Hard-core political junkies will remember Steve Laffey. But he might soon enough be trying to forget his recent campaign ad, which is being savaged by critics who say it lacks substance:
The former mayor of Cranston, R.I., Laffey lost a GOP primary to Sen. Lincoln Chaffee in 2006 and then wrote a book about it, Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everything in 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign).
Laffey, a wealthy former investment banker, has since moved to Colorado, and is now seeking the Republican nomination in the Fourth Congressional District. The open primary was created when Congressman Cory Gardner decided to abandon his re-election bid in his conservative district and gamble on unseating Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Although Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck - the 2010 Republican Senate nominee in Colorado - is considered the frontrunner in the GOP primary, the four-way race is expected to a wild one.
And Laffey's first ad is already causing a stir. Critics contend it's utterly lacking in substance, with no mention of policy. David Nir of Daily Kos Elections put it this way recently:
CO-04: Former Cranston, Rhode Island Mayor Steve Laffey is the first Republican to hit the airwaves in Colorado's open 4th Congressional District, and wow is his ad awful. It's a poorly edited spot featuring his four kids who take turns saying: 'He is kind. He only likes thing made in America. He always wins at Monopoly. He likes to talk to the cows. He is very smart. He pays me a quarter to chase the geese away.' That is the entirety of the ad. Maybe some people will find it endearing. I am not one of those people.