Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin. Another misleading commercial from “My friend, Ben.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

“Heavy lifting?”

Yesterday, I posted a similarly titled article about a television commercial Senator Cardin ran during the primary. (Ben Cardin is running for his second term as a US Senator from Maryland, having spent the 20 years before that in the House.) The commercial he ran in March was the first of his “My friend, Ben” series and featured a small child talking about how the Senator “wrote a law so every kid can see a dentist.” That never happened.

This article is about a second commercial in the same series that the campaign calls “Heavy lifting.” The title may have something to do with luggage that Senator Cardin is putting on a conveyor belt going into a plane at BWI/Marshall airport. It can’t possibly refer to Senator Cardin’s overall legislative efforts that have been minor at best, and have avoided addressing any major economic (jobs) or fiscal (as in “cliff”) issue of our time.

Forget the title of the ad. You can watch the entire video at Senator Cardin’s campaign website,  (This is an older post, so some website materials may no longer be available.)  In the meantime, here’s the language of the ad, in bold print, with an occasional comment by me.

“It’s heavy lifting.”

“You start with a Democrat Senator named Ben.”

“By getting BWI/Marshall funding for new runways, he’s helping us serve 21 million passengers a year, …”

Wait a minute. The money the ad is talking about is an approximately $2.5 million grant from the Department of Transportation. While Senator Cardin, Senator Mikulsky (Maryland’s senior Senator) and, Johnny-come-lately Congressman Ruppersberger who represents Maryland’s Second Congressional District and who hopped on the announcement bandwagon after Senators Cardin and Mikulsy, have all “announced” this grant, none of them had any material role in obtaining the money for the airport. “Announcing” something is not the same thing as making it happen.

Second, it’s not funding for new runways per se. It’s funding for runway improvements.

“…which helps keep 100,000 jobs that depend on the airport, …”

This notion that Senator Cardin, who, at most, put in a good word for the airport with the DOT the way all Congressmen and Senators do for their home districts and states, is somehow responsible for saving 100,000 jobs, is nonsense. He just wants voters to hear “100,000 jobs” in a commercial with his name and face on it.

“…and that means more cargo for more businesses and more skycaps unloading more taxis carrying families with more luggage.”

“It’s like he out here with us.”

“He’s my friend, Ben. I hope he’s your friend too.”

Personally, I rather elect the actual Mr. Rogers, rest his soul.

“I’m Ben Cardin and I approved this message.”

Do you know who else calls Senator Cardin their friend? The special interest contributors who, through the June 30 FEC report, have given the Cardin campaign $1,669,919 in the past two years alone, $3,606,159 since he first ran for the Senate in 2006.

Here’s an image you won’t see in a Ben Cardin commercial. Instead of a cute little kid or watching Ben load luggage to the sound of a young girl’s voice, imagine men and women in suits on K Street and in other Washington offices talking about what they’re getting for their client’s money from, “My friend, Ben.”

-Next Contestant

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