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U.S. conservative group appeals to voters with ads, e-mails and DVD of "United 93" film

U.S. conservative group appeals to voters with ads, e-mails and DVD of "United 93" film

A conservative group is blending ads, e-mails and the feature film "United 93" in a campaign to convince voters that the war in Iraq is a crucial component in President George W. Bush's campaign against terror.
Progress for America began airing a new ad on national cable television and in the highly contested midwestern states of Missouri and Ohio aiming at the Nov. 7 congressional elections. The ad features David Beamer, whose son Todd was killed when United Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, in a field in southwestern Pennsylvania.
"Todd and United 93 fought back on 9-11," Beamer says on the 30-second ad. "We continue this fight in Iraq today."
The group is sending hundreds of thousands of e-mails across the country with offers from Beamer to give away free copies of "United 93," the feature film about the passengers who joined Todd Beamer in thwarting the hijackers' plans to reach their target in Washington.
Though required by law to work independently from candidates and political parties, the Progress for America message dovetails with Republican efforts to link the war in Iraq with the anti-terror effort. In Ohio, Republican Sen. Mike DeWine and his opponent, Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown, have been sparring on the air with ads challenging each other's commitment to national security.
In his e-mail, Beamer urges readers to obtain the film. "I believe that when you see the movie, you will be reminded of the nature of the enemy we face today in Iraq and Afghanistan," he says. "We are at war with a real enemy and it is personal."
Progress for America, which has more than 1 million copies of the movie, is relying on its distribution also to expand its donor base and the reach of its message. People who request free DVDs are asked to share the movie with neighbors, family and friends and to provide Progress for America with their contact information.
"We're looking for ways to grow the amount of people we communicate with directly," said Stuart Roy, a Republican consultant for Progress for America.
The organization is being financed by a handful of wealthy donors, including Univision founder Andrew Perenchi. It rose to prominence in the 2004 campaign with an ad showing Bush embracing the daughter of a victim of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Television ads, e-mail messages, even biographical videos of candidate are nothing new to campaigns.
"It is new that they're doing all three in conjunction," said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer at TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that tracks political advertising.
"They're using a Hollywood film as opposed to a candidate bio. This is something people will actually watch."


Updated : 2021-06-20 08:23 GMT+08:00