Indianapolis city councilman Ed Coleman, a Libertarian, is putting the $50,000 he got from the Libertarian National Committee into action, launching a new 30-second television commercial.
The ad asks voters to re-elect Coleman to the council, but he’s only “kind of” running for re-election. Coleman first won a seat on the council in 2007 as a Republican, capturing one of four at-large positions. He jumped ship and joined the Libertarian Party in early 2009 and now, instead of trying to get re-elected city-wide, he is challenging incumbent Republican councilman Jack Sandlin in the District 24 race. It’s probably a shrewd move and likely his only hope for retaining a spot on the council. Coleman can focus his resources on a very small neighborhood rather than campaigning in the entire city.
Here is Coleman’s ad…
On the plus side, it’s a slickly produced spot that highlights Coleman as a serious politician and an advocate for the neighborhood he wants to represent on the council. On the negative side, it’s a slickly produced commercial that likely cost thousands of dollars to shoot and edit. In a very localized campaign, like a single-district city council race, that $50,000 might have been better spent on total domination of mailboxes with literature and supporting a grassroots turn-out machine with phone banks and door-to-door campaigning. Hopefully, for his sake, Coleman and his team on the ground is doing a lot of that door-to-door stuff.
It’s been claimed that Coleman’s TV commercial is only running on cable outlets inside his district. While I find it unlikely that the campaign was able to target their television buy that precisely, as long as the TV ads are only a small part of a larger campaign, then it’s probably a net positive.