Stevens takes pitch to the people

Infomercial to air on television stations a day before the election

Posted: Monday, November 03, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Sen. Ted Stevens is taking his appeal directly to Alaskan voters in an infomercial that will air on more than a half-dozen television stations a day before the election.

Stevens, R-Alaska, who was convicted of corruption last week, has been in the U.S. Senate for 40 years, but faces a strong challenge on Tuesday from Democratic Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage.

Stevens wanted to speak to Alaskans without the filter of the media, said campaign spokesman Aaron Saunders. He also wanted to speak in-depth about certain issues, requiring more time than could be afforded in a typical television advertisement, he said Sunday.

The infomercial will air Monday and last two minutes.

"I think he is prepared in this message to answer questions some Alaskans have," Saunders said.

In his ad, Stevens is expected to talk about his bid for re-election, his vision for Alaska and the future of the U.S. Senate.

The ad will run on stations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Sitka and Juneau, as well as one station statewide. The ad is running at different times on different stations. The ad will run at either 6 p.m., 6:17 p.m. or 6:20 p.m.

Stevens, 84, who was prevented in recent weeks from campaigning in Alaska because he was in a Washington, D.C., courtroom being tried on corruption charges, returned to Alaska on Wednesday, two days after he was found guilty of seven felonies.

Stevens' infomercial will be four times longer than standard television ads, but is nowhere near the length of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's on Wednesday. That ad lasted a half-hour, was watched by an estimated 33.6 million people, and cost the campaign roughly $4 million.

Saunders did not immediately know how much the Stevens' ad cost.

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