Conservative group Advance America released two television ads in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne this week and it’s likely just the beginning of a long fight to come.
The two television ads use ominous music and slick production effects to get their pro-amendment message across: namely, let the Indiana voters decide on House Joint Resolution 3, formerly known as HJR-6.
If HJR-3 passes this legislative session, it will go on the November ballot.
The ads come relatively late in the public debate, after four months of high-profile efforts by anti-amendment group Freedom Indiana to recruit corporations and organizations to oppose the measure.
Freedom Indiana spokesperson Jennifer Wagner says her group takes the ads as proof that the anti-amendment side is making strides.
“Quite honestly, I’m not sure that last-minute television advertising is going to really have much effect, but for us it’s validation of our efforts so far,” Wagner says.
But political analyst Andrew Downs says it’s likely that Advance America hasn’t been idle despite appearances. He says founder Eric Miller has had a good track record in the past decade of defeating legislation he’s against, though this debate is a little different.
“It’s actually a different skill set to get something through than to kill something,” Downs says. “He has been very effective, and he certainly shouldn’t be underestimated in his ability to get things done. But he’s got an uphill battle in front of him.”
Last month, Advance America distributed flyers to churches encouraging voters to support the amendment.