OR-1: Is Rob Cornilles running against Earl Blumenauer? (Or the mayor of Austin, Texas?)

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Rob Cornilles, the Republican congressional candidate in OR-1, has a new TV ad up. It's a cute ad - he's jogging through the district, past various landmarks and small town scenes.

At the end of the ad, he stops and turns to the camera and delivers his closing line. The words are fairly meaningless pablum - it's the location that's so bizarre. Check it out.

Didja catch that? He's standing on the Eastbank Esplanade, with the downtown Portland skyline behind him. Setting aside the questionable politics of being the "downtown Portland" candidate in a district that runs all the way to McMinnville and Astoria - the basic fact is that on his run through the district, he actually wound up in Earl Blumenauer's district. After all, the Willamette River is the dividing line between OR-1 and OR-3.

And one more thing. This ad is a direct rip-off of an ad by the Mayor of Austin, Texas - Lee Leffingwell, a Democrat. Check it out.

Political ads aren't exactly high art, and are often derivative. But the Cornilles ad is almost a shot-for-shot reproduction of Leffingwell's ad. First the wide shot, then the shoe closeup, then the natural setting, then across the bridge, then up a slope, then to the stone-bricked pathway near the bridge, then turn to the camera to close. Cornilles has faster cuts, and mixes in some shuttered small businesses, but it's quite a cinematic tribute to the liberal Democrat environmentalist from Austin.

I wonder what ad the Cornilles team will rip off next? Maybe the Apple 1984 ad? Or LBJ's daisies? Or maybe, like Gordon Smith, he can pretend that he's endorsed by Barack Obama!

Personally, I'm hoping for the SNL parody ad, Happy Fun Ball.

Update: Politico's Dave Catanese found another ad that looks similar - and it's Earl Blumenauer's ad from 1996! In that ad, Blumenauer runs through Portland as a (rather ominous) voiceover explains all the great things Blumenauer had done on the Portland City Council.

Update: But wait, there's more! Mitt Romney, Ashwin Madia, and Kelly Ayotte have all gone running in TV spots. But I think the Cornilles ad steals more from the Austin ad than simply the concept - as it's nearly a shot-for-shot tribute.

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    Again, why visit the credibility of your site on this man?

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      I have no idea what you're talking about.

      I'm commenting about an Oregon politician. That's not surprising on a blog about Oregon politics.

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        I'm sorry, I was not clear. This man LOST by 11 points in a Republican wave year to David "Go Get em Tiger" Wu (who, as you know, ran an absentee campaign). The public has a short memory and I personally don't believe that the sins of Wu are going to transfer to whoever wins the Democratic primary. For this man to win, he'd need not only another Republican wave year (I'm not seeing that during this special election, are you?), he'd need the support of the organizations on the ground and, last I checked, he doesn't have it (and wont get it). So, here we are, chatting about a man who will not be CD1's congressman at the expense of talking about those in the Democratic primary that will.

        Incidentally, has BlueOregon officially responded to the Willamette Week article regarding a potential conflict of interest? Are we talking about Cornilles because we can't talk about Avakian, Bonamici, or Witt without stirring that nest? I know I'm likely jumping to conclusions but, I am interested in what BlueOregon has to say about the Willamette Week piece link: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-18067-sins_of_omission.html

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          Um, again, I don't think it's surprising (or meaningless) to discuss a Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon. It's not like blog posts are some rare crystal found only under the light of a blue moon. We also don't have some grand strategy for what gets covered. Each of us individually writes about what we find interesting. I found this interesting. If it bores you, go away.

          As for Willamette Week, "BlueOregon" won't "officially" respond - because BlueOregon isn't a person, or even an organization.

          I have responded - multiple times, and at great length - over at Willamette Week, where the article was published. I didn't find it worthy of comment in this venue.

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    Hat tips, btw, to commenters James Allen and "trowaman" over at DailyKos.

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    Kari has a firm grasp on the picayune.

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    Better is the context of the shot:
    "Downtown Portland, which features in the ad's background just across the Willamette River, is in the 1st CD—but that same river divides the 1st from the 3rd, so to capture a picturesque view of that part of the city, you have to situate yourself in OR-03."

    Makes sense to me. Perhaps Kari missed that, as well as the net worth calculation in yesterday's post.

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    "Personally, I'm hoping for the SNL parody ad, Happy Fun Ball."

    Do not taunt Rob Cornilles.

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    Just so I have this straight. Your big scoop is that LOTS of people run campaign ads with candidates running. It's been happening for years (R and D). And two of them are similar. I dare suggest they are all probably pretty similar. How many different ways can you shoot someone running? Front, side, back, close, far away, shoes. The post probably sounded better when you thought there was only one other ad and Robs' was (and is) very close. Shouldn't you praise a Republican using a good Democratic idea? Looks like bipartisanship to me. :-)

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    I have a couple of nice bridges here in Tualatin he could have used with a beautiful fall foliage backdrop. Our Ki-A-Kuts pedestrian bridge over the Tualatin River is especially picturesque. What a shame he didn't consider looking in his own back yard.

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    I don't get why he'd use downtown PDX, either. It's on the edge of the district--and there are a ton of beautiful spots in district both for running and for setting.

    There are also a lot of people who live in rural areas who might like to see their community--say--actually get some attention.

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    Give the guy a break. At least he didn't run into Washington to get a shot across the Columbia.

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    The clear deception in this Ad is the claim that Cornilles is not really a Republican, he's actually an Independent who hates Washington politicians. Meaning....he hates the GOP Congress of which he is running to be a member of.

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    1) I think I remember a Sten ad from the 90s where he ran through Portland.

    2) I am wondering if Cornilles and this Texas guy have the same consultants or media team? Consultants often produce similar spots for different candidates in different media markets.

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    Nice ad, Rob -- now hurry-up and lose to a worthy Democratic opponent!

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