How we make the call
A false statement about a candidate’s position or a fact involving policy. It’s one thing to point out differences between records. It’s another for a candidate or third-party group to present false information or inaccurately portray a candidate’s political record.
A statement that distorts a candidate’s record or a fact involving policy, or which omits a fact that is essential to understanding a candidate’s position.
A statement that may be generally truthful, but lacks context and could easily mislead or be misconstrued.
A statement, however strident, that is based on accurate facts.
You may have assumed that because Michigan had a competitive governor's race, an open Senate seat and a reindeer farmer/Santa impersonator fighting out his congressional primary that we would have the craziest, weirdest and funniest campaign ads of the season?
Clearly, you weren't watching TV in Louisiana, where U.S. Senate candidate Rob Maness was shown wrapping tape around a alligator's snout. Or in Iowa, where Joni Ernst, another Senate candidate, introduced herself to voters by announcing her early training in hog castration. Or in Ohio, where J.D. Winteregg's campaign crafted a one-minute spoof of pharmaceutical ads for an embarrassing gentleman's problem -- electile dysfunction (The ad warns listeners to seek medical attention "if you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years").
But don't take our word for it; check out the "highlights" of these ads from across the country for yourself.
First, behold the power of a simple image, i.e., a monkey sitting on a woman's shoulder, in an ad attacking U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Georgia:
Eric Cantor is a conservative, and don't you forget it. Just to make sure you don't, the narrator reminds you, and then plays nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah with his primary opponent, David Brat, identified as a "college professor" (complete with cap and gown), one who worked for "Democrat governor Tim Kaine." Guess who had the last laugh? Brat routed the incumbent Cantor:
You want to watch Rob Maness rassle that gator, don't ya? Yeah, well...
And here's a big heapin' of Joni Ernst, hog castrator. "Let's make 'em squeal!"
And yes, in case you were wondering, there are more PG-13 puns in the "electile dysfunction" ad than you can shake a blister pack of Viagra at:
There is so much gun-toting in contemporary ads that the next time we need to scare up a well-armed militia, the first stop should be the halls of Congress. Alison Lundergan Grimes can lead the infantry in the next War on Skeet. Pull!
Is this an outtake from a "Blazing Saddles" remake, or what? We're not sure:
But before we go, we have to circle back to Michigan, where two ads have turned up on a few hall-of-shame lists. Given the lead Rep. Gary Peters has opened over Terri Lynn Land, we have to wonder if this late-arriving entry was somebody's favor to a friend who wanted to try South Park-style animation at a discount rate. Witness the majesty that is Loan Sharknado:
And finally, Land's ad, which ran weeks ago and made even Republicans ask, "What was she thinking?" Behold, the "Really" spot: