Behind the Ad: Fake conservatism and fat cats in Arkansas (#AR-2nd CD)

Who: The Ann Clemmer (R) campaign
Where: The Arkansas 2nd Congressional District
What: Okay. Ann Clemmer is a state representative running for the GOP House of Representatives nomination in the Arkansas 2nd. French Hill is a Little Rock banker also running for the nomination. Can’t think of a worse first name for a Republican, and in fact French is his middle name, but I digress. So, in the ad, French is called a “fake conservative” and a “fat cat.” The spot also contains these memorable lines:

Fancy French Hill funded a federally indicted Democrat further fattening his wallet for political favors.


Fancy fat cat French Hill – what a phony.

Of course, unless you had some context for the name calling, you would be lost. Completely lost.
The context, not provided in the ad is, presumably, this:

Republican congressional hopeful French Hill fended off criticism during a debate [recently] as his two rivals highlighted the Little Rock banking executive’s donation to a former Democratic state treasurer’s campaign and his support of a local sales tax measure.


Clemmer criticized Hill for donating to the 2010 re-election campaign of former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner. Shoffner resigned last year and was convicted last month on 14 counts of bribery and extortion for taking $36,000 in cash from a broker to whom she steered state investments.

And the “fat cat” thing would, I suppose, be a riff on the fact that French Hill is a banker, and maybe that he has a hoity-toity name.
The ad is just so far beyond weird and useless unless you have a program in hand to explain it.
Incumbent Rep. Tim Griffin (R) is retiring, making it an open seat. It is generally rated as a solidly red district. Clemmer faces Hill and Col. Conrad Reynolds in the May 20th primary. The winner faces Democrat Pat Hays.
I haven’t seen any polling, but French Hill does have a significant money advantage, which you would expect for a “fat cat.”
Grade: All I can say is that when you have no idea what an ad is all about, that ad has failed badly. And when it’s silly and sort of sounds like a Dr. Seuss book, well… D

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