State - Race for Governor AdWatch: Dem. Dillon promotes record in 2nd TV ad

The Associated Press

TITLE: "Rowing."

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Begins airing Monday on broadcast and cable stations statewide for at least two weeks. Will air most heavily in Detroit area.

SCRIPT: Andy Dillon: "With the big challenges we have, we need someone that can work across the aisle.

"The 21st Century Jobs fund -- we did that in a bipartisan way to diversify the state's economy.

"The comprehensive energy reform that included renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives is creating a whole new industry in the state of Michigan.

"The recent pension reform for schools puts more teachers in the classroom.

"If you're going to have a decent paying job in the 21st century, you need an education to do that.

"We're all in the same boat together. We better start rowing in the same direction."

Announcer: "Democrat Andy Dillon for Governor."

KEY IMAGES: The ad starts with Andy Dillon in a coat and tie, talking about the need for bipartisanship as the words "Democrat Andy Dillon" and Dillon's campaign website address show on the screen.

It switches to footage of Dillon speaking to workers standing near stacks of boxes as the words, "The Dillon Record: 21st Century Jobs Fund," are shown.

It goes back to Dillon talking, then shows a photo of solar panels and video of wind turbines generating electricity. The words appear: "The Dillon Record: Clean Energy Jobs for Michigan."

That's followed by video of Dillon speaking again. It switches to show him working at a desk and then shows an elementary classroom. One little boy goes up to Dillon, who's sitting at a round classroom table with students, and appears to whisper in his ear. The words on the screen say, "The Dillon Record: Pension Reform to Protect School Funding."

The last image shows Dillon speaking to seniors at an outdoor gathering that appears to be a farmer's market. The screen again says, "Democrat Andy Dillon."

The ad ends with the campaign's logo and the words, "Democrat Andy Dillon for Governor."

ANALYSIS: The ad gives Dillon another chance to introduce himself in a positive manner to voters, half of whom said in a recent EPIC-MRA poll that they didn't recognize his name. It comes just days after Dillon released his plan for sparking job creation and turning around the state's economy.

The House speaker from Wayne County's Redford Township is a former business turnaround specialist and helped pass the 21st Century Jobs Fund, although the primary sponsor was Republican Rep. Bill Huizinga. Dillon doesn't repeat the inaccurate claim in his first ad that he was House speaker when the measure passed in 2005. He was a lawmaker but not yet House speaker.

He did help draw up and pass a 2008 bill that requires that 10 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2015, and the state is adding "green" jobs. But critics say Dillon's clean energy record is marred by his support for building more coal-burning power plants in the state.

The speaker played a role in pushing for teacher retirement legislation that gave public school employees who retired this year a slightly larger annual pension and required remaining employees to pay 3 percent of their salaries toward retiree health care. State officials announced Friday that 17,063 school employees applied to retire this summer, saving an estimated $515 million the first year.

Teacher unions are in court fighting the 3 percent provision as well as a section of the law that puts new teachers into a retirement plan that combines a traditional pension with a defined contribution plan, rather than just giving them a pension. The Michigan Education Association is backing Dillon's Democratic opponent, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Dillon's two ads were produced by AKPD Message and Media from Chicago. Bernero also has used some out-of-state consultants, but Dillon was criticized for using AKPD to produce his first ad, which stressed hiring Michigan workers first. Dillon's campaign spokesman says the two ads were filmed in the state by four Michigan companies and feature Michigan campaign workers and their children.

Since Bernero has not yet run TV ads, Dillon has the airwaves to himself as he crafts an image of himself as a moderate who can get things done in a bipartisan manner while bringing an innovative yet calm approach to the state's problems. Bernero took hits at that image in the pair's first televised debate last week and in news releases, but the mayor won't be able to pick up as much support from the huge pool of undecided voters until he also goes up on the air.


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

Published: Tue, Jun 29, 2010