Bilirakis Hires Swiftboat Media Team
State Representative Gus Bilirakis has hired the media firm of Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm to help his campaign the 9th Congressional District. They are best known for producing the "Swiftboat" ads used by third party groups to attack Senator John Kerry's military service in Vietnam in 2004 (see Daryl Cagle cartoon). They also produced the more recent ad used by Senator Sherrod Brown. The ad was criticized for doctoring photos of the 9-11 attacks.
While only a small sample of their work, these ads have caused the firm to develop a reputation for both negative ads and questionable factual content.
The campaign of Bilirakis' opponent, former Hillsborough County Comissioner Phyllis Busansky is warning supporters to expect negative attacks. The GOP leadership in Washington, DC has already indicated that they intend to spend most off the campaign warchest on attack ads this cycle and this race is likely to be no exception.
Gus Bilirakis is the son of retiring incumbent congressman, Mike Bilirakis.