BOISE – The newest TV ad to surface in Idaho’s gubernatorial campaign this year is a second one from Democrat A.J. Balukoff, themed around the historic Oregon Trail wagon ruts south of Boise.
“It’s another good introduction piece, but it doesn’t seem to be much different from the first one,” said Jim Weatherby, professor emeritus of public policy at Boise State University. “He needs to get his name out there and continue to introduce himself, but I think we need to pretty soon hear some more from him in terms of what a Balukoff Administration would look like and how different it might be from an Otter Administration.”
The only promise Balukoff makes in the ad is a general one, to “make quality schools and good jobs a priority.”
Otter has been preparing a campaign commercial, though it’s not yet aired.
Balukoff also appears to be responding to the independent campaign launched against him by a business lobbying group, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, which he has accused of lies and distortions; that effort includes a website dubbed “LiberalAJ.com.” At the end of his latest commercial, Balukoff displays this slogan on the screen: “Work hard. Tell the truth. Put people first.”
However, Balukoff’s campaign spokesman, Mike Lanza, said that’s been Balukoff’s campaign slogan “since very early on.” Lanza said, “It’s just what he believes in and lives by.”
The new Balukoff ad began airing this week in southern Idaho, while his earlier ad continues to air in the Spokane TV market; Lanza said the campaign likely would start the new ad there as well in a few weeks.