Every week Project Open Vault receives new political ad buy contracts from three mid-Missouri TV stations, updating our ad spending database as soon as possible. Below is a brief look at the ad buys collected for the week of Oct. 9:
Missouri’s two main gubernatorial candidates are continuing their attacks on each other with a new round of ads. While incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is continuing to criticize his challenger for his involvement with a bank that refused to pay back federal bailout funds, Republican Dave Spence is attempting to use Nixon’s own ads against him, calling them false and misleading.
Nixon spent $94,735 for ads running from last week through to next week.
Spence bought $120,865 worth of ads for the same time frame. Spence’s campaign sent a cease-and-desist letter to multiple Missouri stations this week telling them to stop running an earlier Nixon ad, otherwise they would have to face legal ramifications. The impact of the letter is questionable, however, since the quick turnaround of TV ads means new ads begin running almost before any legal action can be taken, one station official said.
U.S. Senate candidates Claire McCaskill and Todd Akin are also continuing their attacks of each other.
Last week Akin, who is attempting to unseat McCaskill from her U.S. Senate seat, released an ad against his opponent alleging that she voted for the federal stimulus bill because she would personally profit from it. The ad’s claims refer to businesses that received money from the stimulus associated with McCaskill’s husband, Joseph Shepard. The McCaskill campaign called the ads “flat-out wrong, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
McCaskill seemingly took a break from attacking Akin last week when she released an ad detailing her work as a former prosecutor. On Wednesday, however, McCaskill unleashed three ads aimed at the Akin campaign that deal with the sensitive issues of sexual assault, abortion and birth control — all of which Akin made a focus of the campaign after his comments about “legitimate rape.” Each of the three ads features a different woman — all three say they are victims of sexual assault — speaking directly to the camera with no music about Akin’s comments and their stance on the above issues.
Akin spent $9,300 on ads running from last week through this week while McCaskill spent $70,560 to run ads from last week through this week and the following two.
Meanwhile, attorney general candidates Chris Koster and Ed Martin have each been running their own ads, with slight attacks on each other. Koster, the Democratic incumbent, released an ad last week about his role in the conviction of a criminal responsible for killing a highway patrolman. Koster never mentions his Republican opponent by name, but the ad’s narrator does say “Missouri’s top law enforcement job isn’t where beginners go to learn,” echoing his first ad. Koster did not have any new ad buys this week in mid-Missouri, according to political ad contracts from the three stations.
Martin’s own recent ad reflects Koster’s in that the Republican candidate uses the time to promote his own campaign while taking a few shots at Koster without ever mentioning him by name. Martin’s ad shows the candidate moving from place to place, quickly detailing his plan for office if he is elected. Martin has $3,805 worth of ads running over the next two weeks, adding to his previous purchases.
Other mid-Missouri ad buys:
- Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler reserved $108,870 worth of air time for ads set to run from now until the election. Hartzler is defending her U.S. House seat from Democratic challenger Teresa Hensley. Hensley began running ads during Missouri’s primary, but has not had any spots run recently.
- Susan Montee, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, is continuing to buy air time for ads running from this week until election day. Montee, who is running against Republican incumbent Peter Kinder, bought $49,650 in ads. Kinder has yet to run an ad following his tough primary fight.
- Incumbent Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel purchased $2,800 worth of ads, which are set to run for the following two weeks. Zweifel, a Democrat, is defending his seat against Republican challenger Cole McNary.
- Incumbent state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, purchased $64,860 worth of ad time. He is currently running an ad, entitled “Safe”, which details why he wants to stay in public office. Schaefer is defending his seat against Democratic challenger Mary Still, who is currently a state representative.
- Incumbent state Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, bought $6,100 of ads, reserving air time for the last two weeks of the election. Kelly is running unopposed for Missouri’s 45th District House seat.
- Janet Thompson, the Democratic candidate for Boone County Northern District commissioner, has reserved $5,425 worth of ads set to air during the last two weeks of the election. Thompson is running against Republican Don Bormann.
Recap of last week’s ad buys (from ad contracts received Oct. 2):
- McCaskill reserved $79,965 worth air time for ads running from last week through next week. Meanwhile, Akin bought $7,680 worth of air time for ads running during the past two week.
- Nixon bought $79,990 worth of ads running from last week through this week. Spence had a $59,355 buy for the same time frame.
- Both candidate running for attorney general had buys out for ads running last week. Koster’s buy was for $11,925 while Martin’s was for $4,770.
- Montee’s purchases from the this week are supplemented by a buy from last week of $35,940. Those ads are reserved to run from this week until election day.
- Hartzler had a buy for $23,860 for ads running last week and this week.
- Schaefer purchased $28,255 worth of air time to run ads from last week through this week.