Liberal candidate Stone decries NDP 'attack' ad
A new radio ad by the NDP is a disappointment to Todd Stone because he feels it attacks his B.C. Liberal Party.
Stone, the Liberal candidate for Kamloops-South Thompson in the May 14 election, said he wasn’t surprised the ads are being targeted to Kamloops.
“At the end of the day, advertising is not going to win. It will be hard work and talking to people.”
The ad, released this week, features NDP Leader Adrian Dix talking about what his party would do in government, mentioning the Liberals once when he says the party “relies on personal attacks.”
Stone said he was unhappy with the ad because Dix had “assured people he was going to run a positive campaign and, the first time out, he takes a swipe at the B.C. Liberals.”
Stone said his party’s advertisements do not mention the NDP, focusing on specific plans and initiatives instead.
However, asked how he feels about advertisements paid for by Concerned Citizens for B.C., a group that supports the B.C. Liberals and headed by a former adviser to Premier Christy Clark, Stone did not reply, other than to say he has no control over advertising decisions made at the provincial level or by other groups.
CCBC is headed by Jim Shepard, a former executive with Finning and Canfor, as well as a $1-a-year Clark consultant. Last June, Shepard announced he was creating the organization to work to see Clark and her government re-elected.
The first ad is running on radio and attacks the NDP, claiming “Adrian Dix, a risk we can’t afford” as it talks of Dix falsifying a document and the NDP’s fast-ferry purchase in the 1990s.
Stone said he has radio and television advertisements planned for the campaign.
Their tone, he said, will be positive, focusing on specific issues, which he said has been his message since he started talking with Kamloopsians six months ago.
As for a promise by Dix to introduce legislation that would require all government advertising be reviewed by the auditor general’s office to ensure none have a political bent, Stone said the idea is interesting.
However, he added, “government has an obligation to communicate with its citizens.”
Dix’s proposal comes after sharp criticism of a $15-million ad campaign by the B.C. Liberal government that features Premier Christy Clark in several prime-time TV spots.
Though he won’t be in the legislature — which is due to reconvene in February — when the proposed rules are submitted, Tom Friedman, Kamloops-South Thompson’s NDP candidate, is cheering the move.
“I think having the premier front and centre in these ads is really disturbing,” he said.
Friedman said commercials with Clark are fine if the party is paying for them as part of the election campaign.
“In ads that are supposed to be government policy and government operations, it’s just really not appropriate.”
In a November interview, Clark told KTW the ads are meant to get British Columbians more engaged in government activities and called the charges of self-promotion an oversimplification.
“I’m sure the NDP would like nothing better than for the government to disengage from citizens because I think that might serve their political agenda,” she said at the time.