First, lets hit the two ads that Vokal is releasing today.
They start with an intro spot called, "Pretty Face". This is apparently in reference to the GQ features that Vokal was born with (har har). Take a look.
We don't mind these intro pieces, as Vokal does need to say hello to voters who don't know him yet. But we're not crazy about the idea of using his wife for the entire ad (and the corny, "Whoops, I was just getting myself some coffee, were you filming an ad?"). Who are we voting for here, Jim or Mrs. Vokal? (In the end, it's probably fine...)
The second ad is entitled "29", which is meant to represent the twenty-nine known gangs in Omaha. See it here:
This piece is really more about the message it sends than the content. (As, for one thing, it's very difficult to read the graphics at the beginning anyway.)
The Vokal campaign, and likely the others as well, know that the violence is one of the top, if not the number one issue on the minds of Omahans. The ad lets them know that Vokal is on top of it and that he's a serious candidate, right out of the box.
Of course the other fact is that Vokal is now the first candidate to hit the airwaves, and gets to have his initial message dominate the campaign -- with the Primary less than 100 days away.
And who does the Vokal camp hit here as well? Hal Daub of course.
In a release this morning, Vokal campaign manager Jordan McGrain, said:
"There have actually been fewer homicides these past six years than the six years Hal Daub was mayor. Hal had his chance to control the violence and didn’t get the job done. Jim Vokal will bring the fresh ideas and new perspective needed to get results.”
With "Vokal" adding:
“I respect Hal Daub and his contributions to Omaha, but his crime plan is eight years too late. It’s time for him to step aside and give a new mayor the chance to lead.”
And you were wondering if any punches were going to be pulled?
You will remember Vokal's manager McGrain as Attorney General Jon Bruning's campaign manager for Bruning's brief Senate run (and as our GOP convention correspondent). McGrain didn't have any problems pounding Mike Johanns back then and doesn't have any problem tossing hay makers at Daub now.
And this comes on the day that Daub will be introducing his own crime plan to the city (at 9:30 this Monday morning).
Daub may even have a more detailed plan, but will it get lost in Vokal's media campaign?
We wait to find out.
By the way, as you can see by the opening credits to the ads (which were forwarded to us by the Vokal campaign), the spot was produced by the ad firm Dresner Wickers.
They were the firm that Jon Bruning used for his Senate campaign intro ad (see it here) as well as the firm used by Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee -- with the famous Chuck Norris ad here.