Say It Ain’t So, Ken

Re Negative ads backfired in governor’s race, camps say

By CHRISTINA NUCKOLS, The Virginian-Pilot

© November 11, 2005

” Hutcheson said voters are partly to blame for the negative tone that has become more common in political campaigns.

“Voters are very lazy,” he said. “They’re uninformed because they choose to be uninformed. It’s depressing to me as someone who works in the business to see so many of our troops in Iraq dying for Iraqis to have the freedom to vote, the freedom we take for granted. … It’s a very sad commentary on our society, and so I think voters take some responsibility in the campaigns for how they’ve evolved over the years.”

This can’t be a correct quote, can it?

If it is, IF, I need to figure out a way to have it made in to a campaign button. Maybe a variation of “we’re not worthy” from Saturday Night Live skits…like “we’re so stooooopid”

Those uninformed voters fussed at me, GOP Party Bubba, from April through October over Kilgore’s platform and campaign.

But, what do I know? I guessed the final per cent vote wrong by 4 points. And, I thought the cartoon Kaine eating taxes was a good first step to reach for humor.

Guess it should have been funnier. I knew turnout would be low.

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8 responses to “Say It Ain’t So, Ken”

  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    I was there and did not hear that quote during the regular presentation. The event was supposed to end at 1:30, but they were just getting to questions from the audience at that time and I had to leave, so it probably came during the Q & A and probably had some context in regard to the question and the questioner.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Let me put that a bit more delicately.

    I heard about the comment on the street from somebody who had just left the program, so it made a fast and deep impression. And it spoke volumes about the campaign. Voters are not lazy and they are not stupid but they are busy and badly distracted and you need to win their attention and woo them to the polls. Outside of a small core of activists (maybe a third of the voters) everybody else needs a compelling reason to show up.

    The Monty Python ad was a compelling reason to not show up, and cause to wonder just who would think that was a proper way to ask the voters for the honor of joining Henry, Jefferson, Byrd and Godwin, Allen etc. in holding a job described as “no higher honor.” That ad marked the beginning of the slide, not Stanley and Adolph.

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Steve: Well said. Question. What about the use of humor? The ad wasn’t funny, but I had hopes (not a method I know) that it would be a step towards using humor to define the opponent instead of the relentless attack ads everyone hates.

  4. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    One of the best Virginia ads: Gilmore’s ad after Beyer pulled a flip flop on the car tax, showing the turn signal of a vehicle blinking left, left, left and then right, right, right. Humor is wonderful but as any writer will tell you, comedy is hard to do. I thought McDonnell’s piece on the frivilous lawsuits had a real touch of humor. And there were people who thought that tax ad was funny — and by the time we elected the next governor, some of them will be registered to vote.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Oh boy. I agree with Ken. Voters don’t care. They don’t pay attention and they don’t want to. In order to get their attention, you need to make loud noise. Sometimes that’s a big policy proposal, and sometimes that’s a negative attack.

    Please, come on people. Do you really think that voters pay even 1% as much attention as we do to this stufF?

  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Steve: Now that was good!

    Anon: Look at Steve’s post above. I would add a couple of things to what he said about the Good People being busy. There is an expectation among most Virginians that elected officials are supposed to do their jobs and not bother us. Limited government means leave us alone, pretty much, until Sep-Nov election time when you explain why you are fit for the job and what you’d like to do. We, voters, decide to hire you or not.

    There was real anger in some voters (in Tidewater) in the Transportation Tax Scam of 02 that Warner and the GA were making the voters decide about taxes – that is ‘their’ job and if they screw it up they get voted out.

    If you did polls in 04 or do polls in 06, you find out how few Virginians know what the GA is doing to raise taxes, the numbers, etc. Not cause they are lazy or stupid. Because they are busy and it’s not their job.

  7. JAB: You are a piece of work. Sometimes I can’t agree with you at all, and sometimes you come up with a real gem. This was a gem.

    The transportation tax in 02 was a scam. Tidewater and Northern VA couldn’t win. If they approved, they got the bill, in adition to the regular bill. If they disapproved, they got no relief.

    No wonder they were angry. The plan they were supposed to vote for had no goal, no schedule, no milestones, no accountability, and the only resources came out of their own pocket.

    Voters do pay attention, it’s the non-voters we should worry about.

  8. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Ray, thanks for back handed attaboy, really. Sometimes I agree with you, too.

    There was a very sinister side to the scam too.

    My political awareness, however imperfect, dates to the 1950s. From then until now Virginia has been a ‘clean’ government state. Our neighbors in Md and WVA send their politicians to jail regularly for felonies. VA may have been a good old boy One Party network – almost an oligarchy – but it was privileged corrupt as humans are wont, not criminal – except for the sin of segregation.

    The Tax Scam of 02 was going to send millions every month directly to the un-elected government – not the Treasury in Richmond as our Constitution specifies. So, the Bubbas on the Regional Transportation Tax authority got to choose the banks for the deposits, the office buildings, the staff, the support contracts, the lawyers, the environmental studies, the engineers etc, etc. without oversight. It smelled of corruption brewing.

    When I spoke against this in private and public I used to say, “If we lose,then y’all make sure that y’all appoint me to that Regional Transportation Government. Cause my kids, relations and friends will never have to worry about getting a loan from a bank, or a job etc. We will be set for life.”

    The Good People of Virginia got it.

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