Monday, April 28, 2014

Behind the Ad: A California frat boy does an ad in someone's basement

By Richard K. Barry

Who: The David Kanuth (D) campaign

Where: The California 33rd Congressional District

What's going on: In this safe Democratic seat, some guy by the name of David Kanuth is running against a slew of better known candidates. Rep. Henry Waxman (D) will be retiring so there is no incumbent.
Other Democrats in the field include state Sen. Ted Lieu, former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel and radio show host Matt Miller. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr is running as a Republican, while spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson is waging a bid as an independent.

I count 18 candidates in all. And California has that quirky blanket primary system, or top-two system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.

In this ad, Karuths gives a shout-out to Boston on the day of this year's marathon because, I guess, he's a Harvard alum. This thing that looks and feels like it was produced in the basement of Karuth's Harvard frat house, as he says, "[w]ay to take this marathon back. This is out fucking city," though "fucking" is bleeped.

To be fair, he's received some attention for an $804,000 first quarter fundraising haul, so he might not be total joke. 

Grade: The first thing to know is that this district is home to many Hollywoods stars. Maybe the sensibilities of the rest of us don't apply. But I still thinking dropping an F-bomb in a campaign ad, whether bleeped or not, is a bit much. And the low tech production values? Who knows, maybe that's cool. I stick by the frat boy assessment. D+

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