commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Going Viral (AD wise ) in Alabama…

This piece courtesy of  DSD…..

…….Goes on to explain how politicians (particularly in Alabama ) say one thing…Do an ad about (Just one ad) …Then hope it finds legs of it own…..

After paying  for the ad……

Making it good enough so the media picks it up….

Then ….WaLa!…

Free exposure…and …on to defining your opponent..and putting them on the ropes…

There is quite a lot of this sort of thing going on this campaign season. You raise enough cash to film an outrageous ad. Then you post it on the Web and pray that it goes viral, gets mentioned on the cable talk shows and draws in enough donations to put the thing on TV.

The trend goes back to Demon Sheep, the legendary ad for Carly Fiorina’s campaign for the Senate nomination in California. It had regular sheep and then cartoon sheep and then a guy crawling around the ground disguised as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He had on a cardboard mask with red light bulbs for eyes. I believe the message was supposed to be fiscal responsibility, but really, all you got was Demon Sheep. Red eyes. Carly Fiorina.

The man who made it, Fred Davis III, then took up the cause of Tim James, a deeply unremarkable Alabama businessman who wants to be governor. To separate James from the crowd, Davis came up with “Language,” a 30-second ad in which the candidate stared at the camera and demanded to know why “our politicians make us give driver’s license exams in 12 languages.” (The actual answer is: a federal court ruling.)

“This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it,” James said irritably. “We’ll only give the test in English if I’m governor. Maybe it’s the businessman in me, but we’ll save money.”

James’s staff insisted it was fiscal conservatism, not xenophobia, that put their candidate on the driver’s license warpath. But Alabama’s tests are automatically graded by computer, using federally financed software — even the approximately 2 percent that are taken in a language other than English. Given the fact that the state would probably have to defend the policy in court, James’s idea would actually be a new expense.

But I cannot emphasize how totally beside the point all that is. “Language” went viral. “This is the first election in a long time where the fate of the campaign really did change on a single ad,” said David Lanoue, chairman of the University of Alabama political science department.

James is now one of the front-runners, despite a last-minute crisis involving a rumor that he believed the state was spending too much money on the University of Alabama football coach, who makes $4.1 million a year. Which James vigorously denied wanting to cut. It’s the businessman in him.

He now has a sequel to the driver’s license ad, in which he says that as a businessman, he feels sex offenders should be required to “re-register with the state, face to face, every 90 days.”

“Some politicians think that might inconvenience the sex offenders,” James said somberly. He did not explain who those politicians were, but I suspect the same guys who keep stealing Dale Peterson’s signs.

This has been a peculiar political year, even for Alabama. James’s biggest opponent, Bradley Byrne, was attacked by a group called True Republican PAC, which ran an ad charging that Byrne supported the teaching of evolution….


May 30, 2010 Posted by | Boats, Breaking News, DSD @PoliticalDog101, Education, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 5 Comments

The Dogs mother talks about Gambling in Alabama……and the race for Governor goes silent…..

A state trooper stands inside VictoryLand in Shorter, Ala., in January. The gaming complex, which employed 1,600, closed to avert a raid by the state task force.

[ A state trooper stands inside VictoryLand in Shorter, Ala., in January. The gaming complex, which employed 1,600, closed to avert a raid by the state task force. ]

My mother …who’s in her eighties …lives in Mobile, Alamaba….and while I was talking to here this afternoon…I asked here if there was anything going on down there  that I could write about on the Dog……

She got quiet for a moment…she said she had stopped looking at the news because she wanted to stop yelling at the TV….we both laughed…..

They she remarked…..Gambling….she went on to say people in that city where hot about the crack down on gambling……I asked her about what kind of gambling…..and she told me Casino’s……

Well …the Dog has done some sniffing around and found this……..

The VictoryLand gambling complex in this town of 375 is Macon County’s largest employer and biggest taxpayer. It has helped pay for police cars and raises for county employees.

In Alabama, slot machines are illegal — but thousands of people for years have played machines that seem identical to slots. The state long ignored it. “That’s one of the things that’s puzzling to a lot of people,” says Bradley Moody, associate professor of political science at Auburn University-Montgomery. “If this is a moral issue for Gov. Riley, why wasn’t it morally unacceptable in, say, February 2003?” Riley was elected in 2002.

Chickasaw, a city of 6,000, opened a bingo casino in February. The task force raided it the same day. Mayor Byron Pittman says plans called for 500 machines generating $4 million a year for the city, more than doubling its annual budget. He says the city wanted to spend the money on a 50% increase of the police force and other improvements.

Things may get ugly down there before this is over…..

The fight over gambling in Alabama has a rich, layered story: the governor and his wife being shouted down by gambling supporters in Montgomery; the first head of the gambling task force resigning in January after acknowledging that he won $2,300 at a Mississippi casino; the specter of an armed confrontation between one defiant county sheriff and his deputies and the task force.

Now, in the worst recession in generations, VictoryLand is shuttered. Its 1,600 employees are trying to get unemployment checks and planning to protest Saturday against the actions that cost them their jobs, says Marlin King, 31, of nearby Tuskegee, out of work for just over a month. “We don’t know what this is all about, what’s legal and what’s not,” he says. “We’re just hoping it’ll reopen.”

VictoryLand is embroiled in an intense battle over gambling in Alabama. The state’s lame-duck governor,Republican Bob Riley, began a crackdown on illegal gambling 15 months ago. He declared that thousands of gambling devices — electronic bingo machines — in 16 of the state’s 67 counties are actually slot machines, which are illegal in Alabama.

His Task Force on Illegal Gambling launched raids on casinos. VictoryLand closed to avert one. Local elected officials such as Macon County Commission Chairman Louis Maxwell, whose budgets rely on gambling, say their machines are legal.

Attorney General Troy King, a Republican, says the task force should stop the raids and get court rulings declaring electronic bingo illegal in each county instead of risking “harm to law enforcement or the public with further warrantless raids.”

Nonsense, says John Tyson, head of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling and Mobile County district attorney. “These are slot machines, and slot machines are illegal,” says Tyson, a Democrat.

Only one of Alabama’s four largest non-Indian casinos, Greentrack in Greene County, remains open. Greene County Sheriff Ison Thomas has said that bingo machines there are legal and that he won’t allow a raid by the task force.

Tyson says Thomas “does raise the specter” of an armed confrontation. “I hope it doesn’t get to the point where we have to arrest another law enforcement officer,” he says.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley speaks over the jeers of a crowd in favor of bingo on the Statehouse steps in Montgomery on Feb. 23.

[ Alabama Gov. Bob Riley speaks over the jeers of a crowd in favor of bingo on the Statehouse steps in Montgomery on Feb. 23. ]

All of this plays against the states Governor’s race…..which is entering its last months….

From Steve Flowers @ atmoreadvance…..

With all the furor created by our outgoing governor over electronic bingo, the fact that we have a governor’s race has flown completely under the media’s radar screen.

However, this is a premier governor’s race because it is the first gubernatorial contest without an incumbent governor on the ballot in over two decades. The contest has now been ongoing for close to a year.

As early as seven months ago I foolhardily predicted the winners and losers in the 2010 Governor’s Race. With just three months until the June 1 primary, I stand by my prognostications.

If you recall, in early August of 2009 I told you that Bradley Byrne and Tim James would be the top contenders in the Republican primary and that they would eventually be pitted in a GOP runoff to face Democrat Artur Davis in November. I stand solidly behind that scenario. My prediction at that time was based on intuition. Today’s confirmation prognosis is based on fact.

Tim James is the comer in this contest. Byrne was pegged as the early favorite but it is going to be a horserace between these two conservatives. James, the son of former Governor Fob James, is personable and telegenic.

On the Democratic side, Congressman Artur Davis transferred $1 million from his congressional war chest and raised another $1 million. His challenger in the Democratic primary, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, only raised about $165,000. Whether Sparks has any money or not may be irrelevant. This race may be closer than expected. Sparks will benefit from the George Wallace admonition that more folks vote against someone than for someone.

March 5, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Crime, Entertainment, Family, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , | 1 Comment

CD on the Alabama races……..

From CD……

[Davis, Folsom and  George Wallace Jr. ]

James B, Davis will likely be the Democratic nominee for Alabama governor in June, but he’ll have an uphill battle against whoever comes out of the Republican primary bloodbath.

On the down-ballot statewide offices, Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., (D) will easily win re-election to a 4th term, and AL Democrats will keep both houses of the Legislature again, and George Wallace, Jr., (R) will get the State Treasurer’s gig again for a 3rd non-consecutive term.


James B, the other Republican candidates for Alabama Governor include outgoing State Treasurer Kay Ivey (R), former State Senator Bradley Byrne (R), Tim James (R)-the son of former Gov. Fob “the Slob” James (R), who served from January 15, 1979-January 17, 1983; January 16, 1995-January 18, 1999 as the state’s 48th chief executive, and former AL Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R).


February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Government, Media, Politics, Updates | , | 8 Comments

CD…on the Alabama Races……

For everyone on here:

The list of statewide candidates in Alabama:

US Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) appears to be the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee at this point……

…….. while the AL GOP will have a NASTY primary to see who’s more conservative, which is heading to a July runoff.

Governor Bob Riley (R) is barred from seeking a 3rd consecutive term, and his term ends on January 17, 2011.

Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., (D) will win BIG in his re-election bid to a 4th term (he’s won 5 statewide elections, including the Public Service Commission).

State Attorney General Troy King (R) will get re-elected to a 2nd full four-year term, in which he will become the state’s longest-serving State AG by 2014.

State Treasurer: former State Treasurer George Wallace, Jr., (R) will get his old gig back for a 3rd non-consecutive term.

February 1, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , | Leave a comment