Tag Archives: ad

GOP Senator: Democratic Operatives, Not Ken Miller, are Behind Latest Ad

Dave Lewis, GOP state senator and big Ken Miller supporter, has declared a belief that the 30 second web ad contrasting Ken Miller and Rick Hill on family values (entitled “Abuse and Adultery”) has been planted by democratic party operatives. Lewis wrote:

Come on guys. There may be some smart Democrat operatives, not a contradiction in terms, who wanted to fire an early volley. Do it now and blame it on primary politics. We play rough here. Suspect everyone. Fun month ahead.

Lewis made the claim last week, on this blog, but stated no basis for it except to say that democratic operatives are “talented” and thus may have created the ad, the implication being that GOP operatives are not talented. Here’s the ad:

Doth Lewis, a Miller surrogate, protest too loudly?

Let’s examine his theory.
First, the woman behind the ad, Nancy Davis, has been active against Hill before, but not in favor of Miller. And she has a large conservative following on Facebook, counting among her friends many GOP legislators and Tea Party idiots.

Furthermore, if Lewis’s premise is correct that Democrats want to elevate Miller at Hill’s expense (which I don’t believe is correct; Hill is a lame candidate, insider, part of the problem, and thus a good horse for dems to run against) this would not be the way to do it since this video risks backfiring on Ken Miller. Negative stuff like this is dynamite and can explode in the hand of the person lighting it.

And finally, not only has Miller made no effort at all to denounce the video act in a way that would indicate he isn’t connected with it, he actually has been aping it.

Hilariously, in the last week he’s referred to himself at least twice as a”Christian”, “family man” and “small businessman” in the same breath, and to Rick Hill as a “lobbyist”, “insurance” executive” and “congressman,” comparative language taken directly from the ad. Miller clearly likes the action.

A tipster informed me today that Miller contrasted himself to Hill using these terms at a recent debate. And a new video on Miller’s website similarly uses the same message points, with Miller describing himself as a Christian and a family man (note: Miller today removed that video, for some reason).  And below is a “straw poll” from Miller’s own website. We will ignore for the moment the sad fact that Miller could only muster 61% in a vote that takes place on his own website; what’s interesting is, again, the way he messages himself against Hill:

Also, there’s something about the narrator’s voice (might it be Davis herself?) that strikes me as that of someone who watches lots of Foxnews and is an angry Tea gal (or maybe that’s just my imagination).

So I’d say its very unlikely that Democrats are behind this lovely piece of political theater. Some GOP “operative” does indeed have some minimal talent.

I’m told that all of the GOP candidates are in the process of buying TV time now. We will see what these ads look like, and then revisit this subject.

Strohmaier’s Smart Ad

Montana Congressional Candidate Dave Strohmaier (D) has a smart new ad up.  The ad is different than anything else on the airwaves and shows he believes in fairness and equality for all people.  If he were really smart, Strohmaier could probably get some national talk show attention for this.  Perhaps that’s already in the works.

Here’s the ad:

One Hot Mess

Readers here will no doubt recall TEA Party Republican Greg Hinkle’s Senate Bill 114, which would have given county sheriffs authority trumping that of the federal government – one of the nuttiest bills of the legislative session.

TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg has the latest iteration of this nutball idea–he is an original co-sponsor of the infamous bill that would give the Department of Homeland Security complete control over all federal lands within 100 miles of the Canadian border.  We’re talking about the top half of the entire state of Montana.

It isn’t known to what extent Hinkle may have helped Rehberg to develop the idea.  Perhaps they thought that starting with half of the state first and switching from County Sheriffs to Homeland Security would somehow be more palatable.  What is known is that local hunters and anglers are furious.  Montana Hunters & Anglers today have launched a second ad campaign aimed at Congressman Dennis Rehberg.

Here’s the ad:

On the Hunters and Anglers website, the group explains why they created the second ad:

Rehberg is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1505 by Representative Bob Bishop of Utah. The bill would allow the DHS to obtain “operational control” of federal lands within 100 miles of the Canadian border. Although Rehberg says his amendment makes the bill more palatable, Montana Hunters & Anglers Action President Land Tawney called those provisions “lipstick on a pig” and he says the legislation remains “ominous and frightening.”


Whatever you call it, the bill is evidence that a combination that includes Rehberg and lawmaking only results in one hot mess.

This Week’s Worst Political Ad

It’s hard to believe this has already started.  Ten months out from the primary election and one GOP primary candidate for Governor is already on the air.  The extreme earliness is part of why this Corey Stapleton ad is a problem.  When combined with the minute amount of airtime purchased–$15 grand on Monday night football–the ad’s impact is destined for the zero to negative range.  It’s like throwing money down the garbage disposal.

After the last web video he produced was criticized for being a poorly executed knock off of the Eminem Chrysler ad, he must have either switched media firms or ordered a change in direction.

But the new ad even worse.  Here’s why:

Stapleton is running at a time when generic politicians poll at an all time low.  So why would he put up an ad making him look like the very prototype of something people loathe? The generic politician effect is complete with platitudes like “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps” and affected gesturing at :09, :16, and :24.

The ad doesn’t do much for his image. The only thing that stands out in this ad is the wardrobe–and not in a good way.  Stapleton is young enough to own this style of stonewashed jeans, but not in-tune enough to know it’s time to stop wearing them. Is it the worst fashion crime ever committed? Of course not. But when you’ve got one shot at a first impression, why make a choice that distracts from your message. At least he didn’t mention his “childhood addiction.”

Back to the script.  Stapleton says “America is hurting.”  What does that even mean?

What’s hurting is this ad–hurting his chances of being taken seriously.  Stapleton ends with the line “I’ll be that kind of governor.” If he means the kind of governor represented by this ad, he’ll be a generic cliche of an unpopular politician–stuck in a past decade with no new ideas since his time in the legislature.  Not a TEA Partier, but a stock character of a politician at a time when the state wants anything but.


Ken Miller Tries Giving ‘Em the Old Razzle Dazzle

Surely it is a bad thing in Montana politics to hail originally from another state if you are running for high office. “Out of state” in Montana politics is a pejorative noun, verb, adjective, and maybe even an adverb.


Most often, the “out of state” accusation is hurled by Republicans at Democrats, the GOP playing the percentages in a state that is more conservative than the nation as a whole, where “out of state” thus implies “liberal.”


So when a right-wing GOP gubernatorial candidate was born and raised in another state, such a candidate must be very artful in excusing or explaining his out-of-stateness, lest he be hoisted with his own petard.


In today’s example, we have Ken Miller, the guy who released an laughingly bad youtube video last week for the purpose of introducing himself to voters.


The video is an over-the-top effort at a “made in Montana” candidate branding.  It uses old, grainy 8 millimeter color footage, of farms and ranches and tractors and silos and rows of crops, and people working the land.


Miller does say that his parents owned a farm in Colorado, but he quickly moves on to assure us that his parents “moved to Montana when I was still in school.” As he says this, we see a shot a toddler sitting on a harvester, watching his father work the machine. We are clearly supposed to understand that this is Miller as a boy, on his parents farm in Joliet, and that “in school” thus means kindergarten or thereabouts.


Unfortunately, Miller was 20 years old when he moved to Montana. If he was still “in school”, I suppose he means college.


This video shows, if nothing else, that a GOP candidate who was not born and raised in Montana must obfuscate about his childhood, early and often.

Inspiration for the “Meet Ken Miller” Ad Uncovered

While Intelligent Discontent has discovered the must-watch early draft of the “Meet Ken Miller” Movie ad, the Cowgirl Blog has uncovered the ad’s creator/media consultant.    While you’re over at Intelligent Discontent, check out their analysis of Ken Miller’s issues and web site “Ken Miller Has Issues.”