Actress Beverly Carlson said she got a call from her talent agent about playing a nice older lady in a television ad. So she showed up for the job Sunday at a house in White Bear Lake and less than a week later, she's seeing her face all over the city on every television channel.
She is the star of Mark Kennedy's latest salvo in the ad wars which features a mock confrontation with a senior, played by Carlson.
"Why are you picking on Amy Klobuchar, saying she gave out all those plea bargains, and that she will ration our prescription drugs?" asks the senior of Mark Kennedy.
Political analyst Steve Smith of St. Louis University says the ad is clever, "By having this grandmotherly figure sitting there, being persuaded by Mark Kennedy's arguments about his opponent. It really is a very effective ad."
Will voters be bothered by the fact the lady is local actress Beverly Carlson, hired to play the part?
Smith doesn't think so, "If it's not an actor in that position it's someone who's reading a script, and so it really doesn't matter as far as the public goes."
The ad is a direct response to Amy Klobuchar's latest spot with the families of real-life crime victims who talk about how much Klobuchar cared and worked to see the perpetrators did jail time.
In that ad, the mother of child murder victim Tyesha Edwards knocks Kennedy for claiming Klobuchar went back on promises to reduce plea bargains, "Trust their word, not Mark Kennedy's attacks. Mark Kennedy, you should be ashamed."
Professor Smith says the ad is effective, "Amy Klobuchar's ad that ends saying Mark Kennedy shame on you was a really a pretty effective way to go negative, without going too strong and getting too personal."
On the plea bargaining question raised by Kennedy and answered by Klobuchar, the Hennepin county attorney's office hasn't compiled stats, but does report jury trials are up 50 percent compared to when Amy Klobuchar took office. She's argued Medicare should negotiate with drug companies for lower prices but has never advocated rationing.
The Kennedy campaign stands behind the entire ad, citing Klobuchar's support for the senate version of the immigration bill and sentencing reports about how judges in Hennepin County ruled on cases.
As for the actress, Beverly, she said her agent told her she was to star in a Mark Kennedy ad and asked her if she had any objections. She said no and added that staring in the ad isn't an endorsement. She said she hasn't made up her mind about either candidate.
By John Croman, KARE 11 News.
(Copyright 2006 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)