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Stinginess Proves Too Much for Candidate McClintock's 'Skinflint' Ads

October 20, 1994|CARL INGRAM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO — Tom McClintock, the underfinanced Republican candidate for state controller, takes the prize for the most offbeat political ads so far in the fall campaign.

Tightest skinflint around, his radio ads declare, to the accordion strains of "Scotland the Brave" and a narrator speaking in a thick Scottish burr. "He's tighter than a bullfrog's behind," boasts "Angus McClintock" of his "cousin" Tom. "And that, my friends, is watertight."

In another ad: "Tighter than a rusty lid on a pickle jar."

But the Republican candidate has a problem, in part brought on by his very thriftiness. Most big-city radio stations are rejecting McClintock's radio ads--not because of the unorthodox content, but because the stations can charge higher rates for nonpolitical advertisements.

Kurt Snow, the campaign's advertising purchaser, said that only four broadcasters in the vast Los Angeles radio market agreed to sell time to McClintock, including news station KNX.

McClintock and Kathleen Connell, his Democratic opponent, were almost dead even among likely voters in the latest Times poll.

Julio Ramirez, spokesman for the Connell campaign, dismissed the effect of McClintock's ads. "The voters are going to vote on who has the best qualifications, not who has the best gimmick," he said.

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