I don't think anyone will bemoan the end of the 2012 election cycle, except perhaps the TV execs and political consultants who're making a killing off the political ads bombarding us through the boob tube.
Still, quite a few are memorable, and there is nothing more American than reducing your opponent's career to a withering 30 second-long insult, which your rival then must spend mega-bucks deflecting with an attack ad of his or her own.
See also: -Marshall Reese Talks Video Art and Political Advertisements Tonight in Tempe -Kyrsten Sinema Doesn't Like America, but Loves Flower Power, According to Vernon Parker Ad -Senators John McCain, Jon Kyl Upset Their Praise for Senate Candidate Richard Carmona Surfaced a Decade Later
It's like Prime Minister's Question Time done as a streetcorner game of the dozens.
Which is why every windy debate usually gets boiled down to one word or phrase. Like U.S. Senate candidate Rich Carmona's "prettier" comment in his recent match-up with Congressman Jeff Flake, or Mitt Romney's "binders of women" utterance during his last debate with President Obama.
I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it is what it is: Short attention-span political theater. And I'll admit, some of it is entertaining.
So here are my picks for the top Arizona political ads of 2012. All of these have run on local Television, save for the hippie-dippie one. Thank Beelzebub that we we'll have about a year and a half of respite before they begin all over again.
10) Pounding Christina Beato: This woman has the deranged stare of a Class-A bunny boiler. So Rich Carmona was pounding on your door? Um, so what? But come to find out, Beato's already-lame story is all bunk.
Why do I include it? Because Beato literally creeps me out, and just in time for Halloween. Wouldn't go near this lady unless I had two witnesses and a video camera to monitor my every move so she couldn't sue me later for something I didn't do. Beato looks like a real wackjob, of the DeeDee Blase variety.
American woman, stay away from me...
9) Sheriff Joe Is Kidnapped! Amazing that Arpaio could run an ad like this with some shibboleth about him being kidnapped, and our local media (save for yours truly) completely ignores it. Next Joe will tell us he plays ninja on the Light Rail, and Sand Land journos will just nod their heads.
8) Joe Hugs a Meth-Head: Before the family of diabetic mom Deborah Braillard scored a $3.2 million settlement for her wrongful death and the family of U.S. Army Vet Marty Atencio filed a lawsuit for his beat-down demise in Joe's gulags, Arpaio releases this ad of him snuggling up to an ex-inmate. Chutzpah on steroids, people.
7) "I can get elected on pink underwear." Yep, he's done it five times, and he's real proud of it, too, even though his agency fails in its basic duties, like investigating rape, murder, and child molestation.
This ad from the independent expenditure group Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement effectively uses Joe's words against him. We'll have to wait till November 6, to see if people bought Joe's smelly, pink boxers for another four years.
6) "Sheriff Arpaio, why didn't you do something?" So asks a woman portraying one of the victims of the hundreds of sex crimes that Arpaio dropped the ball on.
Local musician Devin Fleenor, the guy behind the wildly-popular People Against Sheriff Arpaio Facebook page, is responsible for this ad and with the help of CPL, was able to get it on TV. Hopefully, the voters will act accordingly.
5) "If there were any victims..." Another CPL ad slapping Joe upside the head with his own insincere "apology" to the victims of the sex crime cases his detectives bungled. Word is CPL has been raising money hand over fist. Perhaps we'll be seeing more of this ad in the days remaining.
4) Wil Cardon, Busted: Who knew Wil Cardon, uber-Russell Pearce supporter and illegal immigrant basher was part of the "cheap labor crowd"? Score a big fat one for Congressman Flake in this attack ad, which went to the heart of Cardon's pie-faced hypocrisy.
What a goober Wee Willy is, and not much of a businessman, despite all of those illegal immigrant-employing Subway shops. Cardon spent millions of his own cash, and Flake still buried him in the GOP primary. Afterward, Cardon called the wasted millions "an investment." A few more investments like that, and we might see this idgit at a local Interstate exit, begging for change.
3) Ron Gould Goes A-Huntin': If you're a redneck, own it. That's what state Senator Ron Gould did in this ad where he literally blows Obamacare out of the sky with his shotgun. Anyone remember "Farm Film Report" from SCTV? "It blowed up. Blowed up real good."
Sadly, Gould lost in the Republican primary to Congressman Paul Gosar, who's about as interesting as watching paint peel. If Gould had won, he'd have been poppin' wheelies in one of those monster trucks while sippin' on a Mountain Dew. Yeeee-haw! Well, there's always 2014, right, Ron?
2) Kyrsten Sinema's Far Out, Dude: I love this ad from the Republican National Congressional Committee targeting Ninth District Congressional Candidate Kyrsten Sinema because her liberal views supposedly are too "far out."
I like the retro feel of the ad, the old-school computer type, and the tinny male voice, asking, "Mission control to planet Kyrsten, you copy?"
Sinema has said and done some dumb stuff over the years, but this ad, like the hippie-dippy online one portraying Sinema as a '60s radical, has the opposite of its intended effect, with me anyway.
After watching these ads, her Republican rival, former Paradise Valley Mayor and Joe Arpaio-boot-licker Vernon Parker looks like a big, boring zero. Sinema, on the other hand, is the gal you'd like to hang with at the Occupy rally. Plus, how cool would it be to have a radical leftist representing Arizona in Congress, for once?
1) Kyl and McCain Smother Dem Rich Carmona with Praise: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rich Carmona effectively gives both Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain TV wedgies with this ad featuring clips of Kyl and McCain praising Carmona during his confirmation hearing for U.S. Surgeon General under President George W. Bush.
I nearly fell out of my Barcalounger the first time I saw this commercial on the Tee-Vee. Have watched it several times since, and it never fails to give me that warm tingly feeling all over. Heh.
Wait a sec, you mean being a radical leftist activist is a bad thing? Only if you're some square doofus like Vernon Parker. As mentioned above, this psychedelic take on Sinema's past actually makes Sinema seem cool.
Also, if I were Kyrsten, I'd be more than pleased with Parker's '60s Sinema because she's a lot thinner than the real version and she looks like she stepped right out of a Mod Squad rerun. Peggy Lipton, eat your heart out.
"Perhaps the weirdest of all," the ad tells us, "Sinema participated in pagan rituals, singing and spiraling during an anti-war protest."
Ooogah-boogah. I'd be more concerned about a Teabagger Arpaio-lover like Parker as a Congressman than Sinema spinning like a dervish on the floor of the U.S. House.
Talk about a reason to tune in to C-Span...
This is kind of dumb, but earns a spot as an also-ran because it depicts First Congressional District contender Ann Kirkpatrick partying like it's 1999, while looking like the Will Farrell in the old "Janet Reno's Dance Party" sketch from SNL. Apparently, it's based on a 2011 Arizona Republic report. Save for the dance scene, it scores a solid "meh."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.