A political television commercial that depicts the Virginia statewide Democratic ticket as hostile gunboats sinking the political careers of other Tidewater Democrats will begin running on stations in that area Wednesday, Republican campaign officials said today.
The 30-second ad is aimed at winning support from Democrats there who may be disappointed that none of the three statewide Democratic candidates in the Nov. 5 election is from the region.
The ad is being paid for by state Del. W.R. (Buster) O'Brien of Virginia Beach, the GOP nominee for state attorney general.
The animated ad depicts state Sen. L. Douglas Wilder as a gunboat sinking the 1982 U.S. Senate campaign of conservative state Del. Owen Pickett of Virginia Beach. Pickett withdrew after Wilder's threat to run as an independent.
A second boat has the faces of Wilder, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gerald L. Baliles and state Del. Mary Sue Terry, the nominee for attorney general, sinking Lt. Gov. Richard J. Davis of Portsmouth, who lost the nomination for governor to Baliles this year, and state Del. Richard M. Bagley of Hampton, who also ran for governor but withdrew.
"Democrats forget Hampton Roads," is the title of the ad that will alternate with two ads that promote the experience of O'Brien.
Baliles, who began running a negative ad in Northern Virginia questioning GOP nominee Wyatt B. Durrette's experience to be governor, also has begun a negative ad in the Richmond area that suggests Durrette is "two-faced" on a variety of issues.
"It's the clearest example yet of the Baliles shuffle as the prince of doubletalk," said Don Harrison, Durrette's press secretary. Harrison noted that Baliles had bragged on Saturday in Alexandria about the positive campaign the Democrats were running.
Meanwhile, the Durrette campaign baked a cake to point out that 100 days had passed since Durrette first asked Baliles to detail what the Democrat's proposals would cost. "He's trying to have his cake and eat it, too," Harrison said, explaining why the staff decided to bake one.