Thursday, November 09, 2000

Fighting dirty

Mud catchers beat slingers

        The harder they hit, the harder they fell. In Tuesday's election, the local TV ad campaigns that went the furthest in attacking the opposition — sometimes stepping over the boundary from truth to distortion — were among the most ineffective.

        In fact, the more attack ads thrown at a candidate, the better his or her chances of winning.

        • The multimillion-dollar campaign led by Ohio business executives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick laid an egg. The ads accused her of selling her vote in court cases to campaign contributors. She was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote.

        • The Hamilton County Republican Party spent about $200,000 to save County Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus with its “Liberal Portune” ad campaign. They made dubious claims that Cincinnati Councilman Todd Portune supported gay marriage and letting criminals turn in guns for sneakers and not face jail time. Mr. Portune won.

        • An Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee ad against Democrat Steve Driehaus in the 33rd Ohio House District accused Mr. Driehaus falsely of advocating an income tax increase. Mr. Driehaus won with 56 percent of the vote.

        The sponsors of attack ads went a bit too far, said Xavier University political scientist Gene Beaupre. “There's a point in this kind of advertising where you go from creating an enemy to creating a victim,” he said. “When you turn the opposition into a victim, it will jump back and bite you.”




KIESEWETTER: Right or wrong, it was dramatic TV
Enquirer waited all night long for winner
Tristate rides election 'roller coaster'
Ohio turnout called disappointing
BRONSON: A nation divided
PULFER: Women voters
HOWARD: Black voters
SAMPLES: Civics lesson
- WILKINSON: Fighting dirty
Bedinghaus lost support in suburbs
Council vacancy attracts interest
SULLIVAN: Bob Bedinghaus
Children know what levy means
City schools will reap benefits as soon as January
Butler leaders see mandate for growth
Covington mayor-elect says issues key to win
Covington schools get fresh faces, fresh start
Democrats licking wounds
Glitches in Kenton slow voting
Lakota levy to add 2 schools
Losing candidate is jailed
Ohio election of '74 similar to Bush-Gore
Ousted mayor unbowed
Piper hopes to smooth feathers
Political types have night of angst
School cuts loom in Norwood
Voters said no; schools changing plans