Here comes the tidal wave of garbage ads

The little witches, ghosts, goblins and vampires were out on Wednesday night, delivering feigned evil along with a laugh.

But some adult evil-doers began playing tricks long before Halloween and will churn themselves into a howling fury between now and Election Day.

We're talking about the "super PACs" that are spending unprecedented amounts of money slinging lies and distortions via negative TV ads.

Their strategy is to hit their opponents with a barrage of last-minute attack ads, fully realizing that their victims will have little or no time to rebut the untruths before Election Day.

And if you hate negative attack ads, beware. You will see a surge of them over over the next few days.

One of those PACs, Crossroads GPS, has rolled out its latest attack on former Gov. Angus King, who is running for the U.S. Senate, and running well ahead of his Republican and Democrat opponents in the polls.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the Sun Journal has endorsed King in this race.)

True to form, the PACs have adopted all the standard tricks: find the worst photo of the man and turn it from color into a foreboding black-and-white. Then add an ominous soundtrack, in this case an eerie whistling wind.

The concerned female voice-over actor then lays out two lies and one questionable half-truth:

The first lie is that King used his position on a government task force to benefit his own wind power project.

In reality, King was appointed to the Ocean Energy Task Force, which had 21 members and convened in 2009.

The error, or lie, here is obvious: King developed a land-based wind-power project in Roxbury, Maine, and this task force was limited to ocean tidal power.

State Sen. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, said the task force was one of the "most comprehensive, best organized and best attended" that he has ever seen.

Hobbins said King was not a driving force in the discussion and did not seek anything that would benefit his project. Hobbins also said he saw nothing in the final recommendations that would have benefited King or his Roxbury project.

A 2008 group, the Governor's Task Force on Wind Energy Development, actually did lead to legislation that expedited the location of wind turbines, but King wasn't part of that group.

By the way, that legislation was approved unanimously, by Republicans and Democrats, in the Maine House and Senate.

The second lie in the Crossroads ad says that, while governor, King cut funding for schools. A small parade of educators and education officials have said he did not.

Finally, the Crossroads ad says King favors a plan to cut $700 billion from Medicare for seniors.

King does favor "Obamacare," but the plan proposes cutting $700 million from Medicare providers, not directly from Medicare beneficiaries.

This is, however, a dicey part of Obama's plan. Those cuts would theoretically come from cost-containment programs.

If those savings prove illusive, one could argue that providers getting less funding might stop accepting Medicare patients.

But Republicans have supported cutting a similar amount of money from Medicare.

Crossroads GPS works on behalf of Republican candidates who, we presume, would make similar cuts if they won the presidency and/or the U.S. Senate.

Here's our advice: consider every political ad you see between now and Election Day as likely wrong or distorted.

Better yet, do what about a quarter of TV watchers already do, use your DVR to "zap" those ads and spare yourself from this onslaught of garbage.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.

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Comments

Election!

The Sun Journals tilt towards the Tea Party right, endorsing Romney+ Raye, has left them with a lot of egg on their face after todays election!

Steve  Dosh's picture

Here comes the tidal wave of garbage ads

ed. 12.11.01 11:00 am - ish ?
You nailed it • This is not yellow journailism either r e a d e r s : D
Q : You know the differce between trash and Jersey Girls ?
A; Trash gets picked up ?
/s Steve
this might be --> http://www.twincitytimes.com
\/ote •

 's picture

So what's different about now.

The Republicans have been running ads since last year that are pure simple lies. Romney is running ads now that Jeep is moving production to China. Lie and the CEO has stated that its a lie. The Romney campaign's welfare ad claiming that Obama has eliminated the work requirement of welfare another lie.
Or look at the Republicans positive ads that say they will cut taxes to create jobs. Another lie. Cutting taxes creates profits not jobs. How many jobs did Bush's two tax cuts create? It contributed to doubling the national debt and the loss of 8 million jobs in the Republican Depression of 2008. Or that Republicans will work with the other side to get things done when its they who on the day Obama took office met and declared that their only job was to make Obama a one term president not to deal with the disaster left by the Bush administration. Or how about running seemingly Pro-Dill ads which were in fact anti-King ads.
Nothing has changed. The one thing you can trust is a Republican is dishonest.
If its a Republican ad or an ad by any Republican Super Pac its a lie.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Political ads are just like political roadside signs.....

They're just something annoying you have to endure until after election day. To me, they're just one step up from "Infomercials". I do however enjoy the new "Web ads" featuring the little old ladies cursing their little heads off.
As for learning about a particular candidate's position, I do my own research. No one should believe anything that's advertised. Some of them are entertaining though.....

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Here is my advice...

Trust but verify...still waiting for Angus to file his lawsuit over the 1 Billion dollar structural deficit claim made in the ads. Sound of crickets. Maine Ethics...crickets. Ready for another round fellow Mainers???? I'm just sayin....

Sounds like the LSJ's writer is acting like the Wizard of Oz...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! We need to be informed voters; that is your best defense; not to muzzle candidates and groups who are trying to get the word out, trying to bypass journalists who slept through the "fact checking and verification" classes at "J" school. Believe your lying eyes, we cannot afford another four years of this nonsense.

Love the way some candidates hid behind PAC ads as well, saying they can't control the message, so much for campaign finance reform...it's worse than ever

Be an informed voter, meet the candidates! Vote conservative and take away the government's credit card before it's too late for America!

AL PELLETIER's picture

More lies from Rove

Thankfully we no longer hear much from Dubya and Cheney but Karl Rove, through Crossroads GPS is still slinging his political cow dung. If anybody believes anything that comes from Crossroads GPS they must still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Rove, like Romney, is a habitual liar!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Have to agree with you there,

Have to agree with you there, Al. I'd rank Crossroads GPS right down there with Democracy Now and MSNBC.

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