Thursday, September 14, 2006

He's Stupid and He's Ugly...

and he's such a wanker.

GOP Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum's flagging re-election campaign has launched a new TV attack ad that can only be described as absurdist theatre, if not out-and-out absurd.

Using actors and filmed in hazy black and white, the new 30-second spot seeks to tie his Democratic foe, state treasurer Bob Casey, to a shady cast of corrupt characters, without naming names. In fact, not a single one of the past Casey backers vaguely alluded to in the ad has anything to do with his current race for the Senate.

Indeed, one of the past Casey donors -- portaryed by an actor -- died 22 months ago, while the Democrat had not yet even been considering his race for the Senate. And while he was alive, Philly power broker Ron White also forged a link to Santorum through their charities

A second didn't give money to Casey's Senate campaign -- but donated $1,000 to Santorum in 2003 (later returned). During that time, fundraiser Bob Feldman was working for the private bank that gave Santorum the $500,000 mortgage -- not available to the general public -- to pay for the senator's McMansion in Leesburg, Va.

A third was once a key Casey supporter but has also been been known to play political footsie with Santorum from time to time.

You can see the ad here, and we suggest you do. As our fellow Philadelphia journalist Tom Ferrick notes today on his blog, the lack of specificity in the strange ad makes it little more than "innuendo." Since it names no names and gives no specifics beyond dollar amounts of past donations, it has been up to journalists -- and not Pennsylvania voters -- to ferret out just what exactly the Santorum campaign is charging here.