LP: anti-drug war ad campaign..

From: Mike Lorrey (mlorrey@datamann.com)
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 17:57:23 MST

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 15:50:41 -0500 (EST)
To: announce@hq.lp.org
Subject: URGENT! Full-page ad in USA Today?
From: Libertarian Party Announcements <owner-announce@lp.org>
Reply-To: owner-announce@lp.org
X-Mailer: Unknown (No Version)

Dear Libertarian:

Would you like to spit in the eye of America's biggest Drug Warrior?

Would you like to prove to millions of Americans that the latest
government Drug War propaganda isn't just wrong -- it STINKS like a
rotting fish?

Would you like to garner nationwide publicity for the Libertarian
Party? Perhaps even get us on the nightly news?

We have an opportunity to do all that. But only if we raise $69,800 by

That's a lot of money, but the potential pay-off is huge.

When you hear our bold plan -- and SEE what we propose -- I think
you'll agree.

In fact, I think you'll laugh out loud with delight.

First, some background.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has launched a new
advertising campaign that attempts to link drugs with terrorism.

The campaign got underway with two TV ads during the Super Bowl. The
cost to taxpayers: $3.4 million!

One of the ads, which pretended to show terrorists buying weapons,
asked: "Where do terrorists get their money? If you buy drugs, some of
it might come from you."

In the other ad, young people made matter-of-fact statements like, "I
helped kill a judge."

The ads were so outrageous that we issued a press release calling them
"Super Bowloney."

We noted: "For the Office of National Drug Control Policy to claim that
drug users are to blame for financing terrorists is like a maniac who
kills his parents, and then throws himself on the mercy of the court
because he is an orphan."

We said: "The fact is, the War on Drugs CAUSES the very problem these
ads complain about. It turns ordinary, cheap plants like marijuana and
poppies into fantastically lucrative black market products. The War on
Drugs enriches terrorists, finances violence, and makes America less

Unfortunately, ONDCP bureaucrats don't read our press releases. Or just
don't care about the truth.

Last week, they rolled out the print version of the campaign, with
full-page ads in 293 newspapers around the USA.

One ad shows a young woman's face. The text reads: "Last week, I washed
my car, hung out with a few friends, and helped murder a family in

The bottom of the ad says: "Drug money helps support terror. Buy drugs
and you could be supporting it too."


The ad ignores the fact that the War on Drugs -- and the black markets
it spawns -- drives up the price of illegal drugs by as much as 17,000%
(according to the Hoover Institution).

Without the War on Drugs, there would be no link between drugs and
terrorism, and the financial engine that fuels many terrorist
organizations would sputter to a halt.

 (At the end of this message, I'll give you a link to the ONDCP ads,
and you can see them for yourself. I don't want you to think we're

The ONDCP's strategy is clear: It's trying to take the September 11-
inspired hatred of terrorists, and use it to bolster the failing War on

And, by implication, it's suggesting that if you oppose the War on
Drugs, you help terrorists.

Well, we hate terrorists, too. In fact, we hate them so much we'd like
to squeeze their funding down to almost ZERO.

We'd like to see the $40 million the U.S. government says the Taliban
raised from heroin dwindle down to a FEW PENNIES. We'd like to see the
$300 million that Colombian rebels raised from cocaine shrink down to a

Can you imagine how destitute terrorists would be if marijuana sold for
the same price as lettuce? If poppies were worth the same as tulips?
And if cocaine-producing coca plants were no more valuable than
Brussels sprouts?

If the War on Drugs did not artificially inflate their prices by
17,000%, that's exactly what would happen. And many terrorists would be

We Libertarians understand that. We know the War on Drugs gives
terrorists the money they use to kill Americans.

But how do we get that message across?

How do we reach the American people -- when those full-page ONDCP ads
are spreading lies and distortions?

Then we had a brainstorm: We'll create our OWN ad.

And that's what we did.

At first glance, it looks just like the ONDCP ad.

But in OUR ad, the face of Drug Czar John Walters is staring out.

And OUR text says...

"This week, I had lunch with the President, testified before Congress,
and helped funnel $40 million in illegal drug money to groups like the

Bang. We take the Drug Warriors' ad -- and throw it right back in their

At the bottom, our ad says: "The War on Drugs boosts the price of
illegal drugs by as much as 17,000% -- funneling huge profits to
terrorist organizations. If you support the War on Drugs or vote for
the politicians who wage it, you're helping support terrorism." We give
a website address for more information.

Can you imagine John Walters' reaction when he sees our ad?

Can you imagine the squawks of outrage from the Drug Warriors?

The ad is ready to go. At the end of this message, I'll give you a link
so you can see it for yourself.

We want to run it in two newspapers: USA Today and the Washington

USA Today reaches 2.1 million people. It's the nation's most widely
read newspaper.

The Washington Times has a circulation of only 105,000. But, as the
capital's "conservative" newspaper, it reaches EVERY Republican House
and Senate member.In fact, it's one of the six newspapers President
George W. Bush reads each day.

Can you imagine President Bush's face when he sees our ad staring at
him from the pages of the Washington Times?

When the ad runs, we'll shift into overdrive to try to leverage it into
ADDITIONAL news coverage.

We'll fax copies of the ad to major media around the country. We'll
tell them: "The Drug War Debate Is On!"

We'll challenge journalists to ask John Walters for a comment -- or to
debate us on talk shows.

If we do it right, our ads could generate twice as much "free" media
coverage as they cost to run.

But the ads won't be cheap. It will cost $60,350 to run it in USA
Today. And $9,450 for the Washington Times.

That's a total of $69,800. We plan to run the ad next Tuesday, so we
can capitalize on the awareness of the original ads. That's the
quickest we can rush into print -- which means we need to raise the
money by this FRIDAY, so we can submit the ad to the newspapers for
approval. (They require a two-day notice.)

Now, here's the best part of the plan.

Newspapers must approve ads before they run. Our advertisement -- with
its in-your-face message and audacious take-off of the ONDCP ad -- may
get rejected by USA Today as "too controversial."

It may get rejected by the Washington Times because it's in direct
opposition to their pro-Drug War editorial stance.

Great. We hope the ads get rejected.

If they do, we have a chance to create a FIRESTORM of controversy.

Remember the TV coverage Ralph Nader got when he ran a MasterCard spoof
ad during his presidential campaign -- and got sued by the credit card

Remember the media coverage PETA got when it ran billboards of nude
models with the caption: "I'd rather go naked than wear fur"?

Remember the slew of articles that resulted when David Horowitz's ad
arguing against slavery reparations was rejected by several college

We have a chance to do the same thing. We have an opportunity to get
pundits and columnists debating OUR ad.

If our ad is rejected by either newspaper, we'll immediately get on the
phone to OTHER newspapers. (They love hearing about "censorship"
involving rival newspapers.)

We'll blast a press release to the major TV networks, charging the two
newspapers with "suppressing political dissent."

We'll send a copy of the rejected ad to John Walters at the Office of
National Drug Control Policy -- and dare him to comment.

If we can get Walters to take the bait -- and attack our ad or question
our arguments -- then the firestorm will begin.

It will be the Libertarians versus the Drug Warriors.

It could land us on national television -- since there's nothing the
media loves more than a good, juicy controversy.

Then, we'll take the money we raised and try to run the ad in two other
major newspapers. And see if we can turn that into even more attention.

Can we guarantee that we'll get mountains of media coverage? Of course
not. It depends on what other news is going on, what the ONDCP does,
and other factors beyond our control.

But if we DON'T run the ad -- if we don't take chances -- we'll NEVER
get that kind of national coverage.

If you don't swing for the fences, you won't hit a home run.

This nervy ad could be OUR home run.

But only if we raise $69,800 by Friday.

If we raise the money, we'll submit the ads to USA Today and the
Washington Times, to run on Tuesday, February 26. (Not on Monday,
because Congress is off on Mondays.)

If the newspapers AGREE to run it, we'll let you know. And we'll blast
out thousands of press releases promoting the ad on Tuesday morning.

If the newspapers REJECT the ads, we'll let you know. And we'll blast
out thousands of press releases, promoting the controversy, as soon as
we hear their decision.

The ad is already produced, and ready to go. Click here to view it in
.pdf format: http://www.lp.org/issues/drugczarad.html

Click here to view the original ONDCP ads, so you can see what a clever
satire our ad is: www.mediacampaign.org/mg/print.html

Or click here to donate immediately:

EVERY PENNY we raise from this message will go to run the ad. We wrote,
designed, and produced the ad in-house, so there are no additional

EVERY PENNY you donate will put our advertisement in front of 2.2
million Americans, and smack-dab in the faces of the Drug Warriors.

EVERY PENNY you donate will send the message: The Drug War Debate Is

Click here to donate: http://www.lp.org/contribute?prog=drugwarad

If everyone who gets this message donates just $10, we'll have more
than enough money to run the ad. Unfortunately, not everyone will. So,
could you contribute $50? Or $100? That will help cover the cost of
those who don't donate, and put us that much closer to the $69,800 we

In fact, since this ad doesn't involve federal candidates, there are no
contribution limits. You can legally donate any amount you want.

We don't want to pressure you. Look at the ad again. Think about what
it's worth to you to be able to buy a copy of USA Today next Tuesday
and see YOUR ad. Then, donate whatever you think is appropriate.

This is our chance to strike back. To raise the blood pressure of
America's most bullheaded Drug Warriors. And to get our message out to
2.2 million Americans.

You can help. Just click here to donate:

Thank you,

Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party Political Director

PS: Remember, if we raise the money, you'll see the ad in USA Today
next Tuesday, February 26.

You'll see the SAME ad in the SAME newspaper that will land with a thud
in the White House and in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Or, the newspapers may REJECT our ad. In which case, we'll work hard to
turn it into a national controversy that generates news articles, talk
radio debate, and perhaps even national TV coverage.

Either way, your support will make it happen. EVERY dollar you
contribute goes directly to pay for the ads. Just click here:

Thank you!

P.P.S. Please pass this message on to friends, family members, and
other people you know personally who might be interested, but please
don't send it indiscriminately -- spam will only hurt our campaign.

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