Alex Massie

The Best Political Ad of the Year

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No doubting this. Apparently you need to win an election to become Coroner in New Orleans. This is good news since it has produced the strangest attack ad I've seen in ages:

By way of background:

The spot portraying [Dr Frank] Minyard as a Frankensteinian crazy was paid for by Dwight McKenna, MD, a convicted tax evader who's running against Minyard. It's airing on local TV in the area.

The video highlights a mini-scandal from the 1990s, when Minyard was sued for allegedly removing bone pieces and corneas from the deceased and passing them onto transplant centers without permission. "It's contemptible," McKenna said in an interview.

Of course, some people are going to find this ad is contemptible, but McKenna defends the spot. "The ad is, we believe, factual," he said. "It's fair play. It's done in a humorous way."

McKenna didn't want to talk about his 1992 conviction on federal tax charges for underreporting his income by $367,000. He served nine months in prison.

As for Minyard, he said his office never sold body parts, as is suggested by the ad, and noted that he was dropped from the lawsuit. In fact, Minyard said, "organ donation is the thing I'm most proud during years here as coroner."

The coroner thinks the spot is actually helping him. "People are coming up to me and saying it's atrocious," he said.

Be that as it may, I think neutrals should be supporting Dr McKenna.

UPDATE: Jon Chait disagrees and recalls a Kentucky ad that might be even better.


Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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