Friday, May 12, 2006

Banks Drops Attack Ads

Arkansas Watch has learned that Republican Lt. Governor candidate Chuck Banks has decided to drop his radio ads that refer to Senator Jim Holt as a "promise breaker" and a big spender.

The ads were widely panned even by media outlets not normally friendly to Holt. It is unknown at this time what approach Mr. Banks will take for the remainder of the campaign.

Election day is May 23rd. Early voting is already underway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the DemoZette Editorial. I am sure it left a mark....

Today’s egregious example of the down-and-dirty comes from, of all candidates, good ol’ Chuck Banks, who’s running—much too hard—for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. The candidate to beat in that intramural contest is Jim Holt, a state senator who’s no slouch at demagoguery himself. So it’s natural that both Mr. Banks and the other GOP candidate for Lite Guv, the clean-cut state representative from Springdale, Doug Matayo, would go after Senator Holt, whose politics of fear certainly need going after.

But the radio ads Chuck Banks is broadcasting aren’t just sharp and pointed they’re ridiculous. In them, he accuses Jim Holt of being a closet spendthrift who, despite his anti-tax rhetoric, is really a big spender. The basis of the charge? Senator Holt once voted to raise a tax on beer in order to finance early childhood education in Arkansas.

As Senator Holt was quick to respond, this attack goes “beyond dishonest,” it’s “downright hysterical.” Especially when you consider that Mr. Banks himself has stressed the importance of early education throughout his campaign, more power to him. And Jim Holt’s opposition not just to taxes but education reform in general is well known.

How does Chuck Banks defend his new low? The same way every politician does who, graceless under pressure, decides to trade in his dignity for a few votes, hoping to mislead the gullible public just long enough to get elected. Or as Mr. Banks puts it, “I am in this campaign to win. . .” At any price?

This is the all-too-familiar, Nixonian standard: First win the election; worry about being noble later, if ever. Somehow later never comes. Means have a way of corrupting ends.

We much prefer the Lincolnian standard : A leader should have enough faith in his ideas and in the people to appeal to their highest, not lowest, instincts. He should be willing to risk losing an election rather than compromise his ideas and ideals, confident that they, and he, will eventually prevail.

The purpose of a political campaign, though it tends to be forgotten once low practice replaces high principle, is to raise the level of public discourse, not lower it. Instead, Mr. Banks has appealed to Jim Holt’s own natural base: the fearful and ignorant whose emotions can be easily manipulated.

In this instance, Jim Holt has responded with rare grace. “I just kind of feel sorry for [Chuck Banks],” he says. “I don’t blame him. He is just trying to win an election.” That’s easy enough for Senator Holt to say; he’s going to come out of this little flap looking like a white knight. But what about those of us who’ve just endorsed Chuck Banks—and Doug Matayo—as decent alternatives to Jim Holt’s demagoguery?

How explain Chuck Banks’ fall from grace? Our theory is that he's been listening to his political consultants rather than his better self.

8:03 PM, May 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's two editorials in a row that the demgaz has got right, good for them.

If only their circulation voted in the republican primary we might get somewhere.

8:11 PM, May 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were some questions a few days ago about polling. Someone was doing polling on this race and we were trying to decide who.

I think this indicates that it was Banks, and that the ads are not helping.

9:05 PM, May 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what about those of us who’ve just endorsed Chuck Banks—and Doug Matayo—as decent alternatives to Jim Holt’s demagoguery?

Don't worry, no one takes the Dem-Gaz endorsements seriously. And now you know why!

Anyway, Mr. Greenburg, thanks for being man enough to clarify all this.

5:37 PM, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Holt has brought issues like illegal immigration and homosexual "marriage" to the forefront of debate topics, and he started doing so long before they were considered safe issues to discuss. A couple of years ago, Greenburg was calling Holt a nut, and pointed to the fact that the man was the only one talking about such things as evidence that they weren't "legitimate" topics.

That was then. Now, Greenburg accuses Holt of cherry picking emotionally charged issues. Excuse me? It seems that Greenburg is the one having a hard time defining his take on things.

But because of his courage and consistency, Holt has made it possible for others to call attention to the elephants in the room without having to fear so much the negative publicity coming from opportunistic politicians and short-sighted newspaper editorialists.

Thank you, Senator Holt

6:18 PM, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Emily said...

Now you guys are attacking Paul Greenburg? Someone should fill you in that he is a pulitzer prize winning CONSERVATIVE journo who manages to keep his conservative views despite being in the biz.

On to lighter things: I do support Banks and went by to ask about a poll. They have not conducted a poll. Banks has been spending his money in media - and I AM glad that he took those ads off the air.

6:34 AM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Nom Deguerre said...

Greenburg is ESTABLISHMENT, not conservative.

7:34 AM, May 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Greenberg's writing style. His Pulitzers are undoubtedly deserved. But Greenberg's politics are not award-winning, and demand scrutiny along with anyone else's.

Next you'll be telling us that we shouldn't criticize Michael Moore because he won an Emmy?

8:01 AM, May 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

emily: Holt is the one who conducted the poll and the results weren't good. That is why you haven't heard anything else about it.

8:43 AM, May 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that's why his camp is ferociously stealing signs again. It's the only way they know how to fight back, since they have no money. Never mind that it's illegal. As Scarlet O'Hara said: "We'll think about that tomorrow."

11:59 AM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Toast said...

Why don't you make a formal charge? If you have evidence, the media would love to hear of this 'scandal.'

Nah, you're just a slimer posting as anonymous.

Be gone, troll.

12:45 PM, May 15, 2006  
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