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Z on TV Critic David Zurawik writes about the business and culture of TV

Jealous backed with six-figure TV ad buy attacking Hogan on public schools

Democrat Ben Jealous, who has been pounded since July on Baltimore TV by millions of dollars of TV ads from the Republican Governors Association, got a bit of relief today.

The Democratic Governors Association backed the launch of a TV ad titled “Commitment” on local stations attacking Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s record on education.

“Today, Democratic Action, an independent expenditure backed by the Democratic Governors Association, launched a new ad in Maryland,” a statement on the DGA’s website says. “’Commitment’ highlights Larry Hogan’s record of cutting millions from Maryland’s public schools and contrasts it with Ben Jealous’ commitment to fully funding education.”

The DGA statement says the ad is backed by a “ significant six-figure buy.”

Here’s the core message of the ad:

“Parents and teachers know the real story on Larry Hogan and our schools. Fact is, many public schools have slipped, some even in crisis. And Governor Hogan cut $68 million we should be investing directly on our local schools,” a narrator says.

“Let’s get Maryland back to basics. Ben Jealous, the only candidate backed by classroom teachers for his commitment to fully funding education. Ben Jealous, the education governor Maryland needs.”

I am not sure what to make of the language on the DGA website describing Democratic Action as an “independent expenditure.” But some analysts have wondered about the difference between the deep support Hogan has received from the RGA versus the what the DGA gave Jealous — or didn’t give him. Either way, it is essentially dark money.

I would be surprised if this 30-second ad and six figures worth of backing is going to change the dynamic on Baltimore TV this late in the election.

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