Candidates for governor of Idaho have been filling the airwaves with campaign commercials, and as the May 15 Idaho primary election approaches, many have gone on the attack. Adding to the negative ads run by the candidates themselves are virulent ads run by outside groups, including a new one that features close-ups of an attacking, fork-tongued snake as it describes two of the candidates – Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist. That ad is being run by the “Protect Freedom PAC,” which is operated by Sen. Rand Paul and is backing Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador for governor.
Most of the claims in the negative ads are based on a kernel of truth, that’s then exaggerated and twisted into something that sounds politically unpalatable – and in the end, leaves a false and negative impression.
“Negative ads have some effectiveness, so we’re going to continue to see them,” said Boise State University political scientist Jaclyn Kettler. “I think most citizens just view them with some frustration, even if they do manage to pick up some information – at the very least that there’s an election happening.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.