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Americans for Prosperity spends big to thank McCrory, lawmakers

Screenshot from the American's For Prosperity ad
Screenshot from the American's For Prosperity ad YouTube

Last month, Gov. Pat McCrory signed off on cuts to both personal income and corporate tax rates. Now, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity wants to say thank you. And it’s spending a lot of money to do so.

What’s the best way to say thank you to a politician? With a happy television ad, of course. One with loads of smiling people and upbeat music. Why are they smiling? “Because Governor McCrory and the General Assembly cut income taxes again,” says the narrator.

Television ads cost money to produce and to air. This one is being broadcast in every market in North Carolina. So just how much is the conservative group spending? “It’s a six-figure television buy,” says Donalyd Bryson, the director of the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Push him for specifics and he answers “that’s still in flux.” Besides the 30-second spot, which began airing during Sunday night football, Bryson says there will also be mailers sent out and a thank you campaign on social media.

What makes this ad interesting is whom they’re thanking. Sure, they give a shout-out to the General Assembly as a whole. But they mention just one politician by name. Gov. Pat McCrory. “We mention the governor by name because he’s the governor,” says Bryson, who adds a lot of other politicians helped pass the budget and the tax cuts. “But if we listed every legislator who did it we couldn’t do it within the 30 seconds of the ad.” Fair enough, but things in politics are rarely that clear- cut.

This comes not long after Democrat Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, jumped into the 2016 governor’s race. Republican McCrory is expected to launch his re-election bid soon. This kind of statewide ad buy with positive messaging about one candidate can’t hurt. But Bryson says that wasn’t behind the conservative group’s thinking.

“The election is well over a year away. We’ve been very vocal about the tax cuts all year long. And so this is just the appropriate time and as fast as we could possibly talk about the policies that passed.”

There’s a good chance you’ll be able to see the ad and decide for yourself.

WFAE is a member of the Charlotte News Alliance.

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