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November 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Negative ads just muddied process

Another view?

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Regardless of how you voted, we can all agree that none of us enjoyed being inundated by wall-to-wall campaign ads. In fact, due to the high volume of ads, most voters tuned out long before Election Day and millions of dollars were wasted.

The majority of ads came from outside groups and were negative in tone and substance. According to the Annenberg School of Communications, as many as one-quarter of those ads were outright false or blatantly misleading.

We at the League of Women Voters Las Vegas Valley worked hard to ensure our neighbors had the information needed to be informed and engaged. Our voter guide and sources such as Vote411.org provided accessible, factual, nonpartisan information about the choices.

But we remain concerned about the deluge of money in this election that financed misleading ads. Some television stations rejected or requested changes to some ads containing false information. We applaud this new trend of news outlets fact-checking campaign ads and hope it will continue.

Although many pundits question whether the $6 billion spent on the 2012 elections was wasted, what we know for sure is that this deluge of money and flood of campaign ads will not be going away soon. The League will continue to look for partners who are committed to ensuring that voters have the information they need to make their own best decisions come election time.

The author is the voter services committee chairwoman of the League of Women Voters Las Vegas Valley.

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  1. This past election has been the most negative campaign advertising ever.Candidates from both parties made sure they dug up dirt on one another to put it on TV and radio advertising, mostly false or half truths about one another.

    They (candidates) made it appear that all we had running for office were nothing but a bunch of crooks and liars.
    As a young person myself growing up I remember my parents and relatives saying politicians are nothing but a bunch of crooks and liars.Back then campaign advertising, it was not as bad as It is today.

    What an example we have put out there for our young people to believe. That all politicians are crooks and liars,which is not the truth. What part of campaign advertising should we be expected to believe? How come there were no lawsuits, over slander and false accusations that were thrown at one another (candidates)?

  2. Dishonest and smear campaigns are nothing new. The contest between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams is often held up as the dirtiest campaign in history. Just imagine how much more so it would have been if held today given that (mis-)information and outright lies can be disseminated to the public and the world at large at the speed of the Internet and cable TV.

    If we accept that such behavior by many politicians will never be eradicated, then we must also accept that having a strong public education system that gives every child a well-rounded education that includes critical thinking and the arts along with the basic skills to function in society is the best defense against these tactics.

  3. Governor Romney should have provided more about his own biography and religion rather than let the democratic party do it, falsely, for him. Romney lost by about 334,000 votes in a total of 4 swing states because he failed to provide voters with a solid message and reasons to vote for him rather than against Obama.

    CarmineD

  4. More disturbing than the blizzard of campaign ads was their distance from veracity. For example many ads from outside groups cited the Review-Journal as the source of their misinformation. Their obvious intent was leaving the viewer the impression that they were citing a news story when, instead the reference was to an editorial opinion. One ad I recall listed the Las Vegas Sun as a source, but rather than a news story, their source was a letter to the editor. They even resorted to recounting misinformation in each others' advertising.

  5. Carmine,

    "Governor Romney should have provided more about his own biography and religion rather than let the democratic party do it,falsely, for him."

    Gov.Romney has no one to blame but himself for the loss of the election.

    He showed who he really was with the secret video of him calling 47 percent of Americans moochers and freeloaders.Another one of his downfalls was not fully disclosing his 23 years of taxes. Which he did produce in 2008 to Sen.John McCain who considerd him as his V.P running mate,but passed on him at that time.

    Pres.Obama 50.6 percent of the popular vote Gov.Romney 47.3 percent of the popular vote.Pres.Obama 332 electoral votes,Gov.Romney 204 electorial votes.Pres.Obama captured most of the swing states to win re-election,the rest is for the history books.

  6. "...the rest is for the history books." @Sam Speaks

    Winning the election is just the start, not the end. President Obama needs to unify a divided country and people lest this country, like Europe, will fail miserably. The President needs to do this by leading with words and actions. It is a huge task and I'm not optimistic he is up for it. But hope springs eternal. Congress can't do it. Former President Bush can't do it. It's solely and squarely on Obama and ALL EYES are watching. If he fails, and truth be told the history of second term presidents is not on his side, his legacy, the country and the democratic party will all suffer long and hard.

    CarmineD

  7. Carmine,
    "President Obama needs to unify a divided country,like Europe,will fail miserbly
    ThePresident needs to do this by leading with words and actions.It's a huge task and I'm not optimistic he is up for it.But hope spings eternal."

    Before you give up on Pres.Obama why don't you give him a chance. After all we gave former Pres.G.W.Bush a second term and second chance to show what he could do to fix what he made a mess of.Pres.Obama was re-elected so we have to try and give him our support,like him or not.

  8. "Kill the messenger; not the truth." 47% of Americans are "moochers." Food stamps, WIC, mortgage bailouts, subsidies that circle the Earth. You name it and millions of greedy, selfish and lazy Americans glom on to "free stuff." In the past, they stood in line and begged for "More, please." Now, the urchins in their tattered rags and living squalid lives vote themselves baskets of "goodies." Except they aren't in "tattered rags" nor live "squalid lives" as their residences have running water, electricty, central heat & AC. They own cars and trucks, have refrigerators & stoves, flat screen TV's, DVR's, microwaves and all kinds of other "free stuff" Third-Worlders (in real poverty) would die for. Yes, there are some among us, a relatively few, that really need our assistance, but nowhere near the 47 million slackers now sucking at the taxpayers teat. And, with the blessing of Osama Obama and his fellow travelers, the number will only grow and grow until the bubble bursts and the USA as we knew it and the Founders intended it to be disappears from the face of the Earth. Then that rabble will rise up and, brother, you ain't seen anything yet. Look to Greece, Italy, Spain, etc. and you will see the future of the United States unless we put a stop to the "free" loaders and their destructive demands.

  9. A great letter. CarmineD, I do not question your desire for President Obama to lead, but I would like to remind you that on the night of January 20, 2009--yes, the night of his inauguration--a group of Republican leaders that included both Eric Cantor, now the House majority leader, and Kevin McCarthy, now the whip, met and agreed to oppose anything that Obama proposed. Did they know yet what he would propose? No. They just knew that they opposed it. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said his main political goal was to limit Obama to one term--not to pass legislation that might help the country. Now, I, too, want Obama to lead and to help our country even more than he already has, but it would be nice if Republicans loved their country more than they hated Obama.

    I would answer Mr. Fink, but the facts speak for themselves, so we will leave him to wallow with Mitt Romney.

  10. "Before you give up on Pres.Obama why don't you give him a chance. After all we gave former Pres.G.W.Bush a second term and second chance to show what he could do to fix what he made a mess of.Pres.Obama was re-elected so we have to try and give him our support,like him or not." @Sam Speaks

    I haven't given up on President Obama and I don't believe Americans who didn't vote for him have either. All Americans want their president to succeed. But wanting it so, doesn't make it so. Hence I posted: "It is a huge task and I'm not optimistic he is up for it. But hope springs eternal."

    CarmineD

  11. "Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said his main political goal was to limit Obama to one term--not to pass legislation that might help the country." @Micheal Green

    The Senate minority leader made this statement after the mid-term elections of Nov 2010, two years into the President's first term. During these years, the President had a democratic majority in both houses and virtually locked out the Republicans from the legislative agenda. BTW, the Dems took a shellacking in the mid-term elections. "Shellacking" was the President's word to describe the results.

    CarmineD

  12. BTW, Sam et al in case you missed this news... here it is:

    "A Second Thanksgiving Birdie? Obama Plays Golf

    by Keith Koffler on November 23, 2012, 12:06 pm

    President Obama today headed out to Joint Base Andrews to get in some holiday golf, hitting the links with two of his usual crew, junior aides Marvin Nicholson and Eugene Kang, as well as Nicholson's brother, Walter.

    The president is playing for the 106th time of his presidency but only the 14th time this year. With the campaign over, Obama is returning to the golf course, playing for the second time in less than two weeks."

    The day after Thanksgiving is not a government holiday. Federal employees have to work. Even the new president of Egypt, Mr. Morsi, worked. He did a single handed power grab to consolidate his hold over the newlt elected government and made himself the new supreme dictator and king. Just one day after President Obama praised him for crafting the peace accord between Gaza and Israel. Over the weekend a generic statement about Morsi's power grab was issued by the State Dept, not President Obama. It did not mention Morsi by name.

    Just in case you and others didn't hear/read.

    CarmineD

  13. Carmine,

    BTW,Sam et al in case you missed tis news...here it is.

    'A second thanksgiving birdie? Obama plays golf

    By Keith Koffler on Nov.23,2012 12:06 pm

    After a grueling six months of campaigning for his re-election as President. I don't think it's strange that Pres.Obama started back playing golf.This is his 14th.round of golf this year so far.

    Pres.Obama is on par with former Pres.Eisenhower and former Pres.Bill Clinton for playing golf.The all time number of games of golf played by any Pres. while in office is Former Pres.Woodrow Wilson who played 1,000 rounds of golf during his time as President.
    In a recent survey "do you think presidents should play golf while in office". Here are the results.50 percent voted Presidents should play golf as often as they want,37.5 percent voted that presidents should not play golf to often,and 12.5 percent voted that Presidents should not play golf at all.

    So in closing Pres.Obama is not abusing the office as President. While playing golf,SURVEY SAYS.

  14. Most if not all facts that have cited here are correct. Although, Pres. Obama had a majority in both houses, let's take a look at those houses. There were a goodly number of Blue Dog Dem's. These people were more interested in keeping their seats in their conservative leaning districts, than supporting their party. The majority of these people, in both house and senate lost in the mid-term.
    Maybe the best that can be said is they represented the people of their district. This is what the Founding Father's had in mind when they wrote The Constitution. In the personel writing's of these men, they stated that we need represenative's for the people, as we cannot have 3 million people voting for every action that needs to take place. The designed purpose of the H of R was to poll their districts and vote the will of their people. This hasn't been done for decade's. They now just vote party lines, what a disservice to the American people.

  15. Ms. Cosgrove, I agree with you letter to the editor.

    It's a nice feeling to know that organizations such as yours(league of women voters Las Vegas valley) are trying hard to get the facts to the voter's as they really are.

    It's been a terrible election year.Lets hope your organazition has done some good to help change, what has been said and done during this past election. Keep up the good and honest work done by the league of voters Las Vegas valley.

  16. Ms.Cosgrove, So sorry my error in my above post. I should have said the "league of women voters Las Vegas valley."

  17. "There were a goodly number of Blue Dog Dem's. These people were more interested in keeping their seats in their conservative leaning districts, than supporting their party." - ernieb1202

    And what is wrong with an elected representative trying to serve his/her district instead of toeing the party line? Isn't that why they were elected to do in the first place?!?

    It can be argued that an elected representative should put country ahead of constituency in some cases, but a politician should NEVER put party ahead of either of the foregoing.

    Let me see that again, a politician that puts his/her party ahead of the country or those who elected him/her should be removed from office, including by impeachment if possible.

  18. "Pres.Obama is on par with former Pres.Eisenhower and former Pres.Bill Clinton for playing golf.The all time number of games of golf played by any Pres. while in office is Former Pres.Woodrow Wilson who played 1,000 rounds of golf during his time as President." @ Sam Speaks

    I must admit the only interest in golf I ever had was as a teenager when I would caddy in the suburbs of Newark, NJ to make money on the weekends. I despise the game as a huge waste of time although my Father in law, the Command Sargeant Major, and my son-in-law were/are both avid players and very good at the sport.

    I was not passing judgement on President Obama. I was providing a newsworthy clip of his Thanksgiving weekend activities. BTW, I think Eisenhower, Clinton and Wilson are several of the worse presidents we had. Eisenhower in large part because he played too much golf for a president with huge problems on his plate, including a recession in his first term. Using them as examples whether on golf or presidencies, is useless, at least to me.

    CarmineD

  19. Carmine,

    "Using them as examples whether on golf or Presidencies,is useless,at least to me."

    If you felt it was useless using them as examples.Then you should have not brought up President Obama playing golf twice in less than 2 weeks in your Nov.25,4:24 am post.

    When you write a post ,expect to hear back on what you wrote.Not try and shift things over to someone else.

    As far as past Presidents Eisenhower,Clinton, and Wilson,being the worst Presidents we had."Eisenhower in large part because he played to much golf." This is just your opinion,you don't speak for all of us.

    The survey results on my Nov.25,6:02 am post do not agree with you that Presidents play to much golf.The survey says that Presidents should play as much golf as they like,by a large margin of 50 percentage points. I suggest you read the full survey.

  20. Sam:

    Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I trust it didn't include playing golf, but perhaps I'm wrong.

    CarmineD

  21. Carmine,
    We did have a great thanksgiving and hope you
    and your family did as well,thank you.I did get out a second time in the past two weeks for another round of golf.

  22. Glad to hear it Sam, about Thanksgiving. We did too.

    However wrt your golf playing, you paid the green fees and tangential expenses, which are no small matter. Not the taxpayers. ;-)

    CarmineD