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Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Massachusetts, a Break From the Usual Campaign Ads

BOSTON - At first, the newest advertisement from the Republican fighting to wrest Massachusetts's 6th Congressional District from its Democratic incumbent seems like any one of the ads that run almost endlessly here, either for this race or the tight Senate contest between Senator Scott P. Brown and Elizabeth Warren. Peppy music plays over a photograph of the candidate, Richard Tisei, who tells viewers, once again, that he approves this message.

And then, for 30 calming seconds, it shows nothing but a cliff-ridged beach, lighted by the sun on the horizon, as waves lap the shore.

“Because you deserve a break from all the campaign ads,” reads a line of text underneath footage of Good Harbor Beach, in Gloucester, Mass.

“Ahh,” a female voice says at the end. “That was nice.”

The ad vertisement is something of an oasis in the feisty and sometimes personal battle between Mr. Tiesi and Representative John Tierney, the eight-term congressman whose candidacy has been weakened by his family ties to an illegal offshore gambling business, run by his brothers-in-law.

Another ad run by Mr. Tisei raised questions about Mr. Tierney's character in connection with that case. Meanwhile, a recent advertisement from Mr. Tierney's campaign compares Mr. Tisei to Tea Party Republicans - political kryptonite to many in this deep-blue state - calling him “too extreme.”

“We thought we'd throw something that was a little avant garde out there,” said Jennifer Drogus, a spokeswoman for Mr. Tisei's campaign, which she said made a small cable buy for the ad. “Everybody gets inundated with political ads during the campaign season, so we just wanted to do something a little bit different.”

According to polling earlier this fall, Mr. Tisei is within str iking distance of defeating Mr. Tierney and becoming this state's first Republican congressman in 15 years.