Portland marketer Christy Maver is fuming about ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber's first TV ad in the May 18 Democratic gubernatorial primary. The ad includes at least four references Maver thinks are unsubtle jabs at Kitzhaber's opponent, Bill Bradbury, who has multiple sclerosis. The ad describes Kitzhaber as “standing up for what's right,” says he'll “stand up and go to work again,” and finishes with a photo of Kitzhaber's legs and the tagline “He's not running for office, he's running for Oregon.” Maven says four mobility references in 30 seconds cannot be an accident. “I think it's a cheap shot and I think it's intentional,” says Maver, who is able-bodied and not a member of either major political party. Kitzhaber's campaign manager, Derek Humphrey, says Kitzhaber considers Bradbury “one of his closest friends,” and that “we would never use an ad to draw a medical contrast.”
Jeremy Wright issued
“For the past week this issue has been brought to our attention by concerned voters who have called our office to ask about this. We certainly hope that this is just a wording coincidence and would be shocked and disappointed if it wasn't. We take the Kitzhaber campaign at their word that they would not intentionally draw a medical contrast in a campaign commercial”