Sunday, October 14, 2018

Misleading Campaign Ads

I watch very few TV shows or movies, mostly because I don't agree with the morals and political viewpoints pushed in most shows produced today.  But when I do, I cannot help but see the TV advertisements for competing candidates.  For the most part, they are what I consider disgusting.  The best of them are just bad.  What bothers me the most are the misleading statements in most of them.

For example, Beto O'Rourke (democrat running for US Senator from Texas against Ted Cruz) seems to have only one ad on the channels I've watched.  He gets up there and talks about stopping the division in American politics today.  He says not a word about any of his positions on domestic or foreign policies.  Probably because they tend to follow the progressive line and are unpopular in red-state Texas.  But he's getting lots of donations.

And yeah, nobody likes divisive politics.  But as long as opposing parties have differing positions, its going to be divisive.  However, it sure looks to me like Democrats are advocating for more violence and divisiveness, not just in Congress, but in your everyday lives.  What does Beto O'Rourke suggest?  Nothing in that ad.  How would he reduce divisiveness?  I don't have any idea.  He might denounce the 'uncivil' advocacy spoken by Hillary Clinton or Eric Holder, but he hasn't done that.

His opponent is Ted Cruz (R).  I like Cruz; he doesn't waiver on most of the positions I support.  However, his ads are not what I would call good.  He highlights the deplorable positions Beto O'Rourke has taken on various policies, then talks about his opposing position.  I don't know what else he could do (except the debates) to bring attention to O'Rourke's lousy positions.  Unfortunately, he ends each of his ads with the required statement that he has approved the advertisement.  But for some reason the producers have the statement aired in a tiny soft voice you can barely hear.  Very odd.

Then there is the Will Hurd (R) and Jina Ortiz Jones (D) race for US Representative in Texas 23rd district.  This one involves both candidate and PAC ads.  You've probably guessed I won't vote for any democrats.  But I don't think I'm in the 23rd district.  I'll know when I go to the polls.

First, let's start with Will Hurd's ads.  I don't like them any more than than I do Beto O'Rourke's.  They show Rep Hurd meeting with constituents and talk about working to support his constituents' needs.  At least that's a little more honest than O'Rourke's assertion he will reduce divisiveness in politics.  But they are totally useless at providing information on policy positions.

Honestly, I don't remember any ads supporting Jina Ortiz Jones.  Either they are not memorable, or they aren't being placed on the channels/shows I watch.

But there are PAC ads criticizing Gina Ortiz Jones and ones criticizing Will Hurd.  The ones criticizing Hurd state that he voted to raise health care costs 8 times.  Since Congress doesn't determine health care costs, for the most part, this is nonsense.  He may have voted to cancel Obamacare, which would have been done with the expectation of reducing costs with a replacement.  Or they may have been counting Medicare, Medicaid or military Tri-Care votes.  But the ad doesn't say.  What I do conclude is that any such vote would have been something I probably supported.

The ads against Jones are peculiar.  It's like PAC's have no skill in marketing or won't hire someone with skill.  One talks about how she added the Ortiz middle name to her campaign only after she started running in a Hispanic district. It's peculiar that if you look at her Wikipedia post, she (or her submitters) call her Ortiz Jones instead of Gina Jones further in the article.

A second PAC add against Jones talks about how she supported BRAC but is against it when campaigning.  BRAC is the supposedly 'independent' assessment that recommends closing military bases.  It's the approach Congress used in the past to get enough votes to close large numbers of military bases.  There are lots of military bases in the 23rd district and San Antonio area.

Both sets of PAC ads against O'Rourke and Jones focus on how they support Nancy Pelosi or are supported by her.  While it's probably useful information, I hate wasting my time watching them.

Bottom line is that ads for the coming congressional elections are misleading, are poorly done, or just insulting to me.  I assume there are people out there who aren't into politics, and the ads are trying to influence those voters.  But can't the candidates at least focus on their own policies during those ads?

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