Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Update: John McCain packed up and left Michigan but Barack Obama still faces opposition there

October 27, 2008 |  2:10 pm

John McCain may have pulled out of Michigan. But a group of Californians still is playing there on the Republican ticket’s behalf.

Having raised $560,000 through mid-October, Republican consultant Sal Russo is buying airtime in Michigan for an ad that reminds viewers of Barack Obama's links to Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Kwame Kilpatrick, the disgraced former mayor of Detroit. (See ad video below.)

The spot shows Obama lavishing praise on Kilpatrick, before the ex-mayor's ignominious fall.

"When McCain pulled out of Michigan, it became the obvious place where we could be the most helpful,” said Russo, the Sacramento consultant who along with former California....

...Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian is running the political action committee Our Country Deserves Better.

Russo, who left balmy Sacramento on a campaign bus tour through the wind and chill of battleground states including Michigan, said he was not certain how much airtime he had bought in Michigan, though he estimated it cost about $250,000

"We are buying as we go, and it is too hectic to keep track of the past,” he said in an e-mail.

(UPDATE: An Obama aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the buy appears to be about $60,000, sufficient for the average television viewer to see it once in a week.)

McCain Initially thought that Michigan would be a battleground, as did pundits, particularly after Kilpatrick resigned in September and pleaded guilty to criminal obstruction of justice in connection with an affair.

Shortly after the Wall Street crisis hit, McCain pulled out, making Michigan the first state he abandoned after initially mounting a serious campaign. Obama, meanwhile, has more than 60 field offices in Michigan and recently began airing a new ad. Here's a link.

-- Dan Morain

Speaking of politics, you can ensure automatice alerts of every new Ticket item sent straight to your cellphone by registering here.