Three local businessmen have raised “well north of $200,000” in an independent effort to expose Al Gore as a mere shell of the man he was when Tennesseans first elected him to Congress back in 1976.
“It may not seem like a great story, but the soccer dad thing is really it,” says Kin Clinton, who started his anti-Gore effort with partners Stuart Southard and Wes Yoder after a conversation in which the trio expressed their disillusionment with the presidential aspirant. “We’re just three guys whose daughters have played soccer together.”
The so-called Tennessee Forum is currently bankrolling a series of radio and newspaper advertisements throughout Middle Tennessee characterizing Gore as a waffling, flip-flopping, opportunistic politician who has strayed from the relatively conservative pose he struck as a Tennessee congressman. “We just decided that there is a void, if you will, in information as to the evolution of Al Gore’s policy and philosophy since he left Tennessee and went to Washington as a congressman, then a senator,” Clinton says. “He has departed from traditional Tennessee values.”
What no doubt makes the Tennessee Forum’s efforts frustrating to loyal Gore Democrats is the fact that the trio has no apparent ties to the Republican Party or the George W. Bush campaign. “We’ve not been politically active, and it’s probably apparent by what we’ve done,” Clinton says with an air of self-deprecation. He says that, at least for his part, he’s voted in the past “for both Democrats and Republicans.”
That means Gore supporters can’t hang the Tennessee Forum’s efforts on the ruthlessness of the Christian right or call the ads predictable grenades being lobbed by a vast right-wing conspiracy. The most the Gore loyalists can really say is that the Tennessee Forum is, well, not being very nice.
“There are some mean people out there,” Greg Wanderman, executive director of the state Democratic Party, told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “The Republicans are constantly red-faced at the reality that Al Gore is winning in the state of Tennessee. These messages are not going to stop him from continuing with his message and the great work he is doing.”
The Tennessee Forum, founded in July, is registered as a not-for-profit corporation under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code and has, according to Clinton, already spent upwards of $100,000some of it the three men’s own cash and some of it contributionson the ads attacking Gore in his home state. And Clinton, a management consultant, says there’s more where that came from. He promises that the spots on about 10 Middle Tennessee radio stations and in about 14 area newspapers will continue. Billboards are also going upone of them right next to Adelphia Coliseum.
“The Founders believe that the people of Tennessee expect their leaders to govern on principles of personal integrity, honesty, traditional family, self-reliance, and individual liberty,” the organization’s Web site (www.notoural.com) says. “Further, we have faith that the people of Tennessee have the wisdom and good common sense to recognize hypocrisy when they see it, if they have access to credible information.”
The adsall of which contain the somewhat awkward, not to mention tired, ending that asks the question, “Al, is that your final answer?”seek to expose a series of inconsistencies between reality and rhetoric.
One of the spots points out the Democratic Party’s “commitment to homosexual rights” in the context of Gore’s failure to admonish Democratic delegates for booing a group of Boy Scouts at the party’s convention in Los Angeles last month:
Voice 1: I just don’t get it.
Voice 2: What?
Voice 1: The Washington Times says that Democratic convention delegates booed a group of Boy Scouts.
Voice 2: Why would anybody boo Boy Scouts?
Voice 1: Remember the Supreme Court ruling that the Boy Scouts can decide if it’s wise for homosexual men to be scout leaders? Well, the San Francisco Examiner says gay-rights activists have launched a nationwide campaign against the scouts.
Voice 2: And Al Gore stood up for the scouts, right? He always has before.
Voice 1: Well, when the scouts were booed at the convention, his campaign didn’t have anything to say...but a Democratic Party spokesman did talk about the party’s commitment to homosexual rights.
Voice 2: Well, the Al Gore who’s running for president must not be the same Al Gore we elected to Congress back in 1976.
Voice 1: Yeah, he’s changed his position on so many issues that we always have to ask, “Al...is that your final answer?”
Another spot informs listeners of the Gore family’s holdings in Occidental Petroleum Corp. while reminding them of his pledges to go after big oil companies. Another one brings up the Buddhist temple fund-raising exploit, while yet another points out that zinc mining on the environmental candidate’s land has polluted the Caney Fork River.
Say what you will about the soccer dads. At least they’re sticking to issues.
To reach Liz, call 244-7989, ext. 406, or e-mail email@example.com.
It's overdue, but I'm glad it's in progress. I still don't understand, with the information…
Past time Nashville Metro, Get ya head outta ya ass and do the right thing,…
It's about time he was arrested.
TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBow! TEbow. Tebow....Teb....T....
@Elizzmo: What? You think a swat on the bottom of a misbehaving child is cruel?…