Monday, October 19, 2009

VIDEO: Maine's New NO on 1 Ad Uses Attorney General's Opinion Against Opposition

Though the use of Attorney General Janet Mills' recent opinion was necessary and powerful, the overall tone of this most recent ad takes us back on the defense. The last NO on 1 ad with the Catholic mom was strong and on the offense.

Also, the use of the word "inappropriate" when talking about what will be taught in schools I feel is, well, inappropriate. The prior Yes on 1 ad used fearmongering, saying gay sex will be taught in schools, so I understand the urge to respond to this. However, implying that sex education is inappropriate somehow strengthens the opposition's argument.

But yet again, the NO on 1 side is impressive with fast responses. The longer it takes any campaign to respond to an opposition's attack, the more viewers will interpret the message of the attack as gospel. Mainers may barely have time to process the Yes on 1 lies before seeing a NO ad.

Open Left's Adam Bink
was able to attend today's "Yes on 1 debunking" press conference with Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree and former Attorney General Jim Tierney. (See the press release)

Get involved! Go to NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality!


  1. Sorry to continue a theme here, but you are off base on your various analyses of the response ads. Response ads by definition defend against a claim by your opponent. It is fairly meaningless to criticize a rebuttal ad for being defensive.

    The key is to have the resources to both defend and attack. So far, No on 1 had done exactly that. And they have made sure that both the defense and the offense follow a consistent message and strengthen one other. That is why all of the ads return to the same images of real Maine families.

    BTW, just to acknowledge an old comment by you from a couple of weeks ago: I think your criticism of No on 1 is constructive and thoughtful, even when I disagree with it. You base your criticism on facts and observations and you make it with the best of intentions. And I absolutely acknowledge that you praise them when they deserve it. So please keep it up!

    In fact, I'll add my own criticism: This last ad should have used the Obama statement.

  2. Hi Steven,

    We do have good conversations about these ads. That's one of the reasons I created this blog. Different views being discussed for a common purpose.

    I stand by my analysis. I believe there are great ways of being on the offense while giving a rebuttal.

    NO on 1 was, frankly, amazing with the Catholic mom ad. It was a rebuttal to the religious attack by Bishop Malone without directly addressing Malone and the church's actions. It was an offensive move. This is what sent the Yes on 1 into a frenzy because they knew they lost that argument.

    Which is why they're sticking to the school mantra.

    The prior Yes on 1 ad talked directly about "gay sex" stirring up what they hoped in the viewers their most base fears. I think the NO on 1 could have addressed this more powerfully without the use of "inappropriate." At the same time, they squeezed in the AG's opinion. I feel it's two ads squeezed into one and so both lose some of their impact. Though the AG should pack a whopper still.

    Obama's quote would have easily been turned against us. All they would have to do is use the same sound clip the Yes on 8 did where he said he didn't support same-sex marriage and the Yes side would then say, "They're lying to you. Just like they're lying about schools."

    The NO campaign knows I love their work and dedication. These criticisms are done with good intentions for all of us to hone our ability to create a strong responses by discussing what each of us think. I know I'm not always right.

    Many of us are learning as we go. Maine can be history. And a great game plan for future campaigns.

  3. I don't mind the use of the word "inappropriate" in the ad because it is such a subjective and ultimately meaningless term. However, in general I think that this ad is too defensive and keeps alive the idea that people should really be worried about what will be taught in the schools. No on 1 should move on. I think using an Obama quote would be useful, but also a simple statement about equality under the law would also be effective. "Gay families pay taxes, they deserve the same rights as any other family. Equality under the law is a bedrock principle of the American experiment." Something like that.