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Americans Deserve Better PAC launches $65,000 pro-Gary Johnson ad buy in Maine

Originally published at the American Third Party Report earlier today:

According to an article published at Politico by Steven Shepard yesterday, a new Political Action Committee (PAC) has decided to purchase television and radio ads in Maine promoting Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson. According to the article, the Americans Deserve Better PAC will spend at least $65,000 on ads in The Pine Tree State, which will be broadcast over the airwaves between today and August 26th.

The website of the America Deserves Better PAC, VoteForTheAdults.com, reads:

We believe that when words such as “liar”, “dangerous”, “criminal” and “crazy” are the most common that voters use to describe the Democrat and Republican nominees for President, it is a sign that Americans deserve better.

Americans Deserve Better PAC was founded to support Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld for President and Vice-President of the United States. As two former two-term Republican Governors serving in majority-Democrat states, they are the only candidates on the ballot with a record of bringing people together to balance budgets, cut taxes, reduce unemployment and fight corruption in their states.

We are committed to increasing awareness of the Johnson/Weld ticket across the country and making sure voters realize they are an experienced, accomplished and credible alternative to the dysfunction of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Together we can show Americans that the only wasted vote is one cast for someone who you don’t believe in. If you’re tired of voting for the lesser of two evils, tired of compromising on the things you want to see in your elected officials, and hungry for leaders who will rise to meet the challenges that face our nation, then join us.

The list of the committee members of the Americans Deserve Better PAC reads like a who’s who of high profile Libertarian Party members and activists. The PAC’s treasurer is none other than former Libertarian Party chairman Geoff Neale, an early supporter of Johnson who resides in Texas. Former Libertarian Party chairmen Mark Hinkle, Bill Redpath and Michael Dixon also serve on the committee, as does Mark Rutherford, the former Libertarian Party vice-chair, and Jim Gray, Johnson’s running mate in the 2012 presidential election. Rounding out the list are three women: former 2016 Libertarian vice-presidential candidate Alicia Dearn, 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate Dr. Mary Ruwart and Nancy Neale, the wife of Geoff Neale.

One of the reasons the PAC may be focusing on Maine is due the state’s system of allocating two of its electoral votes based on the winner of each of the state’s two congressional districts. The only other state that allocates a portion of its electoral votes based on the results in each of its congressional districts is Nebraska; in 2008, one of the state’s electoral votes went to President Obama, the victor (by a razor thin margin) in the state’s 3rd congressional district, despite John McCain’s resounding 15 point victory overall in the state. This year, Trump has indicated that he will be hoping to carry Maine’s second congressional district, which has traditionally leaned more in the Republican direction than the state’s other district, which covers the seacoast and the Portland area. Johnson supporters may be seeking to capitalize on the fact that Maine is known for being friendly to third party candidates: in 1992, independent Ross Perot earned his highest percentage of the vote of any state in Maine (30.44%), which allowed him to come in second place (by a sliver) in the land of President Bush Sr.’s summer home. In 2000, Maine was Ralph Nader’s seventh best state by percentage of the vote (the consumer advocate earned 5.7% there).

While the total amount of outside spending on behalf of Johnson may not be known at this time, according to a NBC News article published on August 9th by Mark Murray, the campaign of Johnson itself has spent more on TV ads than the general election campaign of Donald Trump ($15,000 compared to $0). Meanwhile, Green candidate Jill Stein has spent $189,000 on ad buys.

Two Libertarian Party candidates are also waging write-in campaigns in both of Maine’s congressional races.

Below is a 60-second radio ad from the PAC:

About Post Author

Krzysztof Lesiak

I've been a contributor for IPR since January 2013. I consider myself to be a paleoconservative. I'm also the founder of American Third Party Report. Email me at clesiakcrusader@gmail.com.

21 Comments

  1. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson August 13, 2016

    The 30-second spot isn’t a bad ad. I almost wanted to vote for them. It might have been better, however, if they invoked JFK and Reagan instead of two Republican presidents in the closing.

    It’s almost as though it was designed to benefit Hillary’s campaign — you know, that “wonderful public servant.” Oh, well…

  2. Andy Andy August 13, 2016

    This ad sucks. It is fluff that makes them sound like mainstream politicians. It does nothing to spread the Libertarian message, and it mentions the word Republican, yet the word Libertarian is not even mentioned.

    Guess what? There are already two parties for people who like this kind of fluffy garbage. They are called Democrats and Republicans, and most of their supporters will never vote for Libertarians no matter how much we compromise our principles, or pretend to be like them (of course in the case of Johnson/Weld, it is not pretending).

    Pure crap, and a perfect example of why the Libertarian Party is not more successful.

  3. George Whitfield George Whitfield August 13, 2016

    A shrewd project targeting a part of Maine where the advertising dollar will go a long way. I am glad to see this PAC supporting Johnson and Weld. Live free!

  4. robert capozzi robert capozzi August 13, 2016

    aj: This ad sucks. It is fluff that makes them sound like mainstream politicians.

    me: I understand your perspective. However, this is a SuperPAC ad. It’s attempting to maximize votes for J/W. It’s charter is narrow.

    B+

  5. Andy Andy August 13, 2016

    I do not believe that the ad is going to maximize votes. If anything, it will minimize votes?

    Why? Because it sounds like something put out by mainstream politicians. The people who like this kind of stuff already have the D’s and R’s for whom they can cast their votes. There is nothing inspiring here at all. I see nothing here that will want to make independents and non-voters want to get off of their couches and vote for these guys.

    The ad does NOTHING to spread the Libertarian message, and it does not even mention the word Libertarian, but it does mention Republican, and Bill Weld even invokes Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower.

    HINT #1: The Republicans already have a presidential ticket. Their names are Donald Trump and Mike Pence. There is no need for another Republican ticket.

    HINT #2: Johnson and Weld are SUPPOSED to be running as Libertarians, NOT Republicans.

  6. George Phillies George Phillies August 13, 2016

    Furthermore, by invoking Ronald Reagan, the dude who launched a campaign in Philadelphia Mississippi, the ad poisons libertarian outreach to African-Americans.

    “We won an electoral vote” lines up with “Our office is in Washington, well, almost” as a pointless political outcome.

  7. Be Rational Be Rational August 13, 2016

    There are people outside the LP who are so disgusted with the D and R candidates this year that they are willing to support our LIbertarian Party ticket. If they donate funds to a Super PAC with the intent to see our candidates actually elected, it stands to reason that they will use their view of the issues and the election to frame their ad and seek support for our candidates. Johnson and Weld benefit, they will finally get some attention, and the LP benefits. 70% of voters claim they’ve never heard of J/W and yet they’re polling in the 8% or 10% range (depending on what polling reports you believe).

    Trump and Clinton are both too corrupt, dishonest, narcissistic and dangerous to be elected President.

    Electing Johnson/Weld is the best option for America for the next four years. The LP is doing more for America this year than ever in its history by giving the voters a responsible choice and a chance to move America toward smaller government, fiscal responsibility and personal liberty – to bring a break from the gridlock and a chance for a bit of peace, prosperity and liberty.

    So, lets hope more money and more ads come out and more Super PACs come forward to promote our candidates – putting our principles in a positive light from their point of view – and ultimately our party, candidates and libertarian principles will draw more interest and more support.

    And, if we’re very, very lucky, this very tiny trickle of advertising will be pumped up before it’s too late, turning into a flood in time to actually see Johnson and Weld elected – swept in by a wave of discontent, breaking the D and R monopoly.

    This ticket is the best hope for America’s future.

  8. George Dance George Dance August 13, 2016

    I have lot of hope for the PACs. This is the fourth one I’ve heard of now.

    If there’s going to be a big media campaign (of the kind BR has been pushing, that’s where it has to come from).

    I’ve read of one guy wanting to put $1 million into the J/W campaign. He can’t do that to the official campaign, of course; those are limited in how much they receive. But PACS are not; anyone with $1 million to put it into a PAC.

    The downside for the campaign, of course, is that it has no control over the advertising message. But that’s not necessarily a downside *simpliciter*.

  9. robert capozzi robert capozzi August 13, 2016

    aj: The people who like this kind of stuff already have the D’s and R’s for whom they can cast their votes.

    me: You see to overlook the fact that 40+% of Americans are independents, but that most of them, when they vote, vote R or D.

    aj: There is nothing inspiring here at all.

    me: Pay attention, Andy. Very large swathes of Americans are highly displeased with DJT and HRC. Not being them, and being former guvs, is designed to get the attention of non-political junkies/theorists such as yourself. For them, “inspiration” is not about whether the candidate has the right take on intellectual property. Political ads are about positioning and making surface appeals to lesser common denominators.

  10. Andy Andy August 13, 2016

    Why not nominate actual libertarians to run on the Libertarian presidential ticket? Is this too novel an idea?

    Why are we letting REPUBLICANS tell us how we should run our campaigns, and our campaign advertisements?

    Is this the Libertarian Party, or is it the Republican 2.0 Party?

  11. Bondurant Bondurant August 13, 2016

    Andy,

    Unfortunately this election isn’t about advancing the LP or libertarian philosophy. It’s about the GOP hijacking our ballot line because they don’t like how their own voted in their primaries and recognizing that there’s a large segment of the LP rank-and-file that will throw their beliefs in the trash for a few more votes.

  12. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman August 13, 2016

    The only national Libertarian Party campaign to run significant television advertising was the Ed Clark campaign in 1980. The Ed Clark commercials said little more than “Vote Libertarian – Ed Clark for President” with a little fluff at the beginning.

    The most substantive Ed Clark commercial said “I don’t want to cut the fat in defense spending – I want to cut the lean.” I think it meant to convey the Libertarian opposition to militarism, but it only communicated this message to people who already knew Libertarians would oppose militarism.

    The Johnson-Weld commercial is much more substantive than any of the Ed Clark commercials.

    I can understand people who want a more hard core libertarian campaign. So I hope we can get some hard core libertarians to run for Congress or state legislature, where they can say radical things to their neighbors who already know them and trust them. The national message that we are “social liberals and fiscal conservatives” is the best we can hope for to reach large numbers of Americans, who would hesitate to listen to a more radical message.

  13. George Phillies George Phillies August 13, 2016

    In 2000 the Browne campaign and the LNC both did TV advertising. iirc a reasonable number between them for actual media is around a half million.

  14. Richard Winger Richard Winger August 13, 2016

    Gene Berkman is right. The LP has no nominee for approximately two-thirds of the US House seats. Andy, did it ever occur to you to run for Congress? Effectively there are no residence requirements for people to run for congress.

  15. Austin Cassidy Austin Cassidy August 13, 2016

    Nice to see some Johnson spots on TV, but this is not a great ad.

    The radio spot is far better.

    I’d hope to see someone do a TV ad featuring regular-looking “real people” who talk about why they’re voting for Gary Johnson. Spots to remind Johnson-leaners that they’re not alone on an island, and to make the LP seem welcoming to new people.

    Johnson is actually turning out some medium sized crowds, they could do a version of the “America” ad the Sanders campaign ran earlier this year. Better to invest in a really a good 60 second spot with high production values and run it less frequently. If it’s a good ad, it’ll get picked up by the media and online and amplified.

    https://youtu.be/LIZW5trdE5o

  16. Just Some Random Guy Just Some Random Guy August 13, 2016

    While actual TV ads are great, I wonder if buying ad space on YouTube or Hulu might be good. Winning over Maine voters is a good strategy… for the general election. What needs to happen first is that 15% to get into the debates, which is done by national polls. You want your ads to run nationally, and you can do that (for much cheaper than a national TV ad) by buying advertising space on YouTube/Hulu. Then once you’re in the debates (and more money starts coming in) you can work on more specific states.

  17. robert capozzi robert capozzi August 14, 2016

    Bond…: It’s about the GOP hijacking our ballot line because they don’t like how their own voted in their primaries and recognizing that there’s a large segment of the LP rank-and-file that will throw their beliefs in the trash for a few more votes.

    Me: I’m sorry, but this is just ridiculous. GJ was the 12 nominee, and was signalling for at least a year that he’d run in 16. His nomination is in NO WAY a reaction to DJT’s nomination by the Rs.

    Believing a fictitious narrative is fine, but it does not make it true.

  18. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick August 15, 2016

    This is an awful website URL for this PAC…. Since the hashtag is #TheAdults, when I couldn’t remember the URL to the website I went to “www.theadults.com” (NSFW)…. yeah…. definitely NOT the PACs website.

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