Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral bid suddenly found itself under attack last night when The New York Times reported that a $1 million, “A.B.Q. — anybody but Quinn” ad campaign has been started up to oppose her. But Ms. Quinn is pushing back, and in an email to her supporters this morning, she accused her opponents of undermining the public campaign finance system by letting an independent expenditure do their dirty work.
“This attack ad, funded by those closely aligned with my opponents, is an all-out effort to undermine New York City’s public campaign finance system, the most progressive system in the country and one I have worked hard to strengthen. What a disgrace,” she wrote. “But I’m not backing down, I’m standing up. And I need you to stand with me.”
Earlier this week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city’s Human Resources Administration unveiled a new, rather direct ad campaign to discourage teen pregnancy featuring children citing blunt statistics about teen parents. “Honestly mom, chances are he won’t stay with you,” a baby in one ad declares, while another reads, “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.” The campaign, which is paired with an shame-themed choose-your-own-adventure text experience, understandably gained attention and sparked controversy.
Though City Hall seemed eager to make a splash with the in-your-face ads, other local politicians have condemned the campaign.
Readers of Wednesday’s New York Post may have noticed a full-page tribute to the late former Mayor Ed Koch signed by Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and his wife, Margo. When Politicker called Mr. Catsimatidis to ask about the ad this afternoon, the billionaire businessman was quick to point out it wasn’t a campaign expense.
“I paid for it personally,” he said as soon as we mentioned the tribute.
Girls star Lena Dunham has already shown an interest in local politics, but now, the actress-slash-auteur-slash-author is getting involved in the presidential election. Ms. Dunham taped a video for the Obama campaign filled with plenty of sexual innuendo and her reasons for supporting President Barack Obama.
Much Ado About Abortion
Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock sparked a firestorm after he discussed abortion in cases of rape in a debate last night and said, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Democrats quickly went on the attack against Mr. Mourdock, focusing on an ad Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded for him that was released online Sunday. Though aides for Mr. Romney issued statements expressing disagreement with Mr. Mourdock’s position on rape and abortion, the campaign is not asking for the ad to be pulled.
Ring Ding Dong
Mia Love has had a little help from the Romney family in her quest to become the Congresswoman from Utah’s Fourth District–and she wants to make sure voters know it. Ms. Love’s latest commercial, which was released online this morning, features audio from a robocall Mitt Romney made on her behalf.
“Mitt Romney is calling,” text says on the screen says as a ringing phone is displayed. Mr. Romney’s voice is heard once a hand picks up the phone.
John Featherman, the underdog Republican nominee running against Rep. Bob Brady in Pennsylvania’s first congressional district has released a new ad online calling his rival “a dog” and accusing him of backing allies indulging in scandalous behavior including spending taxpayer dollars at strip clubs. The ad, which is entitled “My Dog, Bob Brady,” begins with a scene at the Philadelphia “foreign student program” where a woman with an unspecified foreign accent asks another woman for help coming up with an “American name” for her new Yorkshire Terrier. The other woman suggests the dog owner name her Yorkie “Bob Brady” because he’s “one of the worst congressmen ever” and “a dog.”
In a new ad for his re-election campaign, Wisconsin Congressman and former Real World star Sean Duffy touts a major endorsement–his own mother will be voting for him. While most political candidates are expected to have the support of their immediate family members, in the ad, Mr. Duffy’s mother, Carol, explains she’s “a lifelong Democrat” and her Republican son “really had to earn” her vote.
“I’m voting for Sean Duffy. People might expect a mom to vote for her own son, but Sean really had to earn my vote. We don’t always agree, but I know Sean will fight to protect Medicare and that’s what matters most,” Carol says in the commercial.
Both campaigns battled over Big Bird this morning, with President Barack Obama’s team releasing a video focusing on Mitt Romney’s comment during the presidential debate that he would stop the federal subsidy to PBS potentially shutting down Sesame Street despite the fact he said, “I love Big Bird.” Mr. Romney’s mention of the beloved muppet almost instantly went viral and the Obama campaign’s new clip showed they have no intention of letting the discussion die. The Romney campaign responded to the Big Bird video with a statement entitled “The Clear Choice: Big Ideas vs. Big Bird” blasting the muppet media blitz as the exact type of “small” tactics President Obama “decried” during the 2008 election.
“The choice in this election is becoming more clear each day. Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don’t have a record to run on, ‘you make a big election about small things,’” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in the statement. “With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president. Mitt Romney knows we can’t afford four more years like the last four, and he will lead us to a real recovery.”
This morning, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce officially set its sights on six congressional races across New York State and launched ads in each of them. Stretching from Long Island to Buffalo, the broadcast barrage attacks Democratic congressional incumbents Tim Bishop, Kathy Hochul, Bill Owens and Louise Slaughter, and attempts to beat back Democratic candidates Sean Patrick Maloney and Dan Maffei.
The size of the ad buy wasn’t immediately available, but the Chamber launched a significant $3.3 million campaign for California Republicans last week, so their New York has the potential to be sizable.