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.