Type of Ad: Positive
Candidate: Jim Kenney
By: Kenney for Mayor
The Basics: You don't need polls to tell you where the race for mayor stands in this first week of May. It's clear that Jim Kenney has made inroads into getting a decent share of the African-American vote. This commercial, called "Heart," is designed to buttress the support he has and, with a little luck (and enough air time) get him more. The two stars are state Rep. Dwight Evans and Councilwoman Marion Tasco who vouch for Kenney. "I know what's in Jim's heart," Tasco tells the camera. And Evans resounds a campaign theme that Kenney will "make hard choices." This ad was done by Synder Pickerill, the Chicago-based company who is handling the campaign's media. Firm principal Ken Snyder is also a Kenney campaign adviser.
Crit: If you are looking for subliminal messages, here is the one behind this ad: It's okay to vote for the white guy. That message is delivered by respected, long-time black politicians, who happen to lead two of the city's premier wards, the 10th and the 50th. Both are from Northwest Philadelphia and it was a major coup for the Kenney campaign to get their support and the backing of others in the Northwest. With their help, Kenney is seeking to buck the tide of black voters giving most of their votes to black candidates in multi-racial election contests. It began in 1983, when Wilson Goode Sr. got 97 percent of the black vote in his race for mayor, but it has shown signs of eroding in recent years. Tom Knox, a rich white guy running against three credible black candidates, got 15 percent of the black vote in the 2007 Democratic mayoral primary. (Unfortunately for Knox, his campaign needed 25 percent of the black vote to win.)
What isn't said: This is another ad that on the surface offers a message for all voters, but is mostly targeted to a black audience.
Is the ad factual? Yes.