Tom Feeney has long been plagued by his affiliation with Jack Abramoff. Now comes word that he'll start running this ad on Tuesday in FL-24 to stave off a tremendous run by Democratic candidate Suzanne Kosmas.
There is no doubt that Feeney is vulnerable. He has been outraised by and has less cash on hand that Suzanne Kosmas. She was an incredibly favored state legislator and has been getting a ground swell of support from local Republican families. But, that's not the weird thing about this ad.
A Feeney advisor had this to say:
Even his own campaign staff admits the move is unconventional. “It’s an unorthodox approach,” said one adviser, who noted the campaign is worried over how it would be received. "This is clearly going to be the focus of the Democrat’s campaign against Tom (Feeney) and it’s something that we felt obligated to get in front of," said the staffer.
I think Feeney should be concerned because, believe it or not, Kosmas is NOT running on this issue. She's running on Feeney's votes against veteran's benefits. Here's a link to her ad. This is the other ad she has been running.
That's because the district has a huge and disproportionate amount of active and retired military in the district as likely voters. She is pounding him on this with ads running on multiple stations at various times - including the evening news shows which have great viewership.
I doubt the Abramoff scandal even caused a ripple with this voting group and now Feeney is REMINDING them of something wrong or even introducing them to it. Nothwithstanding the lies in the ad, it strikes a very good contrite cord. He's sorry after all, so what he says must be true.
I think the ad might be a bad idea. There's quite a bit of cynisism in the general public right now, especially for Republicans. A lot of people will be asking exactly WHY Feeney feels he has to apologize for something if his opponent is not mentioning it. Some people might think it must be something really bad (and it is).
Why introduce something like this when it hasn't come up, especially in a week when McCain is getting pounded by Obama for his ties to lobbyists. Especially when everyone is telling us lobbyists are the ties that squeezed the life out of Wall Street?
Suzanne Kosmas might have just gotten the gift of the election and I hope she responds with an ad that tackles the facts and shows Feeney's contritness for just more of the same, tired Republican BS.