Missouri: Barnes’ New Ad Calls Graves Pathetic and Sad

Posted May 19, 2008 at 6:22pm

Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D) went up with a new television spot last week, responding to Rep. Sam Graves’ (R) recent criticism of her “San Francisco” values.

“Eight years in Congress and all Sam Graves has to show for it is this?” the ad begins. “Sam Graves’ negative campaign — It’s sad.”

“But even more pathetic is Sam Graves taking over $50,000 from Exxon and big oil companies, giving them billions in special tax breaks and leaving us with record high gas prices and an economy in shambles,” the ad continues. “So maybe this is all Sam Graves has left?”

Last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a fundraiser at her house for Barnes and nine other Democratic challengers. Graves’ camp went up with a TV ad bashing the fete.

In her new ad, Barnes included a clip from Graves’ new spot, which featured two white women dancing with a cowboy-hat wearing black man, a casting that is drawing criticism in the district.

Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske wrote that Graves’ ad, which is running only in rural markets, has “got people talking.”

“It’s sleazy,” Rich Fulton, a professor at district-based Northwest Missouri State University, told Kraske. “It’s homophobic, and it borders on the racist. It just says to me [Graves] is desperate.”

Graves spokesman Jason Klindt responded to Kraske: “She doesn’t represent our values, and this ad shows the clear contrast between her values and ours.”

— Matthew Murray