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Mitch Perry Report for 3.17.16 – Can 2016 begin the decline of negative political advertising?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Negative television advertising against Donald Trump meant nothing in Florida this week.

Several Super PACs including American Future Fund, Club for Growth, and Our Principles PAC spent $7.4 million in anti-Trump ads, according to Vox.

Meanwhile, native son Marco Rubio spent over $8 million, and got his clock cleaned by the Manhattan mogul.

The Trump phenomenon is leading some of the top political consultants in the country to say that this could be the breaking point in the madness that are negative TV political ads?

“I think it had a negative effect on the accusers, on the prosecutors, as opposed to the candidate,” longtime Republican political TV ad man Adam Goodman said in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “These are ads that were self-serving, they were malicious and negative in intent … and people are tired of it. They are just tired of it.”

Goodman has been in the business for 37 years, and he said that he thought he knew it all about what works and doesn’t with political advertising. He now concludes, “we are now witnessing the decline of negative ads.”

Maybe, maybe not.

Another veteran Republican ad man, Mark McKinnon, essentially says the same thing.

In an interview conducted with the No Labels co-founder and former ad man for George W. Bush (that will post on this website in the next couple of days), McKinnon said he thinks after this campaign season, candidates will have to look at what supposedly has worked in the past and “rethink how they use their ad dollars.”

“The bottom line is that in an era when people are just fed up with politics, they think they’ve been lied to,” he says in questioning if such ads have any impact anymore. “They know that an advertisement is being paid by somebody, so they just assume they’re being lied to, the second they see a political ad they just mentally turn it off and say, ‘well this is a lie,’ and in this election, the guy who spent the most on ads lost badly and early, and the guy who spent almost nothing is winning.”

That was a reference of course, to Jeb Bush and Trump.

Something to contemplate as we roll into what some think may be the most negative general election campaign ever in modern times.

In other news …

Steve Schale, and the aforementioned Adam Goodman, two of the sharpest political minds in the Sunshine State, talked about a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump showdown this November at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club yesterday.

Tampa activists say they’re willing to go to the ballot box this fall to create a police citizens review board with more teeth than the model conceived by the mayor and City Council last year.

Tampa House Democrat Ed Narain talks about his successes and disappointments about the recent legislative session as he prepares for a run in the Senate this fall.

And the Bernie Sanders camp held a conference call yesterday afternoon, where they insisted to reporters that their man is still in it — and spun it so furiously that it made it sound as if they’re in a better position than Mrs. Clinton for the nomination.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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