Satirical Campaign Skewers Attack Ads

The AARP has released a fake ad for a fictional candidate in an attempt to encourage informed voting. The imaginary Jack Phillips is running for an unnamed office in no state in particular, but he is losing no time in slinging mud at his equally fictitious opponent, Claire Lee. In true 21st century style, candidate Phillips has his own Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and YouTube channel, to boot. In a hysterical (but true-ringing) ad on the fake website, Phillips accuses Claire Lee of wanting to repeal the Declaration of Independence, being mean to kids, and giving jobs to robots instead of human workers. The ad sputters as the actors rebel against the ridiculousness of the attacks. The point is that voters need real information, not snark, lies and melodrama. 
The actual fake ad cannot be embedded here but the creators give a tiny taste of the satire here:

The ad sends people to the American Association of Retired Persons site, with a customized voter’s guide featuring the candidates’ own words and AARP’s position on certain issues (the version for my zip code includes an option for information in Spanish.) 

The AARP notes that — if past trends continue — two of every three voters in the 2010 elections will be age 45 and older, or double the number of voters younger than 45. In keeping with its mission of serving Americans over 50, the AARP voter information focuses on only a few topics: The Economy, The Deficit, Social Security, Medicare Fraud and Access to Doctors.  While these are undoubtedly of interest to older voters and all voters, there are other issues (war, environment,  climate change, education, etc.) that deserve more than equal consideration when casting your vote, no matter how old you are.

Informed voters are the best weapon against special interests and the political money machine. Love AARP or not (they are one of the most powerful special interest groups in Washington), this campaign is a breath of fresh air.  Let’s hope the real Jack Phillips of this world don’t stand a chance.

Image: Still from Jack Phillips campaign "ad"


Dave C.
David C7 years ago

try to learn about the issues as much as possible before voting...

Sharon R.

I love it! thanks Nancy

Jim Steve
Jim Steve7 years ago

Previous was from: "Democrats increasingly go negative in midterm ads"

By T.W. Farnam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 29, 2010

"It's not the "Party of Hope" right now - many embattled Democrats have gone negative"........

Jim Steve
Jim Steve7 years ago

From the Washington Post yesterday:

"Many Democratic candidates, faced with running on accomplishments that haven't been embraced by voters, are using a tested, if unsavory, tactic: attacking their opponents' character, according to data provided by a new study. The strategy of these Democrats is to turn the election from a referendum on their record into a choice - one where the other side is "too extreme," a label that has become a common refrain in TV ads across the country.

An analysis of advertising by the Wesleyan Media Project shows that Democratic candidates are running a higher percentage of negative ads and are more likely to go after their opponents' personal characteristics instead of their policy positions.

"Republicans are substantively more policy-focused," said Michael Franz, a professor at Bowdoin College who worked on the study. "The policy environment really isn't favorable to Democrats. Trying to run on that record just isn't going to play that well."

Data collected by the project show that 29 percent of Democratic House and Senate candidates' ads are negative, up from 13 percent in 2008. By comparison, Republicans' share of attack ads has dropped from 28 percent to 21 percent. Further, 35 percent of the negative ads run by Democrats are focused exclusively on policy. By contrast, Republicans were focused exclusively on policy 57 percent of the time.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR7 years ago

Yes AARP, another arm of the Dem party talks of ethics in politics. The same AARP that officially blessed ObamaCare while ignoring its members concerns and anger over the issue. That shows the AARP's understanding of ethics in much of anything.

Its kind of like saying the NRA is non partisan, it may be true 'officially' but like with the AARP it's false in the breach.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Steve A.
Steve A7 years ago

Sorry. I forgot to include that this was a survey on 'Ethical And Honest Professions' by Roy Morgan Research
And more oops. I quoted the 2005 survey.

Steve A.
Steve A7 years ago

A recent survey in Australia produced the results below.
With politicians, tv and print journalists and advertising all scoring at the bottom of the table why would anyone take any notice of political adverts?

1 Nurses
2 Pharmacists
3 Doctors
4 School teachers
5 Engineers
6 Dentists
7 Police
8 State Supreme Court Judges
9 High Court Judges
10 University lecturers
11 Ministers of Religion
12 Accountants
13 Bank managers
14 Lawyers
15 Public opinion pollsters
16 Talk-back radio announcers
17 Union leaders
18 Directors of public companies
19 TV reporters
20 Business executives
21 Federal politicians
22 Stock brokers
23 Insurance brokers
24 State politicians
25 Newspaper journalists
26 Advertising people
27 Estate agents
28 Car salesmen

Ana G.
.7 years ago

I review voting record. I listen to pertinent news. I stick to a handful of issues that are pivotal for me, gay rights, pro choice, separation of church and state. And these become my primary factors for voting.

One thing lately is affiliation with the Mormon church or other extreme religions or organizations. I never considered this before. But after Glenn Beck, and the Prop 8, it is now a critical factor for me.

Of course, I have had more time to do this of late since I am unemployed. But even when I had little time, I at least checked voting record for the candidates.

Muriel D.
meo D7 years ago

To Janet W -- It is obvious where you are getting your information from... How easily we forgot the 8 years under his regime -- when big money took a front seat to the People, corporate welfare, deregulations, Wall Street Collapse, 911, increased spending, increased government control on all but the corps that need it, Supreme Court appointees that allowed corp control over the elections -- hmm, can I continue? Oh yes I can -- Halliburton, stolen election in 2000 & 2004, torturing, Executive Orders signed in secret, war crimes, deforestation, drilling in Alaska, ending environmental protection acts previously signed, etc., etc...

Now, I do not Love the government that we have now, but at least we have seen more progress to the good and toward the Middle Class that fund this country than in the previous administration -- decrease in unemployment problems than were anticipated after the Bush mess, although not perfect -- a health care reform act, which is more than GOP ever provided, credit card reform act, and Wall Street reform -- which "the party of NO" won't let pass.

Don't you see that those you support are so into the pockets of Big Business and do their bidding -- not yours. Like the GOP Senator that apologized to BP, like the 500M in campaign contributions paid to the GOP and Tea Party... Wake up -- they are not buttering your bread. They are buttering those who can afford more than bread...