The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Republican Nancy Johnson used this ad, and now John Ensign is using it.  Are we prepared?

Update: This was Chris Murphy's counter against Nancy Johnson. It was apparently effective because there was lots of press about the fraudulent nature of the Johnson ad. Perhaps the Carter campaign has an opening.

Tags: Jack Carter, John Ensign, Nancy Johnson (all tags)



here's how Chris Murphy responded

Press release link.  In part:

Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the federal government can intercept phone calls at any time, provided it later shows a court why it felt it needed to do so. Johnson's ad falsely claims that Murphy would require prior approval for any interception of such calls.

The ad provides no back-up for its claims; the wording under Murphy's picture is not a cite referencing any statement ever made by Murphy, and some of the documents pictured in the ad are actually related to college aid, not national security.

. . . .FISA, enacted in 1978, allows for retroactive warrants in emergency situations. And since its enactment, only 5 out of 19,000 applications for a warrant have been turned down. The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 extended the period in which the emergency warrant must be obtained from 24 hours to 72 hours.

Constitutional studies expert Robert Levy, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February of 2006. He stated, "the FISA statute allows the government in emergency situations to put a wiretap in place immediately, then seek court approval later, within 72 hours." He also questioned the process that Attorney General Gonzales has implemented for FISA. The law requires a three step process for an emergency warrant, yet Attorney General Gonzales has implemented a six step process.

by Adam B 2006-10-06 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: here's how Chris Murphy responded

That's very good.  You could zing Ensign that you don't know whether he just doesn't know U.S. law or whether he just prefers to lie.  

by prince myshkin 2006-10-06 07:50AM | 0 recs
I Don't Like It

The lead is about getting Johnson to take her ads off the air. That's a terrible thing to even call for because it makes the candidate look weak, like he's worried about the message having an effect. The message needs to be solely about how the lies and cowardice are out of the Republican playbook.

by KevStar 2006-10-06 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I Don't Like It

It's a press release, though, and for that purposes, it's fine.  You just don't have the candidate himself saying "pull the ad".

by Adam B 2006-10-06 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Wow that's a great ad. Dishonest, misleading, and cowardly, but a fantastic ad.

The only way to combat these attack ads is to, well, turn your boat into the enemy and attack.  Call it on it's dishonesty, the misleading claims, the basic cowardice. You don't combat it by changing the subject to how many kids are on CHIPs or trying to me-too the thing or appealing to some imaginary referees that "it's not fair mommy!"

by KevStar 2006-10-06 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Absolutely. The answer, based on the Murphy press release Adam B. cites, above, is: "My opponent is lying. And he's not just lying about sexual predators like the rest of his party, he's lying about the security of the United States. Why is he lying? For the same old Republican reasons: to preserve his own power. In his attack advertisement, Mr. Ensign is lying to the people of Nevada. How's that for straight talk? For the facts, go to"

by BingoL 2006-10-06 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Its rare that a misleading ad really gets under my skin. But this one is such a flagrant lie its enraging. It just completely ignores the 72 hour period where you can listen to calls without a warrant. Unbelievable. And there is no respone which will comabt its efficacy. I wish Carter luck trying to explain retroactive warrants in 30 second ad.

by mhoffa1382 2006-10-06 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

How about forcing TV stations to pull it since it's a lie?

by adamterando 2006-10-06 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Note to Democrats:

There are a number of power words that we are not using.  This is another excellent example of when to use them.

1. Liar.  "John Ensign is lying to the people of Arizona.  No Democrat believes we shouldn't intercept calls from terrorists.  He's lying because what Republicans want is the ability to listen in to your phone calls, but don't worry they say you can trust them.  How can we trust someone who lies to us?"
2. Immoral.  "Calling Democrats week on terrorism is not just a lie, it's immoral.  To equate those of us who disagree with the Republican Party's attempt to make America into a police state with Nazi sympathizers is just inherently wrong and immoral."

by Robert P 2006-10-06 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

I like your suggested response. Though maybe they might say Nevada instead of Arizona, since that's where the Carter-Ensign race is. :-)

by KB 2006-10-06 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Oops.  I was thinking about Kyl-Pederson earlier and I guess it leaked out.

by Robert P 2006-10-06 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

I agree with KevStar.  Run an ad that teaches the public 1) How powerful government powers are under FISA, and 2) that no, that's not enough for W.  He wants a blank check (I'd show a blank check) to do anything he wants, including throw you in jail and deprive you of habeas corpus, etc.

by SaratogaProf 2006-10-06 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Just respond with your own ad saying their ad is a flat out lie, and that "Candidate X" know's its a lie.

Then call on them to pull the ad because it's a lie.

Make sure you use "lie," "liar," and "lying" alot in your response ad.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-10-06 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

I said the same above, we  need to start owning the words Liar and Immoral.

by Robert P 2006-10-06 07:53AM | 0 recs
Jamestown Associates

I'm pretty sure Nancy Johnson's media firm is Jamestown Associates; it looks like their work, too. From what I've seen they specialize in these lying, emotive ads. Frankly, I don't think they're done very well, but they work when the candidate has a big $$$ advantage.

Not sure if Ensign has the same group ...

Anyway, they have a lot of Congressional clients around the country. So, all Democrats, if your opponent is using Jamestown Associates, be ready for this ad.

by BriVT 2006-10-06 07:56AM | 0 recs
Bush paved the way on his Western Swing

I think I'd call Bush the liar, and Ensign the rubber-stamp liar.

Carter should ask the stations to stop running the ad. He should ask for free time to debate Ensign on television.

President Carter should demand an apology from Ensign for insulting his family and impugning his son's patriotism.

If the election is a debate about liars, Carter should be right there. If it's a debate about terrorism, Ensign probably keeps his job.

by stevehigh 2006-10-06 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Up the Ante

You can't just answer the ad's charges. Then you've essentially allowed the Republicans to frame the debate. Sure you should call them liars and point out the real problems. But that will get lost in the media and the public.

You must up the ante. You run ads that charge Republicans have endangered our national security by getting involved in a quagmire while allowing the real terrorists to flourish in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ahem. Their ad makes that point for you. The call isn't coming from Iraq, but from Afghanistan. Why is that? Oh right, because we pulled troops from Afghanistan to fight a pointless war in Iraq.

Hey, remember BTW that the first Nancy Johnson ad, didn't it have the call coming from Pakistan? Hmm. Why did they change that. Oh right, because Pakistan just made a deal with Al Qaeda for safe havens in their country. Another bang up job by the Republicans.

by OrangeTownBlueDem 2006-10-06 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Up the Ante

That. Is. Brilliant.  Why is there still a terrorism problem in Afghanistan, Sen. Ensign?

by Adam B 2006-10-06 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Republicans care so little about the Constitution that they won't even bother to fill out the paperwork to inform the courts after the fact.  Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them.  I guess Al Franken was right on the money about that.

by David Kowalski 2006-10-06 08:04AM | 0 recs

What would Rove do?  A counter ad.  "John Ensign isn't serious about terrorism.  He supports the terrorists' best friend, the Bush policies in Iraq.  [NIE report says ....]  To be serious about terrorism, we must change course in Iraq.  Jack Carter will ......."

by David in NY 2006-10-06 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Answering this one is so easy I can hardly stand it.

"What do Beltway Republicans do when they get caught doing something wrong? They lie.

"What did George W. Bush do when he wanted to send our boys and girls to fight in an unnecessary war in Iraq? He lied.

"What did John Ensign do when I pointed out that he doesn't care about our Constitution? He lied.

"I am telling you the truth when I say we have to demand that our leaders be bound by the same rules everyone else is, not make up their own and invade our privacy."

That would probably play pretty well in Nevada.

by janinsanfran 2006-10-06 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

See Tester's response to Burn's similar style just more vicious ad about Tester's position of repealing the Patriot Act.

No whining here. Attacks the issue head on.

The response to the Johnson/Ensign ads should be straighhtforward.

The law enables our intelligence agencies to monitor any communication but requires them to get judicial approval within 72 hrs.

Ensign/Johnson support Bush to monitor all your calls with no warrant and keep it secret. But does nothing to prevent terrorism.

Where is OBL the perpetrator of 9/11? Why did Ensign/Johnson support Bush in invading Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11 and now as the NIE shows increases terrorism.

How can we trust Ensign/Johnson to protect America from terrorism after he/she has failed to do so for 5 years.

We need a Senator/Congressman that will fight terrorism not play politics with terrorism.

I am Jack Carter.

by ab initio 2006-10-06 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Here's the $64,000 question a lot of people aren't asking.

Why is Ensign hitting Jack Carter with attack ads when "he's 20 points up and the race is noncompetitive"?  He doesn't need to.  For example, Spitzer is 50 points up on Faso and we haven't heard a thing in his ads about Faso in NY.

Perhaps Ensign isn't 20 points up like everyone is led to believe...

It just encourages me to do a little more oppo research for Jack.

by dpinzow 2006-10-06 02:16PM | 0 recs
Why is Ensign attacking Carter?

You are right.  If you are supposed to be 20 points up on your opponent you don't waste your money attacking him.  Instead you run ads about what a wonderful Senator you are and you ignore your opponent (you especially don't agree to three debates, one maybe but not three).  By running this ad Ensign does a couple things.  First, he shows he is more concerned about getting re-elected than some polls show.  Second, by running a false attack ad he impugns his credibility and allows Carter to not only hit back but also creates a situation where Ensign's ability to respond to attack ads is hurt since he has shown himself to be a liar.

by msstaley 2006-10-06 06:20PM | 0 recs


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