Powell injects a little humor in political advertising

ATLANTA -- After weeks of increasingly gloomy political ads, a candidate is using a little cornball humor to make his point.

Democratic nominee JB Powell released a television ad Thursday in his race for agriculture commissioner that uses a familiar tune and a silly cartoon to poke fun at Republican Gary Black. The 60-second ad features a man singing to the tune to the 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies with the accompaniment of a banjo.

The lyrics, though, are a little different than the ballad of Jed Clampett. Powell's version begins, "Well, come and listen to my story about a man named Black, and the big-food companies that got him in their sack. He's been their lobbyist for 20 years, you see. Now they want him regulating our food safety."

Besides the strained rhymes, the ad includes a smiling Black sitting on the Capitol, and wearing a fox tail and ears as he hops through a henhouse.

Black has been a lobbyist for the last 20 years for the Georgia Agribuisiness Council, whose members include seed and fertilizer companies as well as food-processing corporations. He resigned as president of the council to run.
Powell says the council is the tool of corporate interests at odds with small, independent farmers.

The ad may be an attempt to draw more attention to his race than traditional political spots. A poll released the same day shows him trailing Black 48-32 while Libertarian Kevin Cherry takes 3 percent and 17 percent remain undecided.

In the email to supporters announcing the ad, Powell asked them for a $25 contribution to pay for airing the ad as well as asking them to forward the message to friends.

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