Daggett launches first TV ad

Independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett launched his first television ad today, a move his campaign hopes will get the donations flowing again.

The ad – created by media consultant Bill Hillsman — features look-a-likes of Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Christopher Christie standing helplessly on a broken down escalator.

Christie’s heavy-set impersonator throws a fit.

“If someone doesn’t fix this right now, people are going to jail. Jail, I said, jail!” he says.

The bald, bearded Corzine doppelganger glances briefly behind his shoulder at Christie and buries his face back in the Wall Street Journal, placidly thinking “Someone will bail us out. They always do.”

Daggett, the hero of the 30-second story, confidently declares that the escalator is broken and leads a group of people to the top.

Daggett spokesman Tom Johnson said that the campaign is airing the ad in the New York media market and will phase in Philadelphia. He would not say how much money the campaign has spent on it, but sources put the ad buy at about $250,000.

Daggett will have to pick up the fundraising pace if he is to continue running the ad for the rest of the campaign, however. His fundraising has dropped precipitously since raising the $340,000 necessary to qualify for two-for-one matching funds from the state.

Since getting the initial payout of $477,000 in public funds on July 30, Daggett has only gotten an addition $67,000 – meaning he’s raised less than $36,000.

“I’m not the finance guy… but we do have to pick up our financing,” said Johnson. “As you saw in the FDU poll, we’re raising our name recognition, and we’re starting the TV ads. We think that’s going to bring us more visibility and help us with the fundraising, so we’re not worried about being tapped out with our donor base.”