Thursday, July 06, 2006

CFAF Ad is Par for the Course

It's baaaack!

Evidently America's families are in need of assistance again. The Coalition for America's Families (CFAF) has released an ad campaign aimed at keeping the public spotlight focused on -- you guessed it -- the conviction of civil servant Georgia Thompson.

And you thought there were more important issues facing America's families.

The TV spot features a fake cartoon reporter and a cartoon Jim Doyle in a Q&A on why Thompson did what she did. Doyle's voice was taken from a press conference held on the issue last month, although the questions asked by the cartoon reporter are not the real questions Doyle was asked by actual reporters at the conference.

CFAF decided it was best for America's families if the questions asked in its spot were fabricated and then synched with Doyle's voice to give the appearance that Doyle is actually responding to them. After all, it's easier to be misleading when dealing with fiction rather than fact.

Word has it CFAF purchased $50,000 in air time for the Milwaukee market alone, with more planned for La Crosse and Wausau.

Unwilling to accept the fact that it doesn't appear any more charges are going to be filed in the travel contract case -- and unable to explain why Thompson continues to refuse to roll over on anyone -- GOP operatives in the state are getting desperate in their attempts to keep the Thompson conviction in the news.

Taking a look at CFAF's track record for accuracy, though, does show that this newest spot is really par for the course.

We last heard from CFAF in April when the push was on for the amendment to restrict public revenue in Wisconsin. Their ad at that time mischaracterized the amendment as being solely about property taxes and it gave the appearance that only Jim Doyle and WEAC opposed the amendment. In reality, the original amendment reached into nearly every corner of public finance and it was opposed by a very broad range of groups and individuals from across the state (including, it turned out, 2/3 of the GOP-controlled state legislature).

Prior to that ad campaign, CFAF ran a spot during the school voucher debate in January that was originally produced by Charlie Sykes and Mikel Holt. This ridiculous ad, as many will remember, alleged that Jim Doyle was akin to racist governors like Orville Faubus and George Wallace because he didn’t want to blow the cap off the voucher program. The Milwaukee NAACP, among others, didn't see any accuracy in the comparison.

And that's not all. Last May, CFAF ran an anti-immigrant TV spot that drew the ire of many in the Hispanic community. And still another CFAF ad last June blatantly mischaracterized Doyle's support for domestic partner benefits.

So who exactly is responsible for these ads by CFAF? Steve King -- who not only chairs CFAF, but also serves as the chairman for Paul Bucher's campaign to be attorney general.

How much longer before we can expect to see Peg Laughtenschlager and Kathleen Falk in cartoon form?

Though I suppose JB Van Hollen will need to be first.

UPDATE: Carrie Lynch discusses the place the latest CFAF ad holds in the Bucher Underground.

LATE UPDATE: The CBS affliate in Milwaukee just pulled the CFAF ad.


Blogger realdebate said...

Curious how you feel about the Green attack ads making stretch after stretch?

July 06, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

I don't have any problem with ads that point out a candidate's legislative record.

Purposely misquoting a candidate is a very different story.

July 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unwilling to accept that fact it doesn't appear any more charges are going to be filed in the travel contract case


According to whom? Not the prosecutor.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Show me one place in that article where Biskupic says more charges are going to be filed.

What does appear in the article is this line: "The fact that no one else has been indicted likely means authorities don't have compelling evidence in hand."

And let's not forget these lines, directly from Biskupic: "The public should not presume that anyone else will be charged. We are continuing to look at the evidence, but the public is cautioned not to read anything else into it, only that we're being careful. It doesn't necessarily mean that more charges are forthcoming."

Investigations can go on for years, that doesn't mean there's anything there. This past January, for example, an independent counsel investigation of Bill Clinton's HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros ended after 10 years and $26 million spent in public money -- the results of that investigation: absolutely nothing.

Biskupic will probably drag this thing out for months, possibly even years, regardless of whether Doyle is reelected in November. The last think a prosecutor wants is to be accused of not fully investigating a matter -- a charge that would surely come from people like Sykes and Belling if he ended the investigation anytime prior to this November.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger Rick Esenberg said...

Actually the independent counsel in the Cisneros case accused the Clinton administration of a cover-up. I don't know if he's right, but that's hardly a vindication.

Nothing in the ad is misleading. You'd have to be incredibly gullible not to know that it's a made-up press conference. Yet the stuff that the "reporter" says is true and Doyle's responses reflect the way in which the governor's office has responded to the questions raised by the Thompson conviction.

July 09, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...


The only cover-up story in the Cisneros case was the independent counsel's covering of his own behind after spending $26 million in public money on an investigation that led to no actual charges. People who reviewed the report filed by the independent counsel said it was full speculation and hype.

As for the ad, it purposely misquotes the governor -- that's misleading, plain and simple. Besides, if the questions and responses are accurate, then why not just use the real questions Doyle was asked & his direct responses to those questions? There is no substantial connection between Doyle and Georgia Thompson -- the RPW is just trying to throw as much as possible at Doyle to distract people from the fact that Green's got very few ideas for the state and even less appeal.

I think Mark Belling said it quite well: "Many in the Republican base are ambivalent about Green. He seems clueless about how to exploit voter anger over high taxes. His record in Congress included a lot of votes for a lot of spending."

July 09, 2006  

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