Fenty tries to get voters to go-go for him
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty appears to have flooded the airwaves with his first big advertising campaign. The target? Lovers of the District's percussion-thumping, homegrown go-go music.
Fenty (D), whose popularity has declined since he won election in 2006, has lost significant ground among black voters, according to polls. The radio ad campaign, which D.C. Wire heard on WPGC (95.5 FM), has an addictive "Fenty, Fenty, Fenty..." at the end of each commercial.
In one, go-go artist Chi Ali tells listeners to "get the facts, not fiction" on Fenty by going to the mayor's Web site (listen below). In another, a man talks over Wale's "Pretty Girls" and says, "He's got that posture!" (That's D.C. talk for swagger.)
Neither of the two ads heard by D.C. Wire mentioned improving public education, lowering crime or building recreation centers -- the accomplishments and agenda the Fenty campaign has been pushing in other communities. Instead, the ads seemed tailored to establish Fenty's street cred (note to the unhip: that's just regular lingo for credentials).
(Shout out and big up to the Post's Stephen Crockett, who helped with this analysis. He reports that he heard one radio spot by Anwar "Big G" Glover of the famed HBO series "The Wire," which he predicts could sway young people to get behind Fenty. )
Helen Hare, Fenty's campaign spokeswoman, said Monday that she would get back to D.C. Wire, but there's still no response on how much the advertising is costing, where it's running and when it started. There also was no response on how many ads were recorded, who is featured in them and who produced the spots. The Fenty campaign also did not respond to a request for a copy of the radio ads so D.C Wire readers could hear the ads for themselves in this space.
Peaceoholics co-founders and Fenty supporters Ronald C. Moten and Jauhar Abraham, who are former go-go promoters, remain tied to the local music industry and seem like the most likely people to have helped make the spots.
In an email, Moten--who drew headlines recently for launching a Web site that takes jabs at Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, Fenty's chief rival in the September Democratic primary--would not say whether he or Abraham played a role in the radio spots.
"I heard them and they sound great," was all Moten would say. "It seems like some people have some the facts and not all the fiction. What you think?"
Peaceoholics, a nonprofit that helps wayward youths, flourished under Fenty with millions of dollars in city aid. But the D.C. Council cut off funds over the past year, forcing the group to scale back its operations. Moten, who has known Fenty since the mayor was a teenager, recently helped organize youths to help Fenty win a straw poll among Democrats in predominantly black Ward 8.
Speaking of go-go, Gray has Chuck Brown, godfather of the genre, in his corner.
We'll keep you posted if Gray enlists Brown to do a counter ad campaign.
by Nikita Stewart
June 1, 2010; 7:38 AM ET
Categories: City Life , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Vincent C. Gray , vincent gray
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