Polk County residents make positive, local case for Obama in new ad campaign

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Jack Banton from Lakeland and Shemmer Thomas from Bartow are each sharing their personal stories about why they’re voting for President Obama this election through 60-second, documentary-style commercial airings on cable television and online.

“With all the negative attack ads lately, it’s hard to know what’s true and what can be trusted,” Banton said. “I know I’d rather hear from my neighbor than someone who is trying to sell me something. I figure other people would too, so I shared my story.”

To watch Banton and Shemmer’s 60-second ads, which are airing the next two weeks in Polk County, please visit: www.LocalVoices.org.

The commercials were created by Local Voices, an organization founded by Lee Hirsch, award-winning creator of the documentary “Bully,” aiming to bypass the spin of traditional negative campaign ads and prompt a real conversation among voters in swing states about how they benefited under the Obama administration.

In addition to Banton and Shemmer’s ads, Local Voices is running ads in swing counties in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  The combined national campaign will spend more than $300,000 on cable television and radio ad buys, all targeted to adults 35+.

All of the Local Voices ads feature local people in their homes, place of businesses or out in the community engaging in activities that are important to them.  In each ad, the featured voter identifies him or herself and explains his or her reasons for voting for the President.

Lee Hirsch, a Sundance-Film-Festival and Emmy-award winner, and creator of the documentary “Bully,” founded Local Voices, which produces and airs the positive political ads in battleground states.

“The filmmakers who volunteer with Local Voices’ grassroots campaign care about the election,” Hirsch said. “We traveled to swing states and talk to local people – nurses, teachers, firefighters – anyone willing to share their story and explain why they are voting for the president, then we share their stories for their neighbors to see. By doing this, we do our part to get honest information to undecided voters in important states.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.