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“There’s no longer a question that they should be a component of any campaign,” she said.

A man of his medium

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most controversial spot Mr. Ehlinger has produced involves an assault rifle, dollar bills, a blood-red horror-movie font and a stripper pole. Plus the now-infamous Twitter image of Anthony Weiner’s bulge.

Created last year to support tea party challenger Craig Huey’s race against former Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn for a vacant seat in California’s 36th Congressional District, the ad attacks Ms. Hahn’s support of a local gang-intervention program by having two gun-toting black rappers sing “give me your cash, [expletive], so we can shoot up the streets,” while slapping the jiggling rear end of a white female stripper sporting Ms. Hahn’s superimposed face.

Viewed charitably, the spot is a clumsy spoof of 1990s rap-video cliches, wrapped in a bow of sophomoric sexism. To a less sympathetic eye, it’s racist and misogynistic.

Reaction to the ad was swift: Ms. Hahn labeled it “extreme and offensive,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called on Mr. Huey to condemn it and a spokesman for Mr. Huey disavowed the ad while dubbing its makers “very fringe.”

Lost in the outrage, however, was the text disclaimer at the end: Definitely NOT authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee … so suck it, McCain-Feingold.”

“A lot of this, I do for fun,” Mr. Ehlinger said. “All the articles, whether they’re saying good or bad things, I’ll just sit there laughing my butt off.”

Though Mr. Ehlinger describes himself as conservative, he is first and foremost a provocateur, straight from the Alfred E. Neuman school of spitball hurling. In that sense, he’s decidedly a man of his medium: On the Internet, crass, button-pushing, non-sequitur humor is the order of the day.

Mr. Ehlinger once created an attack ad that featured the head of Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, superimposed on a dancing body. Why? Because Mr. Ehlinger thought it was funny. His “Turn This Ship Around” spot for Mr. Oxner contains a two-bathtub visual reference to erectile-dysfunction drug commercials and apes the style and tone of a computer-animated Taiwanese news-spoof series that is exceedingly popular online.

“The ad doesn’t look like something you would see on television,” UCLA’s Mr. Groeling said. “It looks Internet. It’s offensive, but also just wacky. There’s a whole sort of genre of how people express themselves online, where people don’t necessarily hold the same things against you.”

Mr. Ehlinger never planned on becoming a political activist. He grew up wanting to make movies, majoring in communication at the University of New Orleans.

As an aspiring independent filmmaker, he ran into what he called “the peanut butter and jelly problem.”

“When you’re independent, you basically have to con people into working for you for free,” he said. “And then you feed them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

After working for NASA and the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command as a computer animator, Mr. Ehlinger founded a digital-rendering firm and made a pair of animated films, one of them the story of a conservative talk-radio host trapped in a post-apocalyptic world of liberal zombies. (Don’t ask).

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