Former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
launched his second TV ad today. Bradbury, who is competing with former Gov. John Kitzhaber
for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, doesn't have a lot of money to spend heading into the May primary. He has $54,000 on hand, while Kitzhaber has more than ten times as much — $575,000.
So what does Bradbury want voters to know about him this Earth Day? That he opposes Liquefied Natural Gas terminals that are unlikely to be sited in Oregon anytime soon. Bradbury's been consistent on that point. The question is, if you're running a distant second (as polls indicate) in a two-way race where those who really care about LNG already know your position, is this the best use of scarce dollars?
Bradbury's campaign manager, Jeremy Wright, says that in fact the average voter is far less aware of Bradbury's strong environmental credentials than might be expected after Bradbury's record of 14 years in the Oregon Senate and decade as Secretary of State.
"What we discovered is that insiders know he's great on the environment but a lot of voters don't know that," Wright says. "So this ad allows us to present a compelling message and a clear contrast between Bill and John Kitzhaber [who is equivocal on LNG]. If you are looking for a clear difference between the candidates this is it."
Bradbury, who uses a Segway scooter because multiple sclerosis limits his mobility, plays off that device in the tagline for his campaign—"to get Oregon rolling."
It's clever but causes him to communicate a seeming contradiction at the end of an otherwise crystal-clear ad: "I'm the only candidate for governor who has taken a clear stand against these [LNG] facilities," he says. "And that's my plan to get Oregon rolling."
Asked how stopping a large-scale construction project gets Oregon rolling, Wright says the message is that blocking LNG clears the way for conservation and the development of homegrown alternative energy sources.
"We've only got 30 seconds to pack in a lot of information," he explains.
Here's the ad: