TV Article

Horton Gang Rides Again

Political commercials -- A conservative PAC made an anti-David Duke ad

It may come as a surprise that the same fervid folks who made the most notorious political ad of recent years — the 1988 Willie Horton spot — also made a commercial against ex-Klansman/Nazi David Duke, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Louisiana last month. ''Do you know how many jobs are going to leave Louisiana and come to Texas if Duke is elected?'' a Texas cowboy gloated in the spot. ''Hot damn!''

The D.C.-based conservative cadre who made both ads included conservative activist Floyd Brown and Larry McCarthy, a protege of Bush media adviser Roger Ailes. They produced the Horton opus as an independently financed political action committee, Americans for Bush. For the anti-Duke ad, their PAC was called Republican Challengers. The same posse popped up shortly before the Clarence Thomas hearings when — under the name Citizens United — it made a pro-Thomas ad.

Where will the band strike next? Says Brown, who is ''frustrated'' with Bush about issues like increasing taxes, ''I wouldn't rule out involvement in the (ultraconservative Patrick) Buchanan race. We want to watch him.'' As for attacks that will surely follow on the Democratic candidate, Brown says his group is now ''researching'' Mario Cuomo, Robert Kerrey, and William Clinton.

Originally posted Dec 13, 1991 Published in issue #96 Dec 13, 1991 Order article reprints