- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DELAWARE

O'Donnell ad firm did Fiorina spot

DOVER | The marketing firm hoping to convince Delaware voters that Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell is not a witch is no stranger to provocative ads.

Ms. O'Donnell opens her first general election TV ad by asserting she is not a witch, a reference to a 1999 late-night talk-show appearance in which she said she had “dabbled” in witchcraft as a teenager.

The ad was produced by Strategic Perceptions, which was also behind the “Demon Sheep” ad earlier this year for California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. That ad, which went viral on the Internet, portrayed Mrs. Fiorina’s GOP primary opponent, Tom Campbell, as a demonic wolf in sheep’s clothing, only pretending to be another member of a herd of fiscal conservatives, but in reality a “fiscal conservative in name only.”

NEW YORK

Conservative ends run for House

SARANAC LAKE | A Conservative Party candidate has dropped out of a U.S. House race in northern New York, telling his backers they should vote for the Republican who defeated him in last month’s primary.

Doug Hoffman says he didn’t intend to split the Republican vote when he decided to continue his run on the Conservative Party line after losing the GOP nomination to Matthew Doheny, who’s challenging incumbent Democrat Bill Owens for the 23rd Congressional District seat.

Mr. Owens won a special election last year after a challenge by the “tea party”-backed Mr. Hoffman forced Republican Dede Scozzafava out of the race. But her name remained on the ballot and she and Mr. Hoffman split the GOP vote. That allowed Mr. Owens to narrowly win the seat Republicans had held for decades.

Mr. Hoffman’s decision was first reported Tuesday by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

WISCONSIN

NFL flags Feingold ad for ‘clipping’

MILWAUKEE | The NFL is flagging Sen. Russ Feingold’s latest ad, asking the Democratic incumbent to pull unauthorized footage of Randy Moss pretending to moon the Green Bay crowd in 2004.

The TV ad, which the campaign said was released statewide Tuesday, opens with a series of clips of football players dancing in the end zone. A four-second clip shows Mr. Moss clearly wearing his Minnesota Vikings uniform. The others featured are not playing in NFL games.

“We did not license the footage and have contacted the senator’s campaign about removing it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The Feingold campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Polls show Mr. Feingold slightly trailing his opponent, political newcomer Ron Johnson of Oshkosh, with four weeks left before the general election.

Mr. Feingold says in the ad that football celebrations such as the ones shown are called “excessive celebration,” punishable by fines and 15-yard penalties.

“It’s exactly the kind of behavior the corporate special interests and Ron Johnson are engaging in,” he says.

OBAMA

Presidential seal takes a tumble

The presidential seal fell off President Barack Obama’s podium and clattered to the stage as Mr. Obama delivered a speech to a women’s conference in downtown Washington Tuesday evening.

The president was joking with the audience and getting some laughs when he realized what happened. “All of you know who I am,” he quipped.

Mr. Obama told the audience that somebody in the back of the large room was really nervous, referring to the staffer who hung the seal on the front of the lectern so precariously.

The seal fell about halfway through the president’s remarks to Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women Summit” Tuesday at Carnegie Mellon Auditorium in Washington.

WHITE HOUSE

First lady asks supporters for cash

First lady Michelle Obama is asking her husband’s supporters to pitch in with cash to help Democrats re-create the get-out-the-vote machine that helped deliver Barack Obama to the White House two years ago.

In an e-mail sent Monday from the president’s political arm, Mrs. Obama asked for donations as small as $3. She wrote that each dollar donated would be matched by another supporter as Democrats hope to fend off emboldened Republicans who could take the majority of the House and possibly the Senate.

“The plan for this election is based on the lessons we learned two years ago,” Mrs. Obama said. “Our organizers and volunteers are knocking on doors every weekend, making calls every night. Your support will help to fund this work.”

Mrs. Obama, who enjoys high popularity and is an in-demand guest on the campaign trail, also plans a call with activists Wednesday, hoping to reignite the enthusiasm that elevated a freshman senator to the presidency.

INDIANA

Ellsworth resumes ads against Coats

INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana’s Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth has launched a Senate campaign ad targeting his main rival’s lobbying background and saying his firm helped companies ship local jobs overseas.

Mr. Ellsworth’s ad, launched Tuesday, says Republican Dan Coats, a former senator, “sold out Indiana to line his pockets.”

The ad comes as a new poll showed some 51 percent of likely voters favored Mr. Coats over Mr. Ellsworth and candidate Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris.

Mr. Ellsworth’s supporters hope the ad will help make up ground ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

Mr. Coats’ campaign spokesman, Pete Seat, calls the commercial “a predictable, false attack” and says Hoosiers dread “the higher taxes and increased spending” that “Ellsworth consistently supports.”

NEW YORK

Backing, cash flow in attorney general race

ALBANY | The candidates for New York attorney general continue to add endorsements and cash as they head toward their first debate Friday.

State Sen. Eric Schneiderman was recently endorsed by two fellow Democrats, former Attorney General Robert Abrams and Sen. Charles E. Schumer. He reports raising more than $312,000 in the past week, with $1 million on hand for campaigning.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan recently added an endorsement from Republican Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to previous backing from New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Mr. Donovan reports raising more than $414,000 since his last required report in mid-July.

Mr. Donovan, who’s also running on the Conservative Party line, shows $444,000 on hand, including $10,000 from former Republican Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato.