AD WATCH | Evaluating the accuracy of political advertising
Dean Hits Corporate Abuses
Monday, January 12, 2004; Page A04
Candidate: Howard Dean
Market: New Hampshire
Time: 30 seconds
Producer: Trippi, McMahon & Squier
Images: Unlike previous ads in which Dean was wearing rolled-up shirtsleeves or standing in front of a tractor, he looks downright presidential here, and he is wearing a well-tailored black suit, white shirt and red tie and strolling in a stately corporate boardroom, his hand resting on a leather chair as the camera slowly swings around for a close-up. He speaks slowly and softly, as if addressing the country, rather than with the passionate populism of his campaign speeches.
Audio: Energy companies gouging consumers. Accounting firms cooking the books. They get away with it because they have too much power in Washington. Hard work and the free market made America great. But that doesn't excuse business from its responsibility. It's time to hold corporations accountable. To protect workers' pensions and investors who depend on honest accounting. And it's time Washington worked for people.
Analysis: Dean has proposed stricter disclosure requirements for corporations and closing tax loopholes but has not offered a detailed plan on employee pensions. The use of a Washington Post headline -- "Enron Auditor Admits Crime" -- reflects Dean's constant attacks on Enron as a symbol of corporate greed. But opponents have hammered him for offering tax incentives to lure corporate business to Vermont while he was governor -- a program that benefited Enron, although Dean has said it was not tailored to the now-bankrupt energy company. Dean's lauding of "the free market" and lack of reference to his Democratic opponents make this seem like an ad aimed at the November election.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company