Best ad of the political cycle? Meet state House candidate McGee

In my opinion, the best ad of the political cycle so far hasn’t come from the fancy East Coast ad firms who make millions on these things. It hasn’t come from any of the statewide candidates, nor from any stuffed super-PAC. Rather, in my opinion, the best ad so far has come from Democratic state House candidate Marty McGee, who’s running in an open seat in West Anchorage. He’ll face Republican Liz Vazquez in the general. Because of the crowded media field, the ad is only playing on the web for now.

McGee was a life-long Republican until he was fired by Gov. Sean Parnell from the State Assessment and Review Board, which is responsible for assessing the value of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. That number determines property taxes for municipalities along the TAPS route. Tens of millions are at stake. McGee wanted a higher number. The oil companies argued for a lower number. Parnell initially filled his spot from someone from California with ties to the oil industry until he withdrew from consideration.

None of this is mentioned in the ad. Instead, it focuses on the personal, including on McGee choking-up. But what Josh Corbett–the local videographer who’s working for the Dems this election cycle–does particularly well are the small touches: the old work-boots, the daughter’s hoodie, the over-grown lawns, the weeds, the idiosyncratic house. It feels real, in the best way.


16 thoughts on “Best ad of the political cycle? Meet state House candidate McGee

  1. Dick LaFever

    Marty McGee is principled, honest, listens, and has a life long commitment to Alaska. I’ve known Marty for seven years both professionally, and as a personal friend. I am not in his voting district, but if I was, he would have my vote without hesitation. He will do what’s right for his district, our community, and our state.

  2. Andy

    I have known Marty for 23 years; first as a neighbor, then as a friend and more recently as family. This ad truly tells it as it is, but highly briefly. Marty is genuinely happy and excited to have the opportunity to better Alaskan communities and I can’t imagine a better candidate for this position. When you talk with him about the issues he is knowledgable and doesn’t feel for decisions, rather contemplates the potential outcome of each.

    The article implies that Marty swapped parties after his conflict with Parnell. I would be careful following that assumption. Marty resonates many Alaskan’s ideals, and doesn’t blindly follow party politics because he is a cookie-cutter politician, nor is he in this to seek revenge on Parnell. The man is an honest, caring individual and his heart is in the perfect place to help better our futures. If you don’t believe me, have a chat with him sometime 🙂

  3. Tom McGrath

    Marty did a fairly good job in his role as the tax assessor for the Municipality but to change party affiliation and run for office because you are mad at the governor puts him good company this year. There seems to be a lot of people running , not for what they can accomplish, but because don’t like someone or don’t like what someone is doing. What happened to the citizen that wants to lend his ideas to the state for a few years because they are a good citizen that wants to give back. The first test should be long term honesty, not only with potential voters, but with themselves. If Marty can’t look in the mirror and say this is who I am and who I have been then I can’t see him as a viable candidate. Same for many others, especially Walker and Mallott. Do you know who you are? If you don’t know who you are and can not be honest about it, why should anyone vote for you?

  4. Mae

    Having met Marty nearly 20 years ago and watching this ad today, he still is just as humble and caring about Alaska as the day I met him. Not a lot of fluff and puffing of the chest. Just Marty.

    And your absolutely right Amanda, this is the best ad so far this season.
    We need to see more of this kind.
    I know it makes me less sour and bad mouthy.

  5. CPG49

    It seems like people like the ad if they like the candidate and don’t if the don’t.
    Ads are designed to move people. To suggest this ad is the best of the election cycle is a huge stretch for me. Actually, it reminds me of something a junior higgh class project may have produced. Overly simplistic, too long and lacks any meaningful substance. I’m not a voter in this district but find the usefulness of this ad to be minimal. It isn’t going to air commercially and the only people going to see it on a website will probably be his supporters. Amanda, this is the first time we’ve had a serious disagreement; however, many of the posters agreed with you on this one. Who would have thought? I bet if you think about it you probably only like it because you like the candidate.

  6. David Nees

    The lack of substance is stunning. Marty is less interested in giving back as getting back at the man who fired him . Taxman McGee and you also left out his 17 years of valuation increases making Anchorage tax payers the highest property tax payers in State. We do not need Marty McGee in Juneau.
    David Need write in candidate district 22

  7. gweninalaska

    You’re right, that’s a great commercial. This is my first visit to your site. Your little saying, “Inside Alaska politics…so you don’t have to be.” cracked me up. I’ve been fascinated by politics since I was very young. In 1963, I was ten years old. I sat in a classroom with three classes jammed in there to watch Kennedy’s funeral. A teacher at the back of the room kept asking, “Who’s that? Who’s that? Who’s that?” every time a dignitary, political or otherwise walked by the camera. I was the only one answering, “John McNamara, Dean Rusk, Hubert Humphrey…” etc. After a few minutes she said, “Someone up front knows her politics.”

    The two thousand ten senatorial race about drove me wild. To calm myself, I would often turn to watching Bob Ross paint happy clouds and trees. I’m not sure why Alaska politics drives me so nuts, but it really does. I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors that makes for a perfect storm of cutthroat behavior.

    Another thing I find refreshing about the candidate’s commercial is his stated desire to give back. I’ve always believed the founders of this country intended for regular people with actual jobs or businesses to serve one or two terms and then return to their homes and vocations. So, thanks for sharing this. It always makes me happy to find something to agree on with people. I’m probably naïve, in fact I’m sure I am but I’d rather take people at their word than pick them apart and question every word they say and wonder if their motives are pure.

  8. Derp

    Ad is great. Video tells a clear story of an honest, small time politician going to work (button, clipboard), while the narration fills us in on marty’s background. Nice touch that they held off on anything negative. I never had much opinion on MM positive or negative before this ad, though I’d heard some ppl were excited about him.. now I know why.

    And since Marty didn’t say it, I will– Liz Vazquez isn’t the type of person we want in office. MM’14!

  9. Straitlaced Radical

    The ad is pretty good. But I, for one, am tired of the party-jumping. Is he running as a Dem because he didn’t like what happened to him in a Repub administration? Or because he really has values and principles more lined up with that side? And if so, why was he a “life-long Republican?” Or is it possible he just thinks he has a better chance at being elected as a Democrat in that district? If one is going to align with a specific party (which I personally am not), voters ought to be able to infer something from the party affiliation. If I lived in his district, I would want some answers to these questions before I would vote for him.

  10. Mike

    KR, with all due respect, you’re wrong.

    This is a beautiful ad. It is heartfelt and humble. This obviously wasn’t meant to be a “vote for me” style ad. The length, tone and underlying message is a “getting to know me” ad. I like it. I also don’t know McGee, but I feel like I do from this ad. This ad reminds me of the kind of guy that would help a stranger fix a tire. It might be the boots, but he feels like he’s more Alaskan than Liz. I like Liz. I wanted her to win the primary last round against Bell. She is polished, professional and smart as hell. McGee would have looked foolish if he had tried to go that route. I’m with Amanda, except I still think Dubey’s over-the-top ad is #1. Amanda, are you planning on a best ads of the cycle article?

  11. Garand Fellow

    Well I think this is a great ad. It is exactly enough unpolished to be believable. It never mentions party. It doesn’t take even an oblique shot at the opponent. If it is followed by one subsequent ad of the same character and quality in which the candidate asks for the vote using the same sincerity seen here then I think this McGee will be hard to beat, especially for an open seat.

    This is the right ad for Alaska at this time. But I think it needs to run on television to do the job.

    This guy may be running as a Democrat but the entire ad yells Republican to me. If the ad is an accurate portrayal of the candidate, and if he wins I cannot imagine a guy like this having any time for Chris Tuck or putting up with some of the other personalities in the Minority.

  12. KR

    Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one’s personal tastes vascillates fromm person to person; however, to suggest that this ad is the best of the political cycle is ridiculous on almost every level of possible evaluation. So my question is simple, were you being sarcastic?
    The message, the videography and the useless lenfth (albeiit too long for comercial or cable broadcast and too long to capture and hold people’s attention on the web).
    I don’t know Mr. McGee, he may or may not be a good candidate. However, based on my tastes and experience, I’d be generous and grade this ad a C –

Comments are closed.