FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
AUGUST 15, 1994
BROWN QUIETLY RELEASES NEW COMMERCIAL TARGETING MIDDLE CLASS; CAMPAIGN'S CONTINUING PROBLEMS WITH BASE DEMOCRATS NOT ADDRESSED BY AD THAT STRESSES BUDGET-CUTTING, CRIME, TAXES AND WELFARE REFORM
SACRAMENTO -- With current polling showing Kathleen Brown's support among Democrats
continuing to lag well below the levels necessary for her to win in November, the
Brown campaign has quietly released a new Republican television commercial targeting
the middle-class concerns of crime, taxes and reducing welfare.
The ad, mostly notable for the absence of the kind of direct attack on the Governor that has become the hallmark of consultant Clint Reilley, shows Brown, as part of her continuing effort to prove that the campaign "is not about ideology," talking directly to the camera about managing the state budget by cutting welfare and eliminating wasted tax dollars in order to fund police, schools and "the fair share middle class families deserve."
The ad was not released to the news media.
"The most curious facet of the new ad is Brown's reference to 'a misguided welfare system,' said Wilson Campaign manager George Gorton. "Although Brown did earn the enmity of legislative Democrats earlier this year by proposing a five percent reduction in AFDC grants as part of her alternative budget proposal, she has taken no position on several of the
most notable welfare reforms of the last few years, including Governor Wilson's proposals for a maximum family grant and two-year time limit for welfare recipients, as well as several others." (see attached)
Recent polling done by Wilson advisor Dick Dresner shows Brown attracting only 65 percent of Democrats, compared to 78 percent of Republicans supporting the Governor's re-election. The survey suggests that Brown's problems in attracting support among traditional base Democrats have not yet subsided, leaving her in the awkward position of attempting to both shore up her base and reach out to the center as the election draws closer.
Brown's new ad, which manages to wedge the phrase "middle class families" into the 30-second spot in three different places, targets traditional swing-voter concerns like crime, taxes and welfare reform in a characteristically vague fashion. It apparently foregoes, at least for the time being, the necessary process of shoring up her base.
UC-Berkeley political scientist Karen Paget was recently quoted by the Sacramento Bee on Brown's continuing attempts to blur her ideological distinctions with the Governor, saying, "This is where you get the disaffection of the liberals. If her policies are going to be the same as Wilson's, why join the bandwagon?"
The ad, which began running over the weekend, is currently airing statewide.
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