Maryland voters agree, they're sick of ads
Nov 07, 2012 (The Capital - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
No matter Tuesday's outcome, most Marylanders will be happy they won't have to endure any more election ads.
Republicans, Democrats and independents have been besieged in recent weeks by a flood of political ads for and against presidential candidates, the DREAM Act and expanding gambling. Advocates have poured millions of dollars into swaying public opinion but many people are just eager for it all to end.
"It's been terrible," said Dianne Crews, of Admiral Heights in Annapolis, who stood with her husband nearing the front of the line at Germantown Elementary School.
Crews said she's seen the ads on TV, but it's been more than that. She couldn't answer her home phone yesterday because she feared every caller was from another call center looking to push or pull her in a different direction. Once she picked up the first few times, she was done taking calls for the day.
"The phone rang off the hook from numbers I didn't recognize, so I didn't even answer it," she said.
Sheree Dierdorff, of West Annapolis, said she's been sick of political ads for some time now. After she stood in line for around 50 minutes at West Annapolis Elementary School, she had little to say about her political stances other than she was against the gambling referendum.
But Dierdorff had a plenty to say about the ads that have plagued her television's commercial breaks for months now.
"It's such a waste of time and money," Dierdorff said.
She suggested a law that limits politicians and political action committees to broadcasting ads only in the three weeks leading up to Election Day.
But it's clear candidates and committees believe in getting their messages out early and often. From presidential bids to blackjack, airwaves have been jammed with ads as of late.
In the presidential battle, the two candidates, their party committees, and supporting interest groups had sponsored 1,015,615 ads between June 1 and Oct. 29, according to Connecticut's Wesleyan University Media Project, which tracks campaign advertising. The Associated Press reported Nov. 2 that more than $1.08 billion was spent by candidates, parties and groups on commercials since April.
On a local level, State Board of Elections filings Monday show just for Question 7, the two sides of the debate on the expansion of gambling in Maryland spent more than $87 million in their efforts.
Phil Carrizales, of Annapolis, didn't appreciate the negative tone of ads, especially from Obama's camp.
Others felt like the ads were taking the spotlight off people who really need help. Kate Sanford, of West Annapolis, said she'd rather see attention given to people still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
"I'll be ready for this whole thing to be over and get back to focusing on (that)," Sanford said as she left West Annapolis Elementary Tuesday.
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