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Political attack ads: An American tradition

Political attack ads are an unfortunate but time-honored tradition in American politics. From our country's founding, candidates have said horrible and nasty things about their opponents in order to

News 12 Staff

Oct 23, 2014, 2:22 AM

Updated 3,530 days ago

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Political attack ads are an unfortunate but time-honored tradition in American politics.
From our country's founding, candidates have said horrible and nasty things about their opponents in order to get elected.
Hofstra constitutional law professor Leon Friedman says there are some limits to political attack ads. He says candidates cannot falsely call their opponent a felon, but the First Amendment does allow a candidate to stretch the truth.
"A lot of that speech is considered political hyperbole," Friedman told News 12.
David Chauvin, vice president of a public relations firm, says attack ads can be used to sway close elections or make blowouts relatively close.
"When you're caught in a win-or-nothing environment...sometimes you have to throw that Hail Mary pass, and for some people it can be that negative ad," said Chauvin.
Some Long Island residents who spoke to News 12 say that attack ads are expected during each election cycle and they seem to work.
Election Day is Nov. 4.


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