Catching Up on GOP Gubernatorial Campaign: TV Time, Wamp Sees “Push Polling” Unscheduled Ramsey

TV Spending Update
Ed Cromer includes in his weekly Tennessee Journal an update on Republican candidate TV ad activity (no link; you have to subscribe), starting with the note that Zach Wamp spent $143,000 to air his initial TV commercial statewide for seven days.
Meanwhile, Bill Haslam, already on TV, has increased his purchase of time, and Ron Ramsey, who launched his first ad last week, has extended his purchase for another two weeks.
Wamp’s 30-second ad shows him standing in front of the Volkswagen plant site promising to be “your jobs governor.” His jacket is off, and his shirtsleeves are rolled up.
As is the case in Ramsey’s ad, he does all the talking himself. He doesn’t mention he’s a congressman.
The ad emphasizes Wamp’s “20/20 Vision” for creating jobs. As he opens a booklet on the plan, the pages become TV frames within a frame, reminiscent of the Hewlett-Packard digital photography ad of a few years ago.
… In his first week of advertising, Ramsey spent about $120,000, none of it in Knoxville or Chattanooga.
His extension is roughly the same in total, with $51,000 for broadcast time in Nashville and $38,000 in Memphis constituting the largest shares. He still isn’t on the air in Chattanooga, but he’s bought a small amount of cable time on Fox News in Knoxville.
Haslam added $180,000 for April 22 through May 2 and is now advertising everywhere but Chattanooga. Wamp is in every market.
The early ad purchases are risky for Ramsey and Wamp, who have less money than the Haslam campaign and don’t have the personal wealth of Haslam. But then, waiting also can be risky
‘Unethical Push-Polling’
The Wamp campaign has accused the Bill Haslam campaign engaging in the “highly-unethical campaign practice of push-polling” and demanded that it “cease and desist.” Further, that Haslam “personally explain why his campaign has resorted to such calls, to identify the name of the vendor who was hired to make the calls and to fully disclose how much the vendor was paid to conduct the calls.
The Haslam campaign response, as reported by Andy Sher, indicates no cease and desist is planned:
“We’re sorry the congressman is bothered by our voter-ID survey and doesn’t know the difference between that and a push poll,” said Haslam campaign spokesman David Smith. “Sure he’d like for us to reveal our strategy, but that’s not going to happen. It’s a data survey only.”
Further from the Wamp release:
Over the past week, the Wamp campaign has been getting numerous complaints from loyal Wamp supporters all across the state about highly-unethical “push-poll” calls they’ve received. Callers have asked the Wamp supporters who they are supporting for governor, and after they have responded “Zach Wamp,” they were then asked “whether they would change their mind if they knew….” followed by as series of false or misleading statements about Wamp. The calls have been very widespread reaching Wamp supporters in all three grand divisions of the state.
This morning at the Paris Fish Fry in Henry County, gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey confirmed his campaign has also been receiving similar complaints from his supporters about receiving “push-poll” calls this week.
“It’s shameful that Bill Haslam, who’s already spent millions of dollars on television commercials but has yet to utter a single word himself on camera about his plans for Tennessee, resorts to such lavishly expensive and unethical campaign tactics to attack his opponents,” said Sam Edelen, Wamp campaign spokesperson.

The news release doesn’t give the nature of the ‘false or misleading statements’ and Andy’s story doesn’t either.
Just Twitter for Ramsey?
From the AP:
Where’s gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey? You’ll have to turn to Twitter to find out.
Ramsey, a Blountville auctioneer and speaker of the state Senate, is the only Republican candidate who doesn’t issue a detailed weekly campaign schedule. Ramsey’s Web site lists three events he’s planning to attend between Friday and May 1.
By contrast, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp’s most recent weekly campaign schedule listed 13 public events around the state. Ten events were listed for Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, apart from two days of “mayoral meetings and events.”
Ramsey’s Twitter postings give more of a glimpse of his activities. A Friday morning post said he was headed to the annual “World’s Biggest Fish Fry” event in Paris.
Ramsey spokeswoman Rachel Taylor said the flexibility required by the legislative session would make a weekly schedule “pointless.”

Leave a Reply