Obama Heckled by Gay Rights Advocates

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June 24, 2011, 8:57 a.m.

Ex-Hew­lett Pack­ard CEO Carly Fior­ina’s (R) “is cri­ti­ciz­ing” Sen. Bar­bara Box­er (D) “over a fun­draiser sponsored by lob­by­ists who help loc­al gov­ern­ments and agen­cies ob­tain fed­er­al ear­marks.”

Fior­ina’s camp “says the fun­draiser… demon­strates Box­er’s ef­forts to seek fed­er­al money for those who donate to her re-elec­tion cam­paign.”

Fior­ina’s camp “points to ear­marks total­ing” $6.7M “that Box­er has re­ques­ted over the past three years” for CA agen­cies and com­munit­ies rep­res­en­ted by the DC lob­by­ing firm, Al­cade and Fay.

Box­er mgr. Rose Ka­pol­czyn­ski “re­jec­ted the sug­ges­tion of a quid pro quo for com­pan­ies that donate cam­paign cash.”

Ka­pol­czyn­ski: “There is ab­so­lutely no con­nec­tion between cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions and of­fi­cial Sen­ate ac­tions, peri­od.”

“Of­fi­cials with Fior­ina’s cam­paign say they don’t dis­pute the mer­its of the pro­jects fun­ded with the ear­marks and ac­know­ledge that Fior­ina also re­ceived fun­drais­ing help from lob­by­ing firms.”

But Fior­ina deputy mgr. Ju­lie Soder­lund said the fun­draiser shows Box­er is en­gaged in a “prac­tice of tak­ing cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions in ex­change for se­cur­ing ear­marks.”

Ka­pol­czyn­ski “said Box­er sought money for the bridge and rail pro­jects be­cause they will re­duce traffic and cre­ate jobs. She said the ear­marks are ex­amples of how Box­er will fight for money that will lead to more jobs in her state” (Frek­ing, AP, 10/7).

CA GOV nom­in­ee/ex-eBay CEO Meg Whit­man (R) and Fior­ina — “who have taken di­ver­gent paths, both fig­ur­at­ively and lit­er­ally, on the cam­paign trail — will make a rare joint pub­lic ap­pear­ance” today. “Whit­man and Fior­ina will both speak at the His­pan­ic 100 Life­time Achieve­ment Award Gala in New­port Beach” to­night.

“The two can­did­ates have rarely been seen in pub­lic to­geth­er since win­ning” their nom­in­a­tions, though Whit­man spokes­per­son Sarah Pom­pei “says the two have ap­peared at joint fun­drais­ing events” (York, Los Angeles Times, 10/7).

CA GOP­ers “sense per­haps their best op­por­tun­ity to de­feat” Box­er, “a con­stant tar­get of con­ser­vat­ive ire.”

“The state’s eco­nomy is a mess, and their can­did­ate is a former busi­ness ex­ec­ut­ive whose cam­paign has fo­cused on cre­at­ing jobs as the state tries to re­bound from the deep­est down­turn since the Great De­pres­sion. Box­er, true to form, is put­ting up a fight in her quest for a fourth Sen­ate term.”

Box­er and Fior­ina “dif­fer on al­most all is­sues, in­clud­ing off­shore oil drilling, health care re­form, tax cuts for the wealthy and abor­tion. The con­trast between the can­did­ates has provided what both de­scribe as the ‘clearest choice in the na­tion.’”

“Des­pite their many dif­fer­ences, Box­er and Fior­ina are pro­mot­ing the same cent­ral mes­sage — that each knows best how help steer an eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery. They are do­ing so even as they dis­agree on vir­tu­ally every piece of le­gis­la­tion that has come be­fore Con­gress aimed at im­prov­ing the eco­nomy” (Lin, AP, 10/7).

Every­one who avidly fol­lows polit­ics has his or her own list of the true “swing states” in this pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. The lists that really mat­ter, however, are the ones kept by top strategists for the Obama and Rom­ney cam­paigns, and the ones kept by the one large Demo­crat­ic and five Re­pub­lic­an-ori­ented su­per PACs and by oth­er ma­jor pres­id­en­tial ad­vert­isers this year. Fig­ures com­piled by Eliza­beth Wil­ner of Kantar Me­dia’s Cam­paign Me­dia Ana­lys­is Group show that, be­gin­ning on April 10 — the day Rick San­tor­um dropped his pres­id­en­tial bid, ef­fect­ively mak­ing Mitt Rom­ney the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee — and through May 29, there have been 63,793 tele­vi­sion spots run in 57 out of the na­tion’s 210 me­dia mar­kets.

CMAG fig­ures look at all broad­cast and cable, na­tion­al, and loc­al tele­vi­sion ads in each of those 210 me­dia mar­kets. They are ana­lyzed by CMAG’s staff and di­vided by the num­ber of Elect­or­al Col­lege votes that each state has. Nevada ranked first with $677,332 per Elect­or­al Col­lege vote. Iowa came in second with $496,088, and Ohio was third with $467,068. In fourth place was Vir­gin­ia with $331,680, fol­lowed by Col­or­ado with $313,653. New Hamp­shire came in sixth with $283,342, and North Car­o­lina came in sev­enth with $237,329. In eighth and ninth places, re­spect­ively, were Pennsylvania at $204,670 and Flor­ida at $101,107. These data po­ten­tially call in­to ques­tion the Rom­ney cam­paign’s ser­i­ous­ness about con­test­ing Pennsylvania and about how long Demo­crats plan to com­pete for Flor­ida.

Ac­cord­ing to Wil­ner, $8,407,220 was the total aired from April 10 to May 29 in Ohio alone — tops on the na­tion­al list in total gen­er­al-elec­tion tele­vi­sion spend­ing so far. Vir­gin­ia was in second place with $4,311,840; Pennsylvania came in third with $4,093,400; and Nevada fell in­to fourth place with $4,063,990. Rank­ing fifth, sixth, and sev­enth were North Car­o­lina with $3,559,940; Iowa with $2,976,530 (in­clud­ing spend­ing in neigh­bor­ing Omaha); and Flor­ida with $2,932,110. Col­or­ado came next with $2,822,880, fol­lowed by New Hamp­shire with $1,133,370.

Con­spicu­ous in its ab­sence on the list is Wis­con­sin. As with so much of life, all is not al­ways as it seems. Neither side spent any money in the Badger State, ex­pec­ted by many ob­serv­ers to be a swing state. The truth is, both sides’ pres­id­en­tial strategists wanted to stay off the air un­til after Tues­day’s re­call elec­tion of Gov. Scott Walk­er. In a couple of weeks, we will be able to see where Wis­con­sin falls on the pri­or­ity list. CMAG chief Ken Gold­stein points out that between the pres­id­en­tial primary, the re­call elec­tion, a con­tested GOP Sen­ate primary con­test, and reas­on­ably com­pet­it­ive Sen­ate and pres­id­en­tial races in the state, Wis­con­sin tele­vi­sion view­ers will be en­dur­ing more polit­ic­al ads than any state in his­tory.

Na­tion­ally, with all of this money be­ing spent on gen­er­al-elec­tion tele­vi­sion, even be­fore the last primar­ies have been of­fi­cially con­duc­ted, total pres­id­en­tial spend­ing is likely to eas­ily blow past $2 bil­lion. It’s little won­der, then, that Kantar’s CMAG has carved out a vi­tal niche in the pro­cess. CMAG tells highly in­ter­ested and deeply in­ves­ted parties who is spend­ing what, how much they are spend­ing, and where they are spend­ing it.

But CMAG provides this in­form­a­tion with the “secret sauce” ad­ded. It tells cli­ents the tone and con­tent of the ads and when a cam­paign is chan­ging its mes­sage and shift­ing its re­sources on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis. It’s not hard to ima­gine how this info is used: Know­ing that the op­pos­i­tion or com­pet­ing in­terest group has shif­ted its ad­vert­ising fo­cus or has changed the tone and con­tent of an ad can lead to the oth­er side mak­ing a coun­ter­move. Thus the data turn these cam­paigns in­to fast-mov­ing chess games based al­most on real-time up­dates of the ad mix.

As soon as the Novem­ber elec­tion is over, CMAG’s Gold­stein and Wil­ner ex­pect a de­luge of ad­vert­ising in the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., mar­ket as well as in oth­ers. In­terest groups will battle to get mes­sages across in an­ti­cip­a­tion of the lame-duck ses­sion of Con­gress. The num­ber of dif­fer­ent or­gan­iz­a­tions ex­pec­ted to go on the air try­ing to pro­tect vari­ous pro­vi­sions and pro­gram fund­ing may make the health care re­form fight look like small pota­toes by com­par­is­on. For broad­casters and cer­tain pub­lic­a­tions, we’ll just call that the dessert after the Thanks­giv­ing din­ner.

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