Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Political TV and Radio Ads Heat Up Campaigns

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Political TV and Radio Ads Heat Up Campaigns

Article excerpt

Political television and radio spot commercials vary frequently from the silly to the misleading. A few are informative and others are humorous. They are worth watching.

In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District have created the most TV and radio ads.

A recent call-in poll conducted by The Oklahoman showed only 22 percent of the callers admitted to watching these political ads, but candidates with money use them extensively at this point for name and campaign theme recognition.

Tulsa businessman Bob Sullivan, a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination who has raised more than $1 million, is one of the more visible candidates, joined by Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Todd Hiett, R-Kellyville, who is running for lieutenant governor and also reportedly raised more than a $1 million. Others are Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode and Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, who are both running for the nomination for the 5th District seat.

State Reps. Kevin Calvey, R-Del City, and Fred Morgan, R-OKC, who are also involved in that race, have shown up frequently.

Most of the ads currently stress political and fiscal conservatism, church and family values.

One Sullivan commercial has created the biggest brouhaha so far by criticizing one of his opponents, 5th District U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, who is also running for governor. Istook, who has been noticeably absent from the magic screen, was accused by Sullivan for being a big spender while posing as a fiscal conservative.

That brought an immediate response from Istook and other Republican leaders, who attacked Sullivan for breaking the so- called 11th Commandment pledge of not criticizing other Republican candidates.

It may not have been as humorous as Sullivan intended, but the ad got the message across that Istook's fiscally conservative rhetoric does not match his spending record in Congress. And Sullivan got more media exposure than the ad did.

The criticism leaves a question of whether citing a candidate's congressional voting record is negative campaigning.

One group, the Oklahoma Republican Assembly, along with the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, sided with Sullivan. …

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