Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bizzaro: Why did Ganley slash his TV advertising?

A FUNNY THING happened to Tom Ganley on his road map to Congress. But I'm not sure what it is. To call the campaign bizarre would be true enough but still leave the question unanswered. What began more than a year ago as the auto dealer's boastful entry into politics as a short-lived senate candidacy with a $6 million war chest, flinched yesterday with the report that he is suspending his TV advertising campaign as a congressional rival to unseat U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.

The explanation from his campaign manager, Jeff Longstreth, was just as bizarre. The candidate was looking for a way to "break through the clutter" of political ads on Ohio's airwaves. Well, that will surely occur if Ganley pockets his millions and, as Longstreth reports, spends no more than $300,000 on cable TV and radio.

The announcement drew all sorts of puzzled speculation on Ganley's intent. One source suggested that he was cutting his losses because his campaign might be going south. Another said that it was an expression that he was well ahead of Sutton. And another political observer familiar with the campaign predicted that he would lose by 10 points.
Interestingly, many of the published reports referred to recent allegations that he groped a wannabe campaign volunteer. When the story broke in the Plain Dealer more than a week ago, I decided to be the cool guy who would pass on it. There's no avoiding it now. His pullback of the TV ads has hit him with unintended consequences. At least, it has now trumped all of the the criticism of his refusal to meet Sutton in debates.

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