By STEVE BOUSQUET
Published October 26, 2006
Candidate: Charlie Crist for governor, Republican.
Producer: Stevens and Schriefer Group.
Video: Scenes of a smiling Crist interacting with voters; a split-screen image contrasting Crist's platform with Davis'; and the words "second-worst attendance record" and "doing nothing" in block letters next to Davis' face.
Audio: "Charlie Crist - a leader for positive change. He fought to lower phone and power company rates. Has a plan to deliver solid property tax and insurance relief. Supports the importation of safe prescription drugs from Canada. Jim Davis - ten years in Congress and he's done nothing. Done nothing to cut insurance rates. Nothing to cut taxes. Nothing to cut drug prices. Jim Davis. The second-worst attendance record in Congress. Jim Davis. A do-nothing congressman who doesn't even show up for work."
Analysis: The title of this party-financed ad is "positive change," but the message that lingers is a negative one about Democrat Davis. The spot portrays Crist as a hands-on executive and Davis as a "do-nothing" congressman who has passed five bills in 10 years, and it touts Crist's support for lower drug prices - a topic Crist has rarely discussed on the campaign trail but that presumably polls well with voters. Naturally, this ad doesn't say that Davis also has a plan to lower property taxes and insurance rates. The ad ends with an image of an empty chair signifying Davis' missed votes - a legitimate issue despite Davis' claim that he was present for the most significant votes in Congress.