Grading the Campaign Ads: The print edition
No one hits it out of the ballpark in this round
Campaign mailers are arriving with the regularity of sweepstakes sweet talk promising surprise Ed McMahon visits. It's flared up especially in the Place 3 face-off between Jennifer Kim and Randi Shade. – Wells Dunbar
Kim has sent out three attack mailers. One sandbags Shade's campaign manager (Mark Nathan, never mentioned by name) as "a powerful City Hall insider and developer lobbyist who already advises several council members." Sorry, but the most nefarious thing we see coming from Nathan is Hawaiian Shirt Day at City Hall. Another says Shade stated "the city should have 'compromised' with developers instead of passing the Save Our Springs ordinance." Shade has clarified the compromise she spoke of, saying it should have occurred at the Lege – which might not have gutted the provisions of the ordinance by grandfathering practically every pre-SOS development under the sun. On public safety, Kim's mailer says Shade "agreed to increased funding for management positions, committing to substantial spending increases." The Kim campaign defended the ad by citing an editorial from the union-hating Austin-American Statesman – and that's the problem, right there.
Shade's campaign released a nasty mailer highlighting Kim's steep office expenses: nights at the W Hotel, retreats at the Crossings, and yuppie ephemera from the Sharper Image. Along with receipts, it displays outraged quotes from news reports on Kim's spending – prompted by the Shade campaign, natch. It's a little like Dick Cheney feeding bogus scoops to the Times, then tut-tutting them on Meet the Press to back up his own claims. (Very little, actually.) Plus the MasterCard joke ("getting re-elected to the City Council anyway: priceless") is a little played.