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Collins' TV spots tout 'fixed' government

Republican Chris Collins is dipping into his $1.6 million campaign account to pay for two new television ads that begin Tuesday and are slated to run right up to Election Day.

Collins spokesman Stefan Mychajliw would say only that the air time purchase is "significant," but indicated the new ads will run on all local broadcast and cable stations and highlight a "promises made, promises delivered" theme.

"Politicians drove Erie County into the ground, they could not fix it, but Chris Collins did," Mychajliw said. "Under Chris Collins the hard control board is gone, the county is out of the hospital business, and he has held Erie County spending to practically zero.

"What's most telling is that Chris Collins did this while holding the line on taxes and cutting the county debt," he added.

The first spot features the county executive on the Buffalo waterfront indicating that because Erie County was "broken," voters hired him to fix it.

Several scenes then depict his claims of keeping down spending, exiting the hospital business, downgrading the county financial control board to advisory status, and upgrading parks and beaches.

"We've done all this while cutting our debt and holding the line on taxes," Collins says to the camera. "With your support, just imagine what else we can accomplish in the next four years."

The next ad features Jennifer Bashaw, who is billed as a mother. Significantly, she hails from the battleground town of Cheektowaga.

"Politicians ran our beautiful parks into the ground and closed our beaches," she says. "Chris Collins led the fight for taxpayers so that mothers like me can take their families to beautiful parks and beaches."

Mychajliw said while the new spots feature Collins and ordinary citizens speaking directly to voters, Democrat Mark C. Poloncarz took a different route for commercials he has planned but not yet aired.

"While Mark Poloncarz is forced to pay actors to appear on his behalf," he said, "everyday taxpayers who are fed up with politicians and grateful for Chris Collins' leadership appear in our testimonials."

Poloncarz spokeswoman Jennifer Hibit said there is a reason why actors have filmed parts in upcoming ads for the Democrat, which are not expected to prove as ubiquitous as Collins' because of Poloncarz's more meager campaign treasury.

"Our actors donated their time because they felt so strongly about cuts to culturals," she said.

In another campaign development, Poloncarz said he has hired Peter Anderson, a veteran of local radio and cable television, to serve as campaign spokesman. He also said the campaign has has hired political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker and the direct mail firm of Blue and Read.

He said SKDKnickerbocker has worked for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, while Blue and Read is led by Western New York native Sherman Jewett.