High gasoline prices are the focus of the first radio ad for John Archer, one of the Republicans running against Representative Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second Congressional district. Follow me after the jump for the ad script and some fact-checking.
Here’s the audio:
The Des Moines Register politics blog posted the ad script here:
MALE ANNOUNCER: “Gasoline was $1.85 per gallon when President Obama took office, but it didn’t stay there long. His relentless assault on American energy took its toll with prohibitions on drilling and punitive restrictions on gas refineries. Two dollars, two-fifty. Congressman Loebsack and Obama tightened the noose on oil production when they quashed the XL Pipeline, stopping future oil flows. Three dollars, three-fifty. High gasoline prices now add a $1,200 burden to every Iowa family, every year.”
ARCHER: “It’s time for an American energy policy, one that says we’ll take care of our country and our families. I’m John Archer and I approve this message, because I’m ready to lead the way, making sure American oil production is second to none.”
ANNOUNCER: “John Archer – because it’s time for America to win again.”
The Register reports that the commercial is running district-wide; I am seeking more details on the stations and markets where the Archer campaign has placed this ad.
This commercial correctly notes that gasoline cost an average of $1.85 per gallon at the time of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. However, it wrongly implies that political decisions in Washington control the price of gasoline. In July 2008 the average price of gas in the U.S. was over $4 per gallon; the plummeting economy was the biggest reason gas prices fell dramatically during the second half of 2008.
Loebsack did vote against a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline and and expanded offshore drilling. Archer’s commercial implies that blocking the Keystone project will cause gasoline prices to rise further. On the contrary, energy industry analysts quoted by Bradley Olson of Bloomberg Business News say completion of the Keystone pipeline would raise gasoline prices in the Midwest by 10 to 20 cents per gallon, because “The line would create a new way to carry Canadian imports outside the Midwest and reduce an oil surplus that’s depressing prices in the central U.S.”
More broadly, Archer is wrong to suggest that Loebsack and Obama have “tightened the noose on oil production.” Domestic oil production has increased since Obama took office. The inconvenient truth for Republicans like Archer is that drilling for more oil domestically won’t reduce gasoline prices:
The problem is this: While increased oil and gas drilling in the United States may create good-paying jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower the trade deficit, it will have hardly any impact on gas and oil prices.
That’s because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes.
Plus, any extra oil the country did produce would likely be quickly offset by a cut in OPEC production.
“This drill drill drill thing is tired,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, which calculates gas prices for the motorist organization AAA. “It’s a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn’t exist.”
So, Archer doesn’t appear to have a strong grasp of what affects the price of gasoline. That said, his message will probably appeal to Republican voters, which is the purpose of this commercial. Archer took a leave of absence from his job on March 1 in order to run for Congress full-time. His main competition in the IA-02 GOP primary will be Dan Dolan. The National Republican Congressional Committee has named both Archer and Dolan “on the radar” candidates in the NRCC’s “young guns” program. Dolan had more cash on hand than Archer as of December 31.
A third candidate, Richard Gates, has not responded to my request to confirm rumors that he has dropped out of the race against Loebsack.
Final note on the IA-02 race: Victory Enterprises, which worked with Brad Zaun during his successful IA-03 primary campaign in 2010, is working with Archer’s campaign. A couple of weeks ago, Victory Enterprises helped Archer become the first Congressional candidate in Iowa to have his own app for iPhone and Android.
February 23, 2012
(Bettendorf, IA) John Archer, republican candidate for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, announced today the release of his own mobile campaign app for iPhone and Android.
The app can be downloaded for free by searching “Archer 2012” in the Apple App Store or the Android Market.
“It’s not just businesses that can go the way of Kodak and Borders, campaigns can as well,” said John Archer. “In order to be relevant to a new generation of voters we must meet them where they are – on their phones. For the last fifty years, we could meet voters in their living rooms through television, but the world is changing quickly.”
The Archer 2012 App has four main features:
Users can send personalized first-class postcards to other voters by tagging people they know and choosing a message for that voter.
Users can automatically share campaign talking points with their personal networks via Facebook, Twitter, text or email.
Serves as an entry point for people to sign up to volunteer on behalf of or donate to the campaign.
Send custom messages via a user’s email service to his or her phone’s address book.
The app was developed by www.VictoryApps.com, a division of Victory Enterprises, Inc.
“We’re excited to help bring this next generation of technology to John’s campaign. Campaigns are ever-evolving, and finding new ways to connect and engage voters is a great complement to the hard work the candidate puts in,” said Brian Dumas, President of Victory Enterprises.
“Much of people’s connectivity is done through their mobile device and we wanted to ensure we give our supporters the easiest and most efficient opportunities to help the campaign. We want to be as efficient with our supporters’ time as possible and provide them an opportunity to help from anywhere at any time. I’ve learned that over the years at John Deere and I’ll take that same philosophy to Congress when it comes to our tax dollars,” said Archer.
Archer resides in Bettendorf, Iowa with his wife, Andrea, and their two children. John works at John Deere and is part owner of the Schebler Company, an Iowa based manufacturing company. Archer also serves on the Pleasant Valley School Board and the Bettendorf Family Museum Board of Directors.
UPDATE: In a press release announcing this radio advertisement, the Archer campaign also touted endorsements from State Senators Roby Smith and Jim Hahn and State Representative Linda Miller.