Sunday, May 08, 2005

Candidates step up TV ads -- Rauterkus does TV in other ways

Candidates step up TV ads - "Libertarian Mark Rauterkus, of the South Side, who is a candidate in the Senate race, hasn't made a TV buy.

Tonight, I'll be on TV for one hour. The TV debate is to air on WBGN at 7 pm. The station is #3 in the city on my cable package.

The debate was filmed at a Senior Center in Mt. Washington and is the only such event where all three candidate were involved.

The clear winning, according to many sources, was not Diven nor Fontana -- but me. I won.

After the debate, a few were wondering if the Dem had a pulse. After the debate, Diven nearly ran out of the room.

Tune in, judge for yourself.

In other matters, I'm expected to be running 3-minute TV announcements on Tuesday and Wednesday -- and they replay other days as well. This is the public comment period at City Council.

I was part of a lead story on TV 11 about four weeks ago on the 11 pm news as we were engaged with our school district's (PPS) project to get interactions and feedback from the community.

I was filmed as part of the AARP event -- being kicked out and giving a statement -- on Friday with WTAE TV 4. I made a powerful protest about the poor decisions of the heavyweights and about the instutional patronage. A nice ovation was delivered in support of myself and after the event 80% of the people in attendance came up to me to express their humble outrage that I wasn't included. All took my CD and many gave me their phone numbers and are now passing out my literature.

In the past, I worked with PCTV to be part of a show, The Art of News.

I've been on the OnQ show, with debates and features a year ago in efforts to "open swim pools and rec centers" -- plus in a candidate debate.

But the biggest effort, with long term potential has to do with WQEX. I was in the battle to prevent the sell off of QEX 16, an asset of the public, miss-operated and miss-managed by QED for years. The public TV mission is not being upheld as it could and should in the Pittsburgh region.

As I remind people of the squandered asset of QEX and the poor behavior of QED's board, this isn't to score points with the powerful. Hillman, Roddey and others are (or were) on that board and drove that station into its huge debt. QED and the city share much as they are in ugly situations due to overspending.

The public trust has been fleeting. Over the years, some is growing in a gradual way, but then it falls away again when the management does NOT do a real debate for a special election in their studios. Or, for other races in the political landscape.

Where is the QED debate for State Senate?

Where is the QED voter education for all the candidates now seeking offices in city council?

When have those interviews taken place?

It is hard to point to something that is absent.

In the end, people vote with their feet. People see the "institutional corruption" and back away. People leave Allegheny County, continually. More than 8,000 left the county last year.

in certain places we can't do nothing and expect to thrive.

There should be a media and journalistic backlash against the negative ads from the candidates. The half-truths in the self-promotions should be revealed as well -- by broadcasters at public TV.

Pittsburgh has "do-whop" covered. Other things that are much more important to the community are left bare.


Jake Porter said...

Congratulation on your website and blog. They are very impressive. It appears you know what you are doing and are a good candidate. I like the fact that your blog is updated frequently and you are working hard for liberty. I am not from your area and cannot vote for you, but I found your website and had to tell you that I like what you are doing and to keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Candidates step up advertising on TV

By David M. Brown and Andrew Conte
Sunday, May 8, 2005

Pittsburgh-area TV viewers haven't been inundated this spring with political commercials, compared to other recent elections. That's about to change.

Candidates running for Pittsburgh mayor and the state Senate seat formerly held by state Auditor General Jack Wagner stepped up TV advertising this weekend.

Candidates are buying large chunks of ad time leading up to the May 17 primary, according to a review of political advertising contracts with the Pittsburgh market's three biggest network affiliates -- KDKA Channel 2 (CBS), WPXI Channel 11 (NBC) and WTAE Channel 4 (ABC) -- and Comcast, the region's major cable TV provider.

The sharpest increases in TV spending came from mayoral candidate Bob O'Connor, who spent far more than his major opponents in the Democratic primary -- City Councilman William Peduto and Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb -- and as the race to fill the 42nd District Senate post grew hotter.

State Rep. Michael Diven, R-Brookline, and former County Councilman Wayne Fontana, a Democrat also of Brookline, face each other in the special election to fill Wagner's old seat. Fontana and Diven previously were swapping blows just on cable TV. Now, they've squared off on the more-expensive network channels, as well.

A final surge of spending in a race that's targeted by Republicans and Democrats was anticipated, said John Verbanac of NeriVerbanac Public Affairs in Pittsburgh.

"It's going to be a highly aggressive finish," he said.

Diven bought about 90 30-second spots for $51,330 on the three network stations. The spots began Friday and continue through Tuesday. Fontana spent about $115,000 on nearly 200 spots that began Friday and continue through May 17. For the past five weeks, Fontana has spent about $20,000 a week on the cable channels. Diven launched his campaign in February with a cable TV buy but has spent much less than Fontana in the weeks since then. The last week in April, Diven spent about $15,000 on Comcast spots.

O'Connor, 60, a former city councilman from Squirrel Hill who his making his third bid for mayor, spent at least $120,000 on more than 200 spots that were scheduled to run from last week until the election.

Lamb, 42, of Mt. Washington, spent about $20,000 on the same three stations and Comcast for ads that were running last week through Monday. For roughly the same two-week period, Peduto, 40, of Point Breeze, spent about $12,000 through Monday. The TV buys included in the review were as of Friday afternoon.

O'Connor, Lamb and Peduto likely will increase their buys before the election, but the sampling suggests a trend that political analysts expected. O'Connor has raised more campaign money than Peduto's and Lamb's combined total. O'Connor's heavy spending on TV is not surprising.

Media buyers consider $100,000 or more for one week in Pittsburgh a strong buy.

"TV is extraordinarily effective in political races. You have to consider both the breadth and depth of your buy. With the kind of money O'Connor's spending, he's achieved both goals, I'm sure," said political analyst Joseph Sabino Mistick.

The four other Democrats running for mayor -- Louis "Hop" Kendrick, of East Liberty, Les Ludwig, of Squirrel Hill, Daniel Repovz, of Shadyside, and Gary Henderson, of East Liberty -- bought no TV time.

Libertarian Mark Rauterkus, of the South Side, who is a candidate in the Senate race, hasn't made a TV buy.

"Overall, this political season has seen very limited spending on television, compared to years when we've had presidential, gubernatorial or county executive races," Verbanac said.

The sums being spent by candidates in the primary and special Senate election are small compared to the saturation TV buys in some recent elections.

In the closing weeks of the 2003 race for Allegheny County chief executive, for example, incumbent Jim Roddey and challenger Dan Onorato were spending nearly $400,000 a week in combined TV advertising. In 2002, Democrats Ed Rendell and rival Bob Casey Jr. together spent more than $7 million just in the Pittsburgh TV market in the weeks leading up to the May primary.