Oct. 24, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Two university professors who analyzed a pro-casino television ad for Maine Public Broadcasting concluded that the Yes on 2 ad employs “classic…negative advertising” and is “a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Ironically, the pro-casino ad attempts to accuse CasinosNO! of these same tactics by purporting to show a transcript of a tape recording, secretly made by disgraced Rumford attorney Seth Carey. The audio recording is from a two-minute snippet of a one-hour seminar two years ago led by Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!
MPB says on its website (www.yourvote.me/AdWatch_question2yes.html) that it is impossible to determine the accuracy of the transcript because Yes on 2 refused to provide a copy of the actual recording. Gregg Lagerquist, a news reporter at WGME, however, has heard the actual recording and reported that the transcript provided by Yes on 2 does not match what is said on the audio recording by Bailey.
“This is a new low by the promoters of the Oxford casino,” Bailey said. “Recording me without my permission or knowledge, then twisting my words out of context and inventing things I didn’t even say. This is real sleaze, brought and paid for by Las Vegas.”
The two university professors, Amy Fried and Ron Schmidt, associate professors of political science at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine, respectively, called the ad “unusual” and questioned its effectiveness.
“If this had been an ad for a campaign involving candidates, it would be characterized as personal, negative, and focused on character,” said Fried. “The ad doesn’t play the recording of the statements made and so it is hard to determine if they have been taken out of context and thus have been misinterpreted.”
Schmidt agreed: “It is…an attempt to deploy the strategy the [pro-casino] group is ostensibly opposing. Shaky, vague images, mapped onto the questioning of one’s opponent’s real intentions, are classic strategies in negative advertising. [The ad] is both about the attempt to frighten voters and a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Bailey said if the ad wasn't so sleazy, it would be comical. "The real irony is that the only TV ad that mentions crime and prostitution at casinos is the from the side that wants a casino," Bailey said.
The ad was produced by CDM Communications in Portland.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963