State - AdWatch Democrat Andy Dillon promotes himself in 1st TV ad Poll shows half of voters don't recognize candidate's name

By Kathy Barks Hoffman

The Associated Press

TITLE: "Skilled."

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: On broadcast and cable stations statewide.

SCRIPT: Andy Dillon: "We have a tremendously talented and skilled work force. We're very productive in this state."

Announcer: "Democrat Andy Dillon. For years, he fought to rescue troubled companies and save Michigan jobs.

"As speaker, he brought both parties together to invest in job-creating startups, and to spark the clean energy jobs of tomorrow.

"And Dillon's fighting for a law to hire Michigan workers first."

Dillon: "No company that receives tax incentives should be exporting jobs. That's just morally bankrupt. If you're getting a tax credit, then you better be focusing on investing and growing in Michigan."

KEY IMAGES: The ad starts with Andy Dillon in a coat and tie, talking about the Michigan work force as the words "Democrat Andy Dillon" flash on the screen.

It switches to footage of Dillon working at a desk, then walking with a worker past stacks of boxes and speaking to a woman in an office as the words, "The Dillon Record: Worked with Troubled Companies to Save Michigan Jobs" are shown.

The next image is a black- and-white photo of Dillon at the House speaker's rostrum and speaking to fellow lawmakers, with the words, "The Dillon Record: Passed Bipartisan 21st Century Jobs Fund" on the screen.

That's followed by video of Dillon speaking to someone in an office, images of wind turbines and the words, "The Dillon Record: Create Clean Energy Jobs."

The next image shows Dillon, in an open-necked plaid shirt, speaking to a farmer standing in front of a wagon and a bale of straw. Onscreen are the words: "The Dillon Record: Fighting to Pass the Hire Michigan First Law."

The image returns to Dillon in a coat and tie, saying that no company that gets tax incentives should be exporting jobs. It then shows him speaking to a man and woman with a forklift nearby.

It ends with the words, "Andy Dillon for Michigan. Democrat for Governor."

ANALYSIS: The ad gives Dillon a chance to introduce himself in a positive manner to voters, around half of whom said in a recent EPIC-MRA poll that they didn't recognize his name. The House speaker from Wayne County's Redford Township is a former business turnaround specialist and did help pass the 21st Century Jobs Fund as well as an energy bill that required that 10 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2015.

However, the bills that would require companies getting tax incentives to hire Michigan workers first have many critics, and while Dillon says he fought to pass the Hire Michigan First legislation, it still is not law. Supporters said the measures would boost the state's economy by giving businesses an incentive to hire in-state workers. Republican lawmakers opposed provisions that would have given companies with union-represented work forces more flexibility to hire from out-of-state than non-unionized employers.

The Democratic-led House passed the measures in 2009, but the bills never made it to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's desk because they couldn't get through the Republican majority in the Senate. The ad, while accurate, leaves the impression that the requirement that Michigan workers be hired first is a done deal.

The ad attempts to cover a lot of ground and shifts through a lot of images, which can be a lot for the viewer to take in. Dillon's message that he's trying to create jobs and help workers is a potent one in a state with a 14 percent unemployment rate, where most voters want a governor who can improve the economy.

Getting his ads on the air before Democratic rival Virg Bernero could give Dillon an edge, since 71 percent of those polled say they don't recognize the Lansing mayor's name.

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Analysis by AP Political Writer Kathy Barks Hoffman in Lansing, Mich.

Published: Wed, Jun 16, 2010