First Negative Ads Hit the Airwaves in Supreme Court Contests (VIDEOS)
If it’s mid-October, it’s negative campaign ad season.
Of course, the biggest contest this year is the battle for three open seats on the PA Supreme Court. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the videos pertain to that race.
As Dave Davies of WHYY reports, these spots are from the independent group Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform. The organization created three separate ads to target each Republican.
Superior Court Judge Judy Olson is portrayed as “out of touch”.
It goes after her opposition to abortion, questions whether she would protect workers and asserts she is “financed by some of the most radical tea party groups in Pennsylvania.”
Commonwealth Court Anne Covey on the other hand is painted as incompetent and dishonest.
“Supreme Court candidate Anne Covey has a problem,” the narrator states before listing incidents in which she allegedly lied.
“Pennsylvania needs judges whose honesty is unquestioned,” the narrator states. “Not Anne Covey.”
The harshest ad, however, is saved for Adams County Court Judge Michael George.
Every cycle the most negative commercials are usually reserved for judicial and AG races. That’s because the official may have some case where they defended someone who did something horrific. Another frequently used example is a judge that granted furloughs to a prisoner who committed a crime on leave.
This phenomenon probably began with the infamous Willie Horton commercial from the 1988 presidential election.
The goal is not so much to criticize the candidate involved but to mention as many unsavory things as possible while their picture is displayed on the screen. The hope is that viewers implicitly blame the official for the heinous acts.
Judge George receives an especially harsh treatment from the ad, which finishes by asking if PA can afford putting him on the Supreme Court.
Judging by the tone of these videos, and the importance of gaining a majority on the Commonwealth’s highest court, expect more of these in the near future.