Tales from the Trail

NRSC eats humble pie over West Virginia “hicky” ad

October 14, 2010

OBAMA/

The National Republican Senatorial Committee at first denied having anything to do with the infamous TV casting call that sought “hicky” actors to pose as West Virginia voters in a Republican campaign ad.

But today, the committee charged with getting Republicans elected to the U.S. Senate, fired one of its TV ad vendors and apologized to West Virginians, saying it had learned the consulting firm in question — Jamestown Associates – was responsible for the remark.

The NRSC also apologized to the Philadelphia talent agent who was falsely blamed for coming up with the word “hicky.”

“When originally confronted last week, (Jamestown Associates) flatly denied having anything to do with the unacceptable language and we took them at their word. Upon learning these facts this morning, the NRSC immediately fired Jamestown Associates,” the NRSC said in a statement.

“The NRSC will have no further dealings, now or ever, with Jamestown Associates, but they were our vendor and we take responsibility for this unfortunate matter,” the statement said.

Jamestown Associates, which uses images of boxers to promote its political consulting services online,  also issued a statement that appeared in Politico, which first reported the NRSC’s action.

USA-POLITICS/“A private communication in an email to the talent agency from an independent contractor we hired to organize production apparently used the term ‘hicky’ to describe the look for the actors needed for a television spot,” Jamestown said.

“This email from the talent agency was subsequently leaked by someone to the press. We apologize for any embarrassment this may have caused to any of the parties and have resigned from the account,” the Jamestown Associates statement said.

The ad targeted Democrat Joe Manchin in his U.S. Senate campaign against Republican John Raese. The two candidates hope to replace the late Senator Robert Byrd.

Photo credits: Reuters/Jason Reed (Manchin as governor with Obama); Reuters/Chris Keane (Real West Virginia Voters)

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