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Ad Controversies

— The Washington Post looks at the proliferation of nasty attack ads, including the RNC ad against Democrat Harold Ford in the Tennessee Senate race, which has been pulled but won't quite seem to go away.  "While negative campaigning is a tradition in American politics, this year's version in many races has an eccentric shade, filled with allegations of moral bankruptcy and sexual perversion.  At the same time, the growth of 'independent expenditures' by national parties and other groups has allowed candidates to distance themselves from distasteful attacks on their opponents."  The story notes that "most harsh Democratic attacks have focused on the policies and performance of the GOP majority, trying to link Republicans to Bush, the unpopular war in Iraq and" famous Hill scandals. 

The Wall Street Journal reports on how some candidates are trying to break through the barrage of negative ads with emotional spots (like the Michael J. Fox ads) or quirky ones (like Maryland GOP Senate nominee Michael Steele's).