Calif Group Airs Anti-Tea Party Ad In Times Square

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NEW YORK — A California consumer-advocacy group is hoping to rally
the left before the November election with an ad on a Times Square video
screen that labels the tea party movement as "insane."

30-second spot by Consumer Watchdog, which began airing Tuesday, flashes
phrases such as "home foreclosures" and "Wall Street greed" across a
520-square-foot screen as flames burn in the background.

It asks viewers, "Are you mad as hell but think the tea party is insane?"

Santa Monica-based nonprofit wants to provide voters with an
alternative to the tea party and help channel their frustration in
productive ways, said its president, Jamie Court.

"Popular anger
can be such a force for change, and people who support progress can’t
allow the tea party to use that anger for their ends, which is to get
control of the reins of government and then do away with it," Court said
in a phone interview Wednesday.

The ad directs viewers to the
Consumer Watchdog website and to Court’s recently published book, "The
Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell."

Representatives for the Tea
Party Express and Tea Party Patriots, two of the country’s largest tea
party organizations, did not immediately respond to requests for comment
from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The spot will air 18
times a day until Oct. 15, according to Neutron Media, the Toronto-based
company that sells ad space for the CBS-owned screen.

The $25,000
ad buy also covered a previous Consumer Watchdog spot criticizing
Google for tracking its users’ online activities. That ad started
running Sept. 1 and was replaced by the election ad, Court said.

Watchdog is best known for its lawsuits against the insurance industry
and other corporations, the proceeds of which account for about
one-third of its funding, Court said. It also receives significant
financial support from trial lawyers and labor unions.


Hindery reported from Sacramento, Calif.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
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