If effective political advertising is measured in part by the discussion it generates among constituents and pundits, then ads supporting Mike Dunleavy for Alaska Senate are by most counts a resounding success. If political ads are measured by the emotional response constituents are left with -- good feelings, admiration, trust, et cetera -- well, Dunleavy's ads aren't much good at that.
On Aug. 28, registered Republicans of Senate District D in the Mat-Su Borough will choose between two flavors of Alaska conservatism: the neo-fiscal versus the moderate. Dunleavy, of Wasilla, is campaigning on fiscal issues that fuel the tea party movement and Lower 48 Republican politics, lately imported to Alaska. He'd unseat incumbent state Sen. Linda Menard of Palmer, a member of the Senate's Bipartisan Majority Working Group.
But the Senate District D primary is about more than just ideology. The Dunleavy-Menard contest is also an old-fashioned Valley family feud.