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You knew it was coming:  the first negative campaign ad of the hot campaign in Wisconsin's 23rd State Senate race between incumbent Republican Dave Zien and Democrat & ex-TV anchor Pat Kreitlow.  Courtesy of "WMCIMC & the Building Industry Council," I just heard it on the radio in the Eau Claire area this afternoon.  I don't have any audio, but here's the essence of the ad:

Two adults, a male & a female, talking about how they spent a lot on school supplies & clothes.  They talk about how much they're taxes and how they can't keep their money because of that.  Then the woman says you should hear how bad it will get with Pat Kreitlow, since he's against the "Taxpayer Protection Amendment" which would cap taxes & spending.  She says Kreitlow calls it a scheme & a gimmick.  They wonder why he opposes lowering the tax burden, and lowering taxes to keep jobs to then keep keep kids living in the Chippewa Valley.  Then, the best part of the ad:  the two claim that Kreitlow isn't worried about kids' future, and since he's against the "Taxpayer Protection Amendment," he's against families.  That's right, Pat Kreitlow is against families.  The ad ends with the usual "Call Pat Kreitlow at (715) 720-1604 (that's his campaign office) and tell him lowering taxes is not a gimmick."

Also noteable in the ad is the anger in the voices (like any real conversation between two parents drpping off their kids at school would be brimming over with outrage over a property tax amendment), plus the repat of GOP talking points as though they were part of casual conversation.  In other words, a classic pro-Republican attack ad.  A little amusing in that it doesn't sound like what any two normal people would talk about, but as we all know, that's not the point.  Just draw in the listener then go for the attack.

By the way, that "Taxpayer Protection Amendment" is among the more unpopular pieces of legislation to come up in the last session -- I don't think it even had full GOP support.  I'm a bit surprised they'd highlight something that might turn off independents & riles up Dems, but I'd guess the intention is to shore up the GOP base.

This Senate race might be the hardest-fought in Wisconsin this fall.  Zien has passionate support, and passionate opposition.  It also marks one of the best Democratic pickup opportunities this fall, and the Dems need 3 to take control of the State Senate.  The good news is Kreitlow's been polling well (either in a dead head or possibly ahead) and, remarkably, has a cash-on-hand advantage as of several days ago.  But Zien's supporters & the GOP are going to pull out all the stops to win this one, so bet on this getting slimy in a hurry.  I'll keep updating when appropriate, and I'd encourage others in or near the district to update when you get news.  And, regardless of where you live in (or even out of) Wisconsin, help is appreciated.  Here's how:

1.  The ad says to call Pat Kreitlow.  Good idea!  Call (715) 720-1604 and tell Pat you agree with him that the "Taxpayer Protection Amendment" is a gimmick, and that Pat has your support.  For that matter, if you're so inclined, ask them how you can help with the campaign.

2.  Check out Pat's website:

Originally posted to alphaaqua on Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 02:15 PM PDT.

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