Republican John Nelsen's new TV ad in House District 49 warns voters in the east Multnomah County district that Democratic opponent Nick Kahl plays in a band called "Chopslaughter" and accuses Kahl's backers—referred to vaguely as "downtown Portland"—of wanting to raise taxes on virtually everything.
While the Rogue Desk will grant a little poetic license this election season, we're flagging Nelsen for this outright melange of innuendo and distortions aimed at scaring viewers in the conservative district.
The ad's mention of Kahl and Chopslaughter twice flashes grainy footage of a heavy-metal guitarist thrashing away. Yet a review of Chopslaughter's 2006 album, Saffron Robe, on cdbaby.com calls the band a "soft ethereal jazz trio" that plays "a unique blend of jazz, classical and pop music." For his part, Kahl thrashes away on the upright acoustic bass.
Unsurprisingly, Nelsen's ad, which airs on Comcast's cable package in east Multnomah County, also tries to tie Kahl to Portland Mayor-elect Sam Adams (who is both liberal and gay, neither of which apparently polls well east of Portland) and an Oregonian headline, "Adams Urges Grocery Fee."
"Trying to link Kahl to Adams and his proposal is completely misleading," says Kahl's campaign manager, Corie Wiren. "Nick hasn't talked about the grocery-bag tax, and he hasn't been endorsed by Sam Adams."
Each of the past two election cycles in District 49, Republican Rep. Karen Minnis produced similarly misleading ads about her opponent, Democrat Rob Brading. Although Minnis retired, Nelsen is using her campaign consultant, Chuck Adams, who's picked up $44,000 for his work so far. Nelsen makes no apology: "I am responsible and I stand by the ad."