The TV Ads

by Ian McGaughey


Here are a few of the TV spots from the Ian McGaughey vs. Tony Jordan New York Assembly campaign of 2008. Glen Martin, a friend and amazing volunteer, recorded these when they aired and put them up on YouTube.

Glen asked me to write a few words about the ads and the campaign in general. It was at times exhausting, at times extraordinarily fun, and above all it was eye-opening. With more than a million dollars spent on my behalf (and the same amount by my opponent), it was a first-hand lesson in big money New York State politics.

There were so many selfless people who involved themselves with my campaign, it remains difficult to express my gratitude to them for their incredible efforts. My core campaign staff and volunteers were amazing, tireless and kept me going when I felt like I'd reached the end. My then-fiancé put in endless hours without complaint, making the experience much more pleasant with her company. The team that produced these TV ads were great to work with, and exceedingly patient.


But the everyday people who took the time to put a sign in their yard, send in a $10 check or simply pat me on the back and thank me for running are those who have left the most lasting impression. They reminded me every day why I was doing what I was doing, and humbled me with their support.

Now on to the television ads that saturated the airwaves in the fall of 2008...


This first ad was the most heavily played (as it was the one that polled the strongest). The on-camera intro was shot in my backyard, followed by a series of shots taken in locations across the three counties in the district.

The next ad was shot at Scotty's Diner in Wilton, the Vincek Farm and at a private residence in Wilton. The producer wanted me in a sweater for the talking-to-the-camera bit, and all I had with me was some old thing that happened to be in the trunk of the car. Thankfully, you can't see how beat up it is, or that we shot this in my driveway.

The following spot was put together to try and draw a distinction between the positive campaign I was running and the typical mud-slinging negative nonsense (which everyone says they hate, but is unfortunately so very effective) that my opponent was airing.

The on-camera part was the first take we did—it was actually a practice take. Right after that an ice cream truck came into the neighborhood and we had to wait until its music faded off into the distance. By then, it had gotten too dark, so they decided to use that first take, crazy head-bobbing and all.

This final video was taken from the campaign website. I probably have a higher-resolution copy somewhere, but what Glen put up is certainly good enough. The message in this video was written solely by me, before my campaign got big enough to acquire a team of advisors. Even though that team channeled my talking points toward other topics, they were gracious enough to let this video remain on the site unaltered.

Finally, here's an image that is one of my favorites from the campaign. This was taken during a speech to the Wilton Senior Citizens Club, always a fun group headed at that time by the dynamic Kay Lant. I had spoken to them many times before as a councilman, and unfailingly enjoyed the banter and tough questions that they weren't afraid to ask.

Thanks Ian for this article!