"Vote No on Negative Campaigns"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, November 17, 2014

There must be a way, a way to recover from the bad taste displayed by all those election ads. Am I the only one that has had their fill?

I don’t blame the various media sources (I work for them), for printing and airing them. I also don’t hold them responsible for the honesty of the ads. I just can’t believe many of the ads that ran were truthful, and it’s hard to accept that candidates allowed their names to be attached to some of the worst of them.

If we the people were to believe what the worst ads accused their opponents of — there were no worthy candidates running for office.

Please don’t read my remarks as sour grapes; I have no ill feelings toward any of the winners, or losers either. It’s just hard to believe there is no truth, whatsoever, in advertising and public slander is OK if it appears in an ad? Let’s remember that’s what candidates were doing, advertising for a job.

It was hard to believe five or six political ads appeared mixed in with the normal commercials during each program break. Another unbelievable fact was the total amount spent on the nationwide campaigns, over $4 billion. That amount of money could have helped the homeless through the tough winter they are facing. It also would have gone a long way toward helping our deserving veterans who are in need of medical assistance and told they must wait.

On Oct. 30, Maureen Groppe, Gannett Washington Bureau reported: “Michigan’s Senate race is among the most expensive — and most negative — in the country ... at a spending rate of $32.6 million spent on TV ads through Oct. 23 with two-thirds of them being negative.” I would rate 100 percent of the gubernatorial ads as negative.

As I see it, many of the ads actually hurt the candidates they were supposed to support. As I viewed them, repeatedly, they appeared to be a total waste of time and money. The robo calls certainly didn’t help any candidate gain office. I actually received a call from a woman saying, “I would like your support of my husband -----. I can assure you he’s the best man running because I’m married to him.”

How did that assure me of anything besides the fact the woman was making a fool of herself.

Yes, large sums of money were spent, and it was spread around generously. Those glossy flyers in mailboxs daily were certainly expensive. Let’s hope the Postal Service was able to stash away enough cash from them to avoid that next postage cost increase. Actually, I would fully support that type of campaigning if I believed it was going to help keep our Postal Service alive and well. I did a little polling after casting my ballot.

I was not surprised to learn voters like myself were put out by the name-calling and unsavory commentary. The ads backfired because negative ads by candidates caused voters who were supportive to reverse their decisions. I know I was ready to vote for a candidate but saw them in a negative ad, and it cost them my vote.

It’s to be expected in a non-presidential election that voter turnout will be low. Voters in Huron County should be very proud of the numbers we posted — 46 percent of total registered voters. That amount was greater than the votes cast by the state as a whole and much better than the national vote. Proposals for education and health care gained support throughout the county also. Fire and law enforcement initiatives gained strong support in areas around the country.

Now if we can only get those Senate and House members to work together, do the jobs we elected them to do and avoid gridlocks.

Let’s hope they keep the promises they made in the heat of the election campaigns.


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