It’s rapidly reaching the season when it’s not safe to turn on your television, unless you dig political advertising. Friday was the day for both sides in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina to launch TV ads.
First up was another spot by Carolina Rising, a nonprofit that has begun spending a lot of money on behalf of House Speaker Thom Tillis. The group’s Dallas Woodhouse says the ad buy is $1.3 million and will cover the state.
In it, Judy Wilburn, a special ed teacher for the last 17 years in Yadkin County (a 26-year teaching vet), sets out to counter the anti-education funding rap against Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory (Senate leader Phil Berger hasn’t been in Carolina Rising’s ads, curiously.)
"As a teacher, when someone gets something wrong, I correct it,” Wilburn says in the ad. “So when I see these negative ads, talking about massive budget cuts and textbook shortages that incorrect.”
The flip side of the story comes from the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is continuing its $9 million ad buy through the election. It brings up the familiar arguments about the legislature’s education cuts.
This one picks up with a recent ad that featured Tillis at a classroom marker board questioning Sen. Kay Hagan’s math. The spot erases Tillis’ numbers and replaces them with the Democratic talking points.
And then we have Planned Parenthood Votes spinning out two TV ads on the topic of Republican senatorial candidates’ newfound love of over-the-counter contraceptives. Ads tailored for each state hit Tillis and Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner (who is running against Sen. Mark Udall).
Politico reports the ads will cost $500,000 in the Triangle and $400,000 in the Denver market. Planned Parenthood says the GOP embrace of OTC birth control is a ruse that would shift contraception from insurance coverage under the federal health-care law to their own pocketbook.
Tillis floated the idea during the televised debate last week, and joined a handful of other Republican senatorial candidates making the same pitch.
In the spot, a woman juggling bills says, "$63 a month for gas, $117 for groceries — and just when insurance is finally covering the cost of prescription birth control, Thom Tillis says, ‘No. Women should pay the $600 a year.’ His plan lets insurance companies off the hook and costs North Carolina families more. Look closer and you’ll see that Thom Tillis isn’t being honest with us, and he’s turning the pill into another bill.”