MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Gary Johnson SuperPAC Launching Huge CNN, Fox Ad Buy

Ad presents Johnson as for "tolerance, free enterprise, and a sane foreign policy" and reportedly cost PurplePAC a million.

PurplePAC, a SuperPAC run by Cato Institute co-founder Edward Crane, will be launching a TV ad promoting the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson on Friday.

PurplePACPurplePAC

The ad is intended to air 25 times on CNN and 25 times on Fox, from this Friday until Monday.

The theme of the ad, from an early copy I've seen, is that Donald Trump is too offensive, that Hillary Clinton wants higher taxes and bigger government** (both supported via clips of the major party's candidates) and that "America deserves better."

Johnson is said in the ad to be for "tolerance, free enterprise, and a sane foreign policy." He wants "government that stays out of your pocketbook, and out of the bedroom."

CNN reporting on the ad buy said it will cost $1 million, and notes the official campaign has done no TV ad buys yet. (I reported earlier today on aspects of the official campaign's financials.)

The $1 million for the ad buy, I'm told, is coming from Jeff Yass, an options trader and one of the founders of Philadelphia-based Susquehanna International Group.

Yass had previously been generously supporting Rand Paul SuperPACs. He'd given six figures to America's Liberty PAC, $300,000 to Concerned American Voters, and a previous million to PurplePAC last year when it was still supporting Rand Paul in his Republican primary.

UPDATE: What seems to be the finished ad, slightly different from the earlier version I saw.

**The particular attack on Clinton switched from higher taxes and bigger government to "will say anything to get elected" and hit the email controversy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Brochettaward||

    Purple = red and blue mixed. Pretty sneaky, siss. Because libertarians? We're really just centrist moderates with that whole fiscally conservative and socially liberal thing.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    It's a smart message if your goal is to appeal to people who aren't libertarians.

  • GILMORE™||

    I dont know about that.

    If that Purple shit were so smart, both the DNC and the GOP would be scrambling to position themselves in the "Center" and climb over one another in insisting how "moderate" or "willing to compromise" they were. Politicians would promise to split the difference on everything and insist that "while "extremists" might have concerns about principles, well baby in the real world we need to make concessions..."

    Shorter = that's not how politics (or any binary competition) works.

    Instead what they do is "differentiate", and pretend to be *much more extreme than they actually are*

    Team Red panders to the Guns and God crowd and promises to bomb the moozlims into sandy-gravy

    Team Blue panders to the commies and hippies and insists they will repeal the laws of supply and demand and turn the coal-plants into Quinoa farms

    I'm just not convinced that Team Purple is "a thing". It might work *now* because the other two candidates are so loathsome, so a message of, "hey! We're Not Dicks!" might 'do something'. But i doubt its how you 'do best' with non-libertarian voters, necessarily.

    because everyone has at least a few issues they care about. no one is some mushy "in-between" blank-slate which just wants "generic-competent leader" even if that's what people think polling shows.

    We had a conversation about this topic the other day in the context of 'focus groups', and how poorly products fared when they tried to be 'all things to all people'.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Look at from the context of this election: Clinton and Trump are widely distrusted and/or hated. So Johnson is attempting to remind voters that there is a third, non-threatening option.

    His biggest challenge is that a majority don't know who he is, his secondary challenge is creating a good impression. This is where the ad buy comes in.

    Not saying it will work but I think the reasoning is sound.

  • Brochettaward||

    I don't see what this gets you long term. Even if you capitalize on the never-Trump thing and/or hatred of Hillary, if you aren't articulating a clear message to voters - and Johnson sure as fuck is not - then why the hell are they going to stick around long term? What is going to make people read up more on what libertarianism actually is beyond the caricatures in the media?

    Right now the only message I get from Johnson is we are kind of like Republican-lite, only more gay friendly. Great - the Republican party is already moving that way on its own. Fuck, most Republicans support pot legalization now.

    I mean, on this answer, he could have at least spit some talk on incentives to explain why privatization doesn't always work out so great. At least expose people to some basic economics.

  • GILMORE™||

    Even if you capitalize on the never-Trump thing and/or hatred of Hillary, if you aren't articulating a clear message to voters - and Johnson sure as fuck is not - then why the hell are they going to stick around long term?

    Yeah, that's sort of my same thought

    The counter-argument i assume exists which no one ever makes is that

    "eh, so what, if we get 5%, then next time there's mo' federal-matching-money and mo'ballot-access, and THEN we'll do something interesting and different...."

    but i don't really buy the second half of that. I buy the first part.

    but i just don't think they'll have a More Libertarian brand once they've sold people on New!!And Improved Diet-Lite-Extra-No-Calorie Libertarianishness (Now with twice the sorta-cool-with-taxes-and-regulation!)

  • Bubba Jones||

    That is different. BMW once commented that they only needed to sell a few hundred thousand cars to people who really cared. Not appeal to everyone.

    Politicians need to appeal to a broader market. There is no such thing as a small market with a high profit margin.

  • GILMORE™||

    There is no such thing as a small market with a high profit margin.

    Actually, without spending more than a split second considering this.... i'm pretty sure the opposite is true.

    *(at least in my own market-analysis experience - small markets ="high margin"/ huge markets = "low margin")

    Which i think is besides the point anyway. I'm not sure what you said was in response to me. or at least i don't understand your BMW* point, because that sounds like you're agreeing with me.

  • DenverJ||

    "Politicians need to appeal to a broader market. There is no such thing as a small market with a high profit margin."
    Sure there is. Get the opinion makers and the teachers on your side, and they'll do the rest for you.

  • Joe M||

    I disagree. When you go to a beach and want to sell hot dogs, you put your stand right in the middle to get the most customers.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I would care a lot about Weld being a commie if I thought he might win.

    4 years from now it will remembered as a "libertarian" vote.

    I hope.

  • Brochettaward||

    And most people will still be no closer to knowing what the hell a libertarian actually is.

  • widget||

    Purple = red and blue mixed

    Light or Crayons?

    Trump is doing very well in rural Pennsylvania.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wise choice not to waste it on MSNBC.

  • Krabappel||

    Well, the ads would have been cheap, but nobody would have seen them.

  • PurityDiluting||

    his earned media is already on those channels. why not run the ads on non-political channels to reach a different set of viewers? why a waste of $1 million

  • straffinrun||

    Launch your TV for Johnson!

  • DWB||

    Tolerance?

    Well, except for religious folk.

    But hey, at least he won't have government agents strip Muslim women.

    LOL ... a friggin' prog.

  • SIV||

    But hey, at least he won't have government agents strip Muslim women.

    Surprisingly for a libertarian, Johnson, who recently resigned as the CEO of Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana marketing form, said that he would sign a bill banning the wearing of burqas in America. Sharia, he insisted, was not an expression of religion but of "politics" and hence many of its practices could be banned or limited without running afoul of the Constitution.
  • Brochettaward||

    I'm pretty sure behind closed doors, even the cosmoist of cosmos at Reason are starting to question this guy.

    What's quite clear is that his definition of freedom of religion and association in public life is very much the French variety and not the American.

  • BluthHousing||

    Why on CNN and Fox News? People who care about politics already have some idea of who he is or who they're voting for, presumably. I would've bought something on like, idk, some sitcom old people watch.

  • Brochettaward||

    Is Matlock still syndicated?

  • Stoic||

    He wants the people-waiting-in-airports vote? At least, that who he'll be getting with the CNN add.

  • foetus||

    OT:

    When did "the jig is up" turn into "the gig is up"? Haven't heard the (correct) former over the (incorrect) latter in a long time.

  • DenverJ||

    About the time musicians were still calling their gigs "gigs" and everybody stopped doing jigs (except for the Irish, they will never stop doing jigs. Or molesting livestock. I keed I keed. Someday, I'm sure they'll stop molesting livestock).

  • straffinrun||

    OT: Haven't seen this mentioned in the lynx, so here it is. The Fed starts a facebook page and the comments are hilarious.

  • Brochettaward||

    Hope Solo suspended/contract with national team cancelled for coward comments.

    I am very hesitant to call female soccer a sport, but for lack of a better term, these sports leagues are getting absolutely ridiculous. You take one of if not the most high profile player you have and suspend her for popping off about some foreigners. And this helps you grow...how? Is the goal to just suck the life out of entirely?

    This makes Goodell look level headed and fair.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Well, they lost and she has a habit of letting her drunk husband drive the team van.

    So... Maybe she just isn't worth the hassle for someone who will be too old in 2020?

  • Brochettaward||

    So maybe they shouldn't be pretending to have a principled position on sportsmanship here when they tolerated all of her bullshit before?

    And US Soccer suspended her. This isn't just the national team. Athletes saying dumb shit is a part of sports. These organizational bodies filled with bureaucrats don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

  • Sevo||

    OT: Mayor of Palo Alto finds solution to high housing prices in the SF Bay area - more poverty:

    "Palo Alto Mayor: Slow job growth so housing becomes affordable again"
    http://www.bizjournals.com/san.....-jobs.html

    I think he's serious.

  • Brochettaward||

    "There aren't any easy answers. But we do need to significantly restrain that rate of growth. I've been a tech executive, I know what that's like, but we have to do away with this notion that Silicon Valley must capture every job available to it," Burt said.

    The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure there are easy answers here. Well, at least simple ones. If your primary thought process is political, you know the answers aren't the ones the voters of Palo Alto will accept. And he most definitely is serious.

  • Sevo||

    Some answers are dead easy; make it possible to build on a lot people can afford, make it possible to move a brick without environmental studies and surveying within a one mile radius, admit that there are places where you have to be wealthy to afford, and more.
    But yeah, the people who profit from the high prices aren't gonna go for that. They'd run him out of town on a rail.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    Here's a dead-fucking-easy answer. There's a bazillion acres of untouchable land between Silicon Valley and SF. How's about we let 10% of that be developed into high and medium density housing?

  • Sevo||

    I think it was Hartford who pointed out the increased housing costs caused by the green-belt around London. He seemed a bit exasperated; fine if you want it, but for pete's sake, admit what it does to the housing costs and quit whining.

  • DenverJ||

    Denver wants to be like that, but, since there are thousands of miles of empty land to the east, housing costs are low. Oh wait, they're obscene. Which is great for my business, but I'm not sure,i think there are a lot of variables to housing prices besides available land and government regulation. On the coasts, is very different, of course. But that gets into all the variables previously mentioned beforehand and referenced earlier and whatnot.

  • SparktheRevolt||

    Of course he's serious. Climate Change/SJWs want to slow/stop economic growth in order to stop climate change.

  • Sevo||

    OT: The schools might suck, but if you close them some bureaucrats would lose their jobs!

    "Anxious school officials are denouncing Michigan's plan to potentially close an unspecified number of chronically low-performing schools"
    [...]
    "There is no data that shows that moving a child from one school to another school against their choice has any positive impact on student achievement. Quite frankly, it has a negative impact on the children," Chris Wigent, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, told reporters during a news conference near Lansing."
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s.....TE=DEFAULT

    It takes a lot of practice to lie like that with a straight face.

  • widget||

    As Charles Murray says "We're coming apart". High school graduates tend to marry other high school graduates. College graduates and grade school drop-outs do the same. The DNA does what is does and there is nothing short of full totalitarianism that will stop it.

  • SparktheRevolt||

    Did they hire a Meth extra from Breaking Bad to do the voiceover? Am I the only one its sounds very sped up to?

  • DenverJ||

    Yes, they did. But we're all as bunch of tweakers, here, so, again, yes; you are the only one it sounds speed up to.

  • Glide||

    will be launching a TV promoting the Libertarian Party candidate

    The TV will be a 48000000", launched into geosynchronous orbit over the state of Utah.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online