HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Controversial political campaign advertisements aren’t anything new. However, some recent ads have some people wondering how far they’ll go.
A recent re-election campaign ad for Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, sparked backlash. The ad features Governor Ivey at her desk, saying “If Joe Biden keeps shipping illegal immigrants into our states, we’re all going to have to learn Spanish. My message to Biden, No way José.”
California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, spoke about the ad during a recent TV appearance. Saying what Ivey said was “plain racist ignorance in your face.” You can read Gov. Ivey’s response to Waters’ comments here.
News 19 Political Analyst, Jess Brown spoke with News 19 about the recent advertisement and controversy.
“If you are an Alabama Republican politician, and you are attacked in national press, by the ultra-liberal, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters,” he said, “It’s the equivalent of Congresswoman Waters sending the Ivey campaign, a campaign contribution.”
When asked if Waters’ comments or the national attention would hurt Ivey’s campaign, Brown said, “it certainly did not hurt her re-election chances.” “It probably, actually helped it,” he said.
In regards to Waters’ comment calling Alabama Governor Kay Ivey racist, and whether or not it would impact Alabama’s reputation, Brown said, it’s not likely the ad would have an impact.
“In states that are already liberal and pockets of those states that are very urban, the ad might be for a day or two used as a discussion point there, about just how backward and unsophisticated Alabama is,” he said. “By the same token, there may be rural pockets in Kansas that would say, I sure wish Kay Ivey was our governor.”
Speaking in general terms, Brown said controversy-sparking political ads are nothing new in the United States.
“Campaign ads are tough, they are brutal, they’re at times best half-truths, they’re deceptive, they’ve been that way and they will reman that way,” Brown said.
He added, “We’ve been in the basement or the gutter with political advertising now for several election cycles, and my guess is, for the forgeable future we will stay there.”
The concept of controversy-sparking ads probably won’t go away anytime soon. Brown said, we probably won’t stop seeing them until voters stop responding to them.
“Candidates and political consultants believe voters respond to these half-truthed, gutter commercials,” Brown said.
Ivey’s campaign isn’t the only one in the Gubernatorial race facing heat for an ad. Republican candidate Tim James aired an ad that took aim at members of the LGBTQ+ community and a school in Birmingham.
In the ad, James says, “come on, that’s a man in a woman’s bathing suit.”
News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown said, “Electoral politics for high-level office has not been, and will not become Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood.” He said, at the end of the day, “The idea is to win, and not go to jail.”