Two SuperPACs Focused On Ending SuperPACs Release New TV Commercials

from the gotta-spend-the-money-to-stop-the-money dept

We've been writing up some of the new political efforts to try to put some limits on money in politics, including Larry Lessig's Mayday SuperPAC,' satirical campaign for the "most honest politician," Gil Fulbright, and also CounterPAC, a SuperPAC that tries to get politicians to take a pledge not to accept dark money.

They're all moving forward with their goals, and two new commercials have come out that are worth highlighting. First, has teamed up with Mayday in their effort to promote Jim Rubens, the (generally considered to be a long shot) candidate for Senate in New Hampshire. They've sent "Gil Fulbright" to New Hampshire to "campaign" for Rubens' opponent (and former Massachusetts Senator) Scott Brown. The ad is well worth watching:
In case you can't watch it, here's a basic transcript of the text stated by the exceptionally honest Gil Fulbright:
I'm a career politician and this is an unprovoked attack on Jim Rubens. And I'm in it!

You see, me and my buddy, Scott Brown (shows picture of Brown making the "call me" sign), we want to take your tax dollars and hand them out to the cronies and lobbyists who bankroll our political campaigns.

But this Jim Rubens guy? He wants to stop corruption in Washington. He thinks it's his job to help the people of New Hampshire.

Career politicians like me? We've got a sweet thing going on. Do not let Jim Rubens screw that up.
This is a bit different from some of Mayday's earliest commercial spots which I thought were a bit weak. Frankly the first few radio ads (which, for some reason seem to have disappeared from Soundcloud where they were) sounded a little off. Lessig is a great presenter, but I'm not sure he's the best radio voice. Though, the latest TV commercial for Ruben Gallego (which also uses Lessig's voiceover) is stronger than those first few radio ads:
Finally, CounterPAC has also launched its first TV ads, including this one involving a sky diver, calling on Georgia Senate candidates Michelle Nunn and David Perdue to pledge to deny dark money in their campaigns (they also have a nearly identical ad targeting Alaska Senate candidates Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan).
The production value of the ad is a bit weak, and it kind of buries the point of the ad, which is unfortunate.

Either way, we're seeing the first steps of these efforts to try to limit the impact of money in politics and it will be worth watching how these various campaigns work out.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Whatever (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 3:37am


    Wow, it's amazing how little you get for your money. The ads are typical "tough on corruption" political ads that most of us tune right out.

    Not much to say except, well... this is suppose to change things?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 5:34am

    I don't think anything runs smoothly and flawless when it starts, even with massive support from powerful people. This initiative alone and the fact that people actually funded it is already enough of a win. We'll only be able to evaluate the efforts in the future. So far they are doing a pretty good job despite these hiccups ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Jury is still out...

    one of the adds actually mentions voting in one of the parties. By default, I suspect anyone that has attached a R or D next to their name.

    I would much prefer these to focus on going after the R or D or BOTH where corruption can be indicated and supporting independents!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re: Jury is still out...

    I agree 100% remove the party line , I also think that they should take their campaign directly to web companies not just worry about tv ads , google, mozilla and such , We did it with sopa/pipa , I'm sure the web community would take this on .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 10:18am

    This is a good start, but, if you want to clean up DC, the only real way is to get the money out of that city. Eliminate all lobbying, PACs of any stripe, and hidden "contributions" to politicians. "course this also means nobody will run for Congress or the Senate cuz there'd be no money in it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Raging Alcoholic, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Jury is still out...

    I donated to both Gil and the MayDay PAC. I think you are right, get the Democrat and Republican talk out of there.

    Maybe look for a a number of percentage of "dark money" the other person took and use that.
    I think partisanship dilutes the message.

    On the other hand they may be split testing their ads to see which is most effective before they commit the bulk of their funds to an ad campaign.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Wow

    talk about strange bedfellows, i have to be with whatever here, i've just got one big 'meh' for the whole misguided effort...

    i just don't see us out-bribing the 1%...
    besides, it isn't JUST the campaign contributions (read: legalized bribery), it is the fact that they essentially control ALL the levers of power...
    you want to be a player, whose star are you going to hitch your wagon to, the 1% or the 99% ? ? ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Rocco Maglio (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Looks like just a Democrat ad attacking Scott Brown

    It looks to me to just be a Democrat ad attacking Scott Brown. These super PACs to end all super pacs ends up being another left leaning PAC. I guess I saw that coming when it was named the MayDay PAC. A pro union holiday is what the PAC is named after makes sense it is supporting the Union candidate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    TestPilotDummy, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    corporate and foreign affiliations ON THE BALLOT

    demand it!

    You should know that your representative doesn't represent YOU, but instead these psychopaths..

    AIPAC/DUAL ISRAEL CITIZEN (Israel first-er), PNAC (Project New American Century), CFR (Council of Foreign Relations), NATO (N. Atlantic Treaty Org), Trilateral Commission, United Nations (Agenda 21), Monsanto, Privatized SWAT teams, Nestle, on and on and on.

    Would make better reading on your Sample Ballot (that is if those infernal electronic vote tabulation devices are outlawed, and Paper Ballots in the SUNLIGHT with PUBLIC oversight (not Law enforcement-however there may be need for a LAW enforcement branch to "assist" poll workers with arrogant public officials trying to rig elections.) there must be an UNBROKEN chain of custody, else the entire election needs to be RE-DONE, NEXT DAY-- not this waiting CRAP.
    If there's something gone wrong, then YOU DON'T HOLD OFFICE OR POWER!

    This is how these BASTARDS got their power!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 4:40pm

    Re: corporate and foreign affiliations ON THE BALLOT

    korporations are people, mein gut freund...
    in fact, giant korporations are BETTER than people:
    they are wealthy... (why go any further)
    they are immortal...
    they are immoral...
    they are unaccountable...
    they are winners...

    obviously, people are not people any more, verstehen sie das ? ? ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    JWW (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:00am


    Since it appears that Mayday is well on their way to it.

    I'll make the prediction now:

    Mayday pack will, with their selection of candidates, pick 80% democrats.

    Their comments on being nonpartisan have always struck me as being very weak.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:58pm

    Positive Action is so much more fun than negative denial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Prediction

    Well, for the love of Pete, if you're trying to stomp out corruption in government, why on earth would you select people from the Corruption Party as candidates???

    I mean sure everyone knows that almost all politicians are corrupt to some degree - its a pre-requisite for the job - but Republicans have been almost bragging about how corrupt they are and doing everything in their power to turn America into a Feudal Nation run by billionaires for billionaires...

    At least most of the Democrats give lip service to justice and equality and the rule of law on occasion.

    I think the general idea behind this whole campaign is to show that honest people really do need to apply for the job of politician now, and that there is a place for honesty in government. The campaign is looking more towards the future of politics and future politicians, because the current choices are indeed already corrupted by lobbying and corporate financing in both parties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 11:50am

    Re: Wow

    I suppose they should lay down and watch things burn, cause that will surely work in getting something done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: Prediction

    In my opinion, the main problem with corruption doesn't lie so much in the parties or candidates. That's not to say that they don't have corruption issues as well, but that the main problem is that the corruption is systemic.

    As a result, even if you elected a complete saint into office, he wouldn't be able to get anything done without engaging in corrupt practices. It's how the system is geared.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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