With Election Day two and a half weeks away, it is not surprising that the airwaves have been filled with an assortment of political advertisements. And, as usual, almost all of them are the negative variety.
One Long Island Congressional race has a candidate whose ads proclaimed that he had created hundreds of jobs. His opponent has since countered with one saying that they were created in places like Korea and India, "at the expense of American jobs." As one would expect from a negative ad, the opponent's reason you should vote for him is only, "The other guy is a liar."
In an ad for a Connecticut race, one candidate is asked how jobs are created and he is shown fumbling through an explanation that makes no sense. His opponent belittles him for not having the answer, but does not offer one herself. "Vote for me because my opponent is a blatherer."
Another Congressional race ad here on Long Island sternly advises us that the incumbent "voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time" as if that were an offense on par with worshipping Satan. Presumably, his opponent is promising to vote against anything Pelosi votes for, regardless of whether it is good or bad for his district.
And then there's the ad for a State Assembly race that tells us how the incumbent recently attended a special session that he proclaimed was a waste of time and taxpayer money. He supposedly paid for the trip to Albany out of his own pocket and then put in an expense report the next day. Once again, the campaign tactic is, "My opponent is a liar, so vote for me instead."
There is one arena for which I don't recall seeing or hearing any negative ads. Because Hillary Clinton resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of State, we are electing two Senators in New York this year.
Chuck Schumer, who I have heard speak at enough college graduations that I can now recite his speech, seems to be a shoe-in. His ads run on TV fairly regularly, seemingly to remind us that he is up for reelection. I have no idea who his Republican opponent is, nor can I recall seeing or hearing an ad for whoever it is.
Kirsten Gillibrand is our junior Senator, selected to replace Clinton and now running for the remaining two years of the term. In one of her TV ads, she talks about how the government is broken and how she is working to fix it, specifically by voting against Congress' automatic pay raises. "The average worker," she says, "can't give himself a raise, so why should Congress be allowed to do it?" As with Schumer, I have no idea who her Republican opponent is.
You might recall that last year I wrote about local candidates who were campaigning that they would lead a "Tax Revolt" and had those words emblazoned on their posters. You might also recall that they were elected. I can't say that I know what they have done since taking office, other than showing up for photo ops for the Farmingdale Observer. I can, however, report that we just got our property tax bill for the coming year and it is still revolting.