All Politics is Local

Why Eric Holt asked that a Facebook ad be taken down

The most recent count of ballots shows Clark County Democrats aren’t that great at winning elections. But at least they have someone on their side who is good at using Photoshop and another person with a strong sense of campaign ethics.

With all the talk about how much influence Facebook has over elections and political discourse, I decided to look into what kind of ads local campaigns had purchased on the social media behemoth. I opened up Facebook’s ad archive and typed in “Clark County Council.” I was not prepared for what I found.

The first ad on the page features the face of former Republican Clark County Councilor David Madore superimposed over the face of Eileen Quiring, Republican candidate for county council chair. According to Facebook’s archive, the ad was paid for Clark County Democrats. It appears to have since been taken down.

Quiring, a Republican county councilor, has drawn criticism that she hasn’t done enough to distance herself from Madore, a divisive and combative figure who lost reelection in 2016. Some critics have gone as far as to call her “Madore in a dress.” I won’t post an image of the ad here. If you’re curious, you can go to Facebook’s ad archive and search for it. But you’ve been warned, it’s not pretty (I expect it to be great fodder for stress dreams I have about Clark County politics).

Rich Rogers, chair of the Clark County Democrats, couldn’t be reached for comment. But Eric Holt, Quiring’s Democratic opponent, said that after he saw the ad he asked that it be taken down because of his refusal to engage in negative campaigning.

“I don’t find any benefit in it,” Holt said. He said that it makes no sense for someone in a job interview to disparage another candidate for the position. He said the same should go for political campaigns.

“I think there was a time when politics had integrity,” he said.

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