The Huffington Post (among others) has been reporting lately on the fact that the off-year election season is in full swing and it appears that it will be perhaps the most ridiculous one yet.
I know that's saying a lot. But the campaign ads so far are supporting that prediction.
The first of this truly remarkable pair is an attack ad being run by the challenger in the race to be the next coroner of Orleans Parish, Louisiana. (Yes, there is a race to be the next coroner of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, and yes, coroner candidates now run attack ads.) The ad refers to a scandal in the 1990s in which Dr. Frank Minyard, the nine-term incumbent, was sued for allegedly removing bone pieces and corneas from cadavers without permission (from next of kin - not that you need a cadaver's permission to do anything, although it is still polite to ask) and passing them on to transplant centers. According to this report, he was never even accused of selling them – I guess he was just "encouraging" organ donation – and was eventually dropped from the lawsuit altogether. But the ad still depicts him as a "Dr. Frankenstein," complete with a very poorly costumed Igor:
Ironically, according to the same report, Minyard's challenger, Dr. Dwight McKenna, actually has been convicted of something, although it was tax evasion and not body-snatching. He served nine months in jail for that, which Dr. Frankenstein Minyard is likely to mention in any response ad.
Editor's note: Any reference to "Dr. Frankenstein" is generally used by Kevin as an excuse to repeat one of his favorite facts of all time, namely that the president of the California Medical Association during 2008 was one "Dr. Richard S. Frankenstein." That is a true fact, and one that Kevin insists on repeating here although it does not fit the legal-humor theme. In any event, please excuse the interruption.
Note to editor's note: please ignore the fact that Kevin is also the editor of this blog, so that the third-person usage in these notes makes no sense at all. Thank you.
But the clear front-runner in the race for Lunatic Campaign Ad of 2010 involves a much higher-profile office, namely (but not surprisingly) a California seat in the U.S. Senate. This ad seems to be real and seems to have really come from the campaign of Carly Fiorina, a former executive now competing in the GOP primary for the right to lose to Sen. Barbara Boxer. The ad attacks current front-runner Tom Campbell, claiming he is a fiscal conservative "in name only." But it also seems to imply that he is Satan in sheep's clothing. The video is three-and-a-half minutes long, but it is worth it because the Demon Sheep that appears about two-and-a-half minutes in absolutely must be seen to be believed:
Fiorina is not likely to prevail in the primary even with demonic ovine aid, and any GOP challenger would have a difficult time unseating Boxer. But she will not have run in vain, because her legacy will at least include this crazy campaign ad against which all future crazy campaign ads are likely to be measured.