Monday, November 06, 2006

Times endorsement: Hope or fear?

If you read Sunday's Times, you found two endorsements for Cedric Glover. On the editorial page, a well-written piece gave the why for the endorsement. "In a racially balanced city, too many view cross-town neighborhoods with wariness, when a little talk and empathy would reveal a common desire for a better Shreveport. We believe Cedric Glover offers the best blend of skills and credibility to lead and inspire Shreveport to its better nature over the next four years."
The front page endorsement, not so well masked as a news story, was not what we would identify as a call for unity. In her lead paragraph, Times reporter Michelle Mahfoufi wrote, "Images from the Ku Klux Klan's night rides and other intimidation tactics to keep black voters from the polls still haunt 88-year-old Maggie Roberson. It's the reason she's never voted. "It got so bad. Every night and morning I'd turn on the TV and two or three of them got killed," Roberson said."
Unfortunately, the Times seems to be rallying black Shreveport around the sordid past and not the promising future on which both Cedric and Jerry Jones have campaigned. The front page piece (one of two; the other hyping actors and activists supporting Glover) insinuates the "white demon" which lies just under the surface of Shreveport could resurrect itselt at any moment, and only a black administration can fairly represent a "racially balanced" city.
Is the paper's endorsement the push which Cedric needs, or is it one more effort to put white Shreveport on a guilt trip all the way to the voting booth?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What is an attack ad?

Much ado is being adoed over the Jerry Jones ad (now pulled from the airwaves) putting Cedric Glover's record on display. Seems like most of the criticism is coming from those who remember Jerry's promise to keep the campaign clean. What's your opinion? When candidates use an opponent's record as a campaign tool is that an attack ad, a negative ad or merely an information ad using public records which are fair game?
Just about every political consultant with whom we spoke said the ad could do one of two things: either those on the fence in an area which is considered convervative will tilt toward Jones, or Cedric's core constituency will be energized and the race will become tighter. Another comment from a couple of the consultants centered on the wording of the ad. The consensus is the generality of the ratings from LABI and Family Forum doesn't do enough to explain why Cedric is "anti-business and anti-family." Our friends in the consulting business say specifics in an ad about an opponent's record is a must.
Also, the timing of the ad is questioned. As you know, that ad has been pulled at the request of the local police union. Now that it's off the airwaves, it's easy for Cedric's supporters to say the ad was being viewed in a negative manner and was forced off the air by public opinion. True or not, that could be the message on the streets. In the opinion of many, the best time for that type of ad is a couple of days out — say, newspaper on Monday and Tuesday. That would give little or no time for response and impact would have been maximized.
Negative ads or informational material put to the public...which is it? We'll know Tuesday.