North Dakota Republican Rep. Rick Berg‘s first Senate campaign ad may seem impressive, but it lacks something important -- originality.
The ad -- which shows Berg sitting at a table with his mother, reminiscing about the past -- is almost identical to an ad previously released by Ward Armstrong, the former minority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates. Berg's "Mom" ad is executed almost exactly like Armstrong's "Taught" ad, right down to the use of family photos and handwritten-style font.
Berg came under fire for the ad after a Florida blogger noticed the similarity between the two campaign spots. On Friday, the Democratic-Nonpartisan League of North Dakota released a statement hitting Berg for the recycled ad.
“North Dakotans shouldn’t be surprised that Rick Berg plagiarized an East Coast politician’s ad,” said Alison Kelly, spokeswoman for the Democratic-NPL. “In Washington, Congressman Berg has been an active player in the petty partisan squabbles that are driving our country off the cliff, putting his own national political career and Washington political games before the interests of North Dakota. Now, Berg is approaching his Senate campaign with the same cut-and-paste Washington approach.”
The Democratic-NPL also noted that the ad didn't help Armstrong, who lost his election in November 2011.