Campaign notebook: Candidates ramp up media blitz - East Valley Tribune: News

Campaign notebook: Candidates ramp up media blitz

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Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2006 7:02 am | Updated: 4:56 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The hot new thing involving politics and the Internet is for folks to post a politician’s awkward moments on YouTube so all the world can see. And state Sen. Ed Ableser became part of this trend last week.

Only the 28-year-old Democrat posted the moments himself.

Ableser’s campaign staff issued a news release that proclaims he made political history by being the first Arizona candidate to use www.YouTube.com, a site where people can post video clips.

Ableser posted a 3 minute, 39 second video called “One Day in the Life of Sen. Ableser.” Among other things, the clips shows Ableser:

• Jogging in tiny running shorts.

• Petting and kissing his dog, Jezzy.

• Holding hands with a blonde woman whom he briefly kisses. Words on the screen remind voters, “He even has time for romance.”

The video also shows Ableser mentoring youth, meeting senior citizens and campaigning. It ends with Ableser in board shorts and a red T-shirt, swinging his arm around and pointing into the camera. Freeze frame!

Ableser, who represents south Scottsdale and Tempe, apparently neglected to see that some other Arizona politicos have posted their own YouTube videos. Other notable candidates include Republican gubernatorial hopeful Len Munsil and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Pederson.

Garin Groff, (480) 898-5938

PUBLICITY IS PUBLICITY

The September issue of The American Spectator tests the maxim that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The conservative magazine features a lengthy and unflattering article about the internal struggles of the Arizona Republican Party. Writer Judd Slivka intones:

“Welcome to Arizona in 2006, where the Party of Goldwater in the State of Goldwater is fighting itself for its own life even as senior U.S. Sen. John McCain angles for the presidency. At the state level, frustration has never been higher, and it is aimed at everyone: President George W. Bush, McCain, moderate Republicans who sided with the governor on immigration issues, conservative Republicans who are pulling the party farther to the right.”

Exhibit No. 1 in the Spectator’s five-page litany of catfights is the race between state Sen. Carolyn Allen and state Rep. Collette Rosati for the Republican nomination for the state Senate seat that represents Scottsdale.

“The race is predicted to be a bloodbath, full of vicious comments from both sides, whisper campaigns, and mean campaign mailings,” Slivka writes. The details are even worse.

The magazine presents state party chairman Matt Salmon as the sane leader who is trying — but mostly failing — to unify the Arizona’s dysfunctional majority party.

Paul Giblin, (480) 970-2331

TRACKING THE POLLS

It’s Sept. 10. Do you know where your poll numbers are?

Democratic challenger Jim Pederson’s series of attack TV commercials during the past two weeks are likely to push up his poll numbers in the race for Arizona’s contested U.S. Senate seat, political analyst Bruce Merrill said.

Pederson’s ads note that Republican incumbent Jon Kyl votes in favor of oil and pharmaceutical interests, who are among the biggest contributors to his political campaign. Another ad tells voters that Kyl supports President Bush’s positions more than 95 percent of the time.

Kyl released a TV commercial on Tuesday that attacks Pederson for attacking Kyl.

During the pre-attack ad era, Kyl polled ahead of Pederson double digits.

Kyl led Pederson 46 percent to 36 percent in a statewide poll of 846 registered voters conducted by ASU and KAET-TV (Channel 8) released on Aug. 29. Kyl led Pederson 52 percent to 35 percent in a statewide poll of 500 likely voters by New Jersey survey firm Rasmussen Reports two days later.

The polls had margins of error of 3.3 and 4.5 percentage points, respectively.

The danger of negative ads is that they taint the entire campaign process, said Merrill, a journalism professor at Arizona State University.

“The reliance on attack ads in the past 15 or 20 years has really been a major factor in the low voting turnout,” he said. “People are just turned off.”

Paul Giblin, (480) 970-2331

GRABBING HEADLINES

Arizona’s political races continue to grab national headlines.

On Wednesday, it was the The Washington Times.

Reporter Stephen Dinan focused on three races — the Jon Kyl/Jim Pederson race for Kyl’s Senate seat, the J.D. Hayworth/Harry Mitchell race for Hayworth’s House seat that represents Scottsdale and Tempe, and the free-forall to succeed Jim Kolbe for the House seat that represents Tucson and the southern reaches of the state.

“With the U.S. Senate seat and two of the state’s eight congressional seats being seriously contested, and with all three currently held by Republicans, Arizona is a battleground in the fight for control of Congress, and immigration is the leading fight,” Dinan wrote.

“Candidates on both sides say that if Democrats are able to compete in a Republican-leaning state like Arizona, it bodes well for their national chances.”

Paul Giblin, (480) 970-2331

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