democrat at a podium who voted for more street drugs or something like that. Pretty nasty and the bad Democrat is father and Sunday school teacher too. It's going over really well with the senior cicitzens in town who know nothing about the Republican challenger. Republicans can be so stupid.

Anonymous said...

turfgrrl: without knowing it, you have exposed either your party affiliation or (and this is a little harsh) your lack of truthfulness.

Please let me explain.

I am very familiar with who the NRCC is targeting with their mail: Republicans and Unaffiliated voters.

Unaffiliated voters in the 4thCD have been getting several pieces regarding Farrell's record in Westport. My spouse is unaffiliated and has received 6 pieces from the NRCC.

My spouse also received the taliban piece.

And my spouse has receieved more than 10 negative hit pieces on Shays from the DCCC (not including the negative pieces from Farrell's campaign).

I find it extremely hard to believe that you only received teh taliban piece. If you have not received anything from the DCCC then you are clearly a registered Republican. But why didn't you get the other pieces?

If you are unaffiliated, then it is impossible that you didn't get any of the DCCC negative pieces or the NRCC negative pieces!

We all know on this board that you are a Farrell supporter, but you should be honest about the mail you are receiving or your party affiliation.

For the record, and this goes to you as well cgg, the idea that the taliban piece (which is an utterly ridiculous, dirty piece) is a "new low" is false.

The DCCC and groups like and others have engaged in campaigning far worse (or at least as bad).

Do you remember that a group made robo calls into the 4th CD lying about Shays' position on stem cell research. Flat out lies by a group run by people who have connections to Farrell.

So please, show a little objectivity Both parties run negative dirty ads.

The only difference in the Shays Farrell race is that Farrell has also run negative ads and Shays has not.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:26 - I got the same mail piece. It is way over the top and actually takes away from the fact that Democrats and Republicans had a different views on sentencing for the sale and possession of crack cocaine. The issue, I think, stands on its own.

But please, do you think that piece is as bad as what Democrats and Zoni are doing to Caliguri???

BrassBoy said...

Rrrrrright... because party affiliation matters when it comes to negative ads...

Anonymous said...

Shays CANNOT run negative ads against Farrell, she has NEVER DONE ANYTHING!! To praise OR ATTACK!

Anonymous said...

The DRUGS piece was the dummies at the GOP self destructing on its own. It won't help them one iota where I live and will more likely hurt as I alluded to at 11;26. I don't really care, 11:30 anaonymous, about the Zoni and Caliguiri race so I have never looked at the ad or the issue posted here. The only thing I know about the race is Caliguiri is a hypocrite on the bankrupt family values issues from his days with Rowland but I don't know if that's what the ad is about.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember that a group made robo calls into the 4th CD lying about Shays' position on stem cell research. Flat out lies by a group run by people who have connections to Farrell. Yes, but they weren't run by any party but by some special interest group.

So please, show a little objectivity Both parties run negative dirty ads. Yup, but this ain't true

The only difference in the Shays Farrell race is that Farrell has also run negative ads and Shays has not. because the Republican party has run negative TV ads and robo-calls on Farrell.

Anonymous said...

How can the D's bash Caligiuri when they refused to vote on a bill that would have required foster parents to repay the state the money they received if they were convicted of sexually assaulting their foster kid? They protected Jefferson Davis, a convicted pedophile.

Anonymous said...

Only MoveOn was tough becasue the Swift Boat ads were 100% truthful too. Bush never left the country during VietNam and Kerry was gone for two years and three months but he's a cerified bum.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:43 your comments are utterly ridiculous. Perhaps you should read other comments first before responding.

I clearly stated that the stem cell robo calls were from another group (not Farrell or DCCC) but that the group is run by people with ties to Farrell. That is a fact.

You disagree that both parties run negaitve ads? Are you really that blind? LMAO

Lastly, I know the NRCC is running negative ads against Farrell, just like the DCCC is running and will continue to run a negative campaign against Shays. My point, which again is indisputable, is that Farrell is alos running negative ads, while Shays is not.

Good for you Anon - wrong on all 3 points you made. Your batting 1000!

Anonymous said...

anaonymoues 12:01; methinks you have a reading comprehension problem and Shays sure as hell is running negative ads about Farrell but I admit I forgot to mention that because there haven't been too many. You also seem to forget about Shays do-gooder nanny campaign finance legislation that has led to all this stuff being more convoluted than ever..

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:"Unaffiliated voters in the 4thCD have been getting several pieces regarding Farrell's record in Westport."; I am a "U" and I haven't received any.

Anonymous said...

See here for some great explanations on the Zoni mailer

bluecoat said...

Does anybody remember that Shays was talking - outloud anyway - about regulating political blogs?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the very first negative ad was Murphy's with Johnson's red hand....

I received a robo call the day Foley resigned asking for me to call Chris Shays and ask him to end the cover-up.... ridiculus.

Anonymous said...

the "red hand" ad was courtsy of MoveOn not Murphy so just thank Chris Shays for reforming campaign financing.

Anonymous said...

As a registered Democrat in Norwalk, I am appalled by the negative mailings I get from the Shays/National Republicans.

Anonymous said...

I'm still curious to see the postings on the zoni/calugari mailing but those comments are down - GC - can you cut and paste into a new thread?

Anonymous said...

Why, the zoni people commenting yesterday can't today?

Shadow said...

Turfgirl - I've been thinking the same thing; Rell not going negative in her ads has undoubtedly helped her campaign.

However, I think people miss the point in this argument when they take the stance of negative ads being either wholly beneficial or detrimental; it's actually neither.

The point is negative ads DO work in pulling down your opponent's turnout - but they also pull down your own. The question is which candidate's potential turnout ends up taking the biggest hit, and that varies with each ad, issue, candidate, and political climate.

Negative ads are like shooting through your own shield in Space Invaders to reach your enemies; sometimes it pays off, sometimes it ends up costing you everything down the road.

Anonymous said...

the "red hand" ad was courtsy of MoveOn not Murphy so just thank Chris Shays for reforming campaign financing.

Chris Murphy had the chance to Insist MoveOn.Org stop it's garbage, he chose otherwise. Until then I had believed Chris would never allow himself to be associated with this sort of junk. I was stunned.

Still during this entire election cycle I looked for any positive comments coming from Chris Murphy to give me any reason to vote for him. Sadly all I saw was more negativity, he just picked up where MoveOn left off.

I guess out of desperation on my part I when I saw his comments about not just voting the party line, but that he would vote as he felt best, I finally saw something I could agree with from him....I was starting to reconsider supporting him.

After seeing Nancy Pelosi on 60 minutes last night I now admit, I almost fell for that one... Sadly it is clear, if elected, he will be voting as she sees best.... It maybe time for a change, but that's not a change I'm interested in.

Thank you Nancy Pelosi, you made things much clearer for me. I'm sure Nancy Johnson thanks you as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this thread is a lot like the ads on TV - interesting.

Anon 2:25 caught my eye, if you want to see the ads Chris Murphy had paid for you can see all of them on his website

Let's also remember the horrific robocalls from Nancy Johnson - some poor folks recieved up to 7 from her in one day.

I think the important thing to look for is who's ads are based on facts, such as a voting record and finacial inofrmation, and who's are conjecture and speculation

Anonymous said...

Bill Finch has stooped to using a push poll against Rob Russo this week. My wife got a call claiming that Russo "wants to arm teenagers with assault weapons with cop killing bullets." What a load of crap. This is the lowest form of campaigning and really shows how desperate he is to keep his position. It makes me sick.

brickbat said...

Shadow repeats turfgrrl's misunderstanding of why Rell has not gone negative.

Look at who has run negative ads against their opponents this year (that I've seen): Rell, Blumenthal, Bysiewicz and DeLauro.

What do they have in common? They have only token opposition. There is simply no reason to tear into an opponent who poses no threat to you.

Why call attention to him or her?

Again, Rell and the others are not successful because they are running positive ads; they are running positive ads because they are not in real races.

Don't give them credit for civility that they don't deserve (either party).

Anonymous said...

I think when we see ads on TV and receive robocalls we need to take notice of the information source.

I live in the 5th Congressional District and just the other day alone Nancy Johnson sent me 7 of the nastiest robocalls imaginable. Some of her information is inaccurate and the sheer volume is enought to turn off voters.

Since candidates can only control the content for the ads they pay for it is important they maintain their integrity. Ads based directly on a voting record is not negative. But one that intentionally distorts a candidates position or includes assumed information is going too far in my book.

Anonymous said...

The Two Most Negative Campaigners are Nancy Johnson and Ned Lamont And the reason is they cant BS the people is why they have to attack Chris Murphy and Joe Lieberman with personal attacks and lies and deception.

The Lamonsters well they have done the negative act from day one and The Johnson Camp has done it for years.

But in 2006 it backfires and they both will Lose.

brickbat said...

Oops. Sorry.

In my post I meant to write that Rell, Blumenthal, Bysiewicz and DeLauro were the ones who had NOT run negative ads.

I just noticed the mistake when admiring my handiwork.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how that the same people who cite, are so quick to forget about the Swift Boat Liars an organization that was funded by Bush's lawyer and who only admitted lying after the election. In reality you're all calling the kettle black. Those who mention red hands, should also mention "Raised taxes 27 times" in the same sentence. Bingo with Farrell and Shays. This happens every time, yet we still try to take sides on the subject of negative campaigning itself. No Republican or Democrat is right or wrong in this matter. I would think that since we can all use a computer, that we are smart enough to discern the truth and half truth's ourselves. What we neglect is, that those who do vote are generally well-informed and care, these tactics really only work on those who give in to sensationalism and are out of touch. If you can't notice simple sensationalism when you see it, then you probably shouldn't be voting much less driving anyway. For those in here who are questioning what Zoni said was the lowest of the low, please look at the facts from a Waterbury resident. Even while under state control, our tax dollars went to a man in prison for putting his penis into small children against their will. God, not the voters, will have the true retribution on this man and those who helped him.

BrassBoy said...

I am a Waterbury resident and know the facts. Perhaps my fellow Waterbury resident needs a refresher from my post in the other thread:

The "deal" in question was "taxpayer neutral" to the city. The "deal" that the piece speaks of was the move that the Board of Alderman made to get rid of Phil Giordano in 2001. Under the charter, unless impeached, Mayor Giordano would have received his full salary and benefits through 12/31/01. An impeachment proceeding/trial, held by the Board of Alderman, would have been a costly and lengthy spectacle that Waterbury couldn't afford to go through at the time. The focus was to get rid of Giordano without costing the taxpayers money. Initially, Giordano actually phoned the Mayor's Office from prison to tell Caligiuri that he would "be back at his desk in a week" to resume his duties! Initially, Phil Giordano had no intentions of walking away without a spectacle.

Caligiuri and the rest of the majority caucus of the Board of Alderman voted to allow Phil to keep his benefits (he was the married father of three young boys) and 1/2 of his salary through the end of the term-- a period of approximately 6 months. Sam was aware of the fact that the taxpayers of Waterbury shouldn't be penalized in the pocketbook because of the depravity of Phil Giordano.

Caligiuri insisted that he receive no medical benefits of any kind from the city of Waterbury while he served as acting mayor. He received the other ½ of the mayor’s salary while he served. He took a leave from his law practice (and a significant pay cut) to serve as acting mayor in a manner which would cost the taxpayers nothing.

The bottom line is this “deal” was made in the best interests of the city at the time. It did not cost the taxpayers one penny and basically rid the city of Phil Giordano once and for all. It avoided a costly spectacle, allowed the government to move forward and continue its efforts to dig itself out of the financial mess it was in (the oversight board had just recently taken over) and, perhaps just as importantly, allowed the two young victims of that reprehensible crime to avoid testifying in any Aldermanic impeachment proceeding.

The mailer says none of this and simply makes it seem like Caligiuri gave his "buddy" Giordano a sweetheart deal. Nothing could be further from the truth

Shadow said...

> brickbat - Shadow repeats turfgrrl's misunderstanding of why Rell has
> not gone negative.

No, I repeated her correct understanding of the benefits of Rell not going negative. I actually agree with you as far as Rell's motivations; she would go negative if she thought it would win the race. But she's not at the moment, and she's benefitting from that.

Turfgrrl's reasoning why Rell isn't going negative does not appear in her original post, and you are assuming it through implication based on the fact she is a Rell supporter. Although you may be correct, I, on the other hand, am certainly not a Rell supporter; I'm voting for Cliff Thornton, and have no interest in being an apologist for Republicans.

meteskyjr said...

I had the misfortune to be stuck in a auto-repair waiting room the other morning. The television was turned on and the campaign ads were flying furiously back and forth. I have to say that as a reasonably intelligent nonpartisan type, I was ashamed by what I saw--from both parties. Is Nancy Johnson so desperate to hold on to her job in Congress that she would resort to a series of ads that reflect far more poorly on her than her opponent? (If she wants it so badly, by the way, that is reason enough why she shouldn't have it.) And is Chris Murphy, and by extension his party, so bereft of appealing ideas that he can only think to attack and attack a political pipsqueak like Johnson? Is there no nobility in this job anymore? What have we done to deserve getting stuck in the middle of this subhuman display?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:55..... Nice try but where in any Chris Murphy adds does he speak to his actual record?? Look, I am not here trying to support Nancy Johnson.

I also don't care one bit that Murphy raised taxes 27 times, I'm sure he probably raised them even more times than that!! But Murphy is the one who told us "It's time for a change".... So where is that change?? He points out Johnson get's millions from the drug companies. So what???? At least they produce products we all cannot live without. So where does he get his millions from??? You and I ???????? Be serious!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is just as bought and paid for as she is, if not more so, and he is less than half her age!!!!!!!!!

Still, I could look past all that and try to evaluate him simply on his merit.... After all he did say it was time for a change, and he was going to wage a positive campaign....Let's assume he had nothing to do with the MoveOn adds,that he had no idea about how outrageous they were, and they caught him totally by surprise.....It matters little... Of course Johnson needed to defend herself against them!!!! I would too!!!

Why then if he really felt it was "time for a change" did he not himself change?? Instead, he just ever so quickly followed her down into the gutter where he has since stayed. Today I still have no idea why I should vote for him if I want real change.... I am disgusted with them both.... But he was supposed to be different.... Instead he is just the same. That really upsets me.

Nancy Pelosi helped me see the light last night on 60 Minutes!!!! I'll stay with Johnson for two more years, and hope in two years the Democrats of this state can give us a better choice in the 5th district..... It's not just time for a change.......It's time to grow up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess in two year Chris Murphy could.

Anonymous said...

To answer anon:

From Open Secrets.Org:

Nancy Johnson:

42% of contributions from individuals and a WHOPPING
1.9 MILLION from PAC's

Chris Murphy:

78% from individuals and $415,000 from PAC's.

I think that may answer your question with a resouce to check it if your curious about facts, and not baseless asumptions.

Anonymous said...

Brass boy- read section 333 of the City Charter- it states "any elected city official can be removed from office by a simple majority vote, for neglect of official duties and moral delinquency." That's it end of story, no money no title.

BrassBoy said...

I've read the City Charter, as well as the legal opinions offered at the time by Terry Calderone who was the Corporation COunsel, so I think she knows a little about these matters.

So, no, sorry, that's not the end of the story. Do you think Giordano would not have sued the city if they attempted to simply remove him from office with a simple majority vote? His lawyers had already indicated that they would fight that and drag it out even longer.

The city was going to have to pay a mayoral salary and benefits, whether it was to the acting mayor or Giordano. So, at no extra expense to the city, an agreement was put in place to allow the whole mess to put into the history books.

Thanks for playing though...

BrassBoy said...

Furthermore, does it not occur to anyone that you cannot just simply "remove" somebody???

Yes, the City Charter stated "any elected city official can be removed from office by a simple majority vote, for neglect of official duties and moral delinquency." But you have to prove those allegations! You don't just announce that the Board has decided that someone is negligent or delinquent, regardless of whether everyone knows it's true. You have to have a hearing and testimony and due process.

What about that is unclear???

Anonymous said...

Paul Vance would have been a better candidate in the 5th, I hear him on the radio in Waterbury-- smart and really funny.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of nice people who live in Waterbury but the slime political machines give us the likes of Sullivan, Rowland, Jarjura, Giordano, Stango and Caliguiri. The machine is the machine and it has deep roots in the city's history.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:35,

As pointed out in my post of 7:58, I have no more interest in Johnson's claim that Murphy raised taxes 27 times than I have Murphy's claim that Johnson is bought and paid for by the Pharmaceutical companies. Which by the way, strangely resembles the same claims made by MoveOn.Org when they chose to drive this sad campaign into the sewer many months ago.

Instead I am far more concerned with the disgusting level of name calling, misleading adds, and just plain ugliness shown by both candidates in the 5th district. It's inexcusable.

I was expecting a far cleaner campaign from Chris Murphy, and Nancy Johnson. One that would have allowed to voters of the 5th district to see any difference between the two.... Well guess what? After spending the millions they both have, no matter where it comes from, I see no difference.....

Both are perfectly willing to sling mud at each other like two children in a playground fight......

If as we have been told, "it's time for a change"..... Then will one of them please change!!!! Force this campaign out of the gutter!! Stop attacking the other and present the reasons why either deserves election.

Neither of them have anything to be proud of here and we voters have been insulted by them both. I simply submit we voters need to get the message across to the two children that we are fed up with their negative campaigns... Now give us a reason to vote of either of them.

BrassBoy said...

I'm sorry, but what wrongdoing or criminal activity, unfortunately so prevalent with other Waterbury politicans, have Jarjura, Caligiuri or Stango ever been associated with???

Which Stango do you even mean? Charles, the current Board of Education Commissioner who was a city educator for over 30 years, was once honored as a teacher of the year, has been a good and decent family man his whole life and is generally regarded as one of the nicest gentlemen in Waterbury?

Or perhaps his son Chuck, the current Republican town committee chairman, state prosecutor, married father of two, former high school valedictorian and a person who has been referred to as "honest to a fault" by one of themore powerful Dems in the city?

Honestly, people should try to limit revealing their lack of intelligence by simply refraining from making ridiculous statements.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear smart and funny and not experienced and versed on the issues are now the main requirement for office...

Anonymous said...

Most slime don't get caught or at least not for a while.,0,662477.story?coll=hc-headlines-home

BrassBoy said...

Anon12:55, what does that even mean???

Anonymous said...

Could be a small world here. Is this Stango, the prosecutor, the same guy who was working in Bridgeport? Probably is. Seemed like an FI headcase to me. Too much moral preaching and not enough points of law but then that's the way Benedict seems to like them.

Anonymous said...

Phithly Phil suing Wtby for unpaid vacation because assinine "deal" didn't cover it.

Anonymous said...

You got it anonymous 3:46. Brass Boy knows how to defend the indefensible.