On the Web site ExposeObama.com, Floyd Brown, the producer of the Willie Horton ad that helped defeat Michael Dukakis in 1988, is preparing an encore, says the Los Angeles Times. Brown is raising money for a series of ads that he says will show Sen. Barack Obama to be out of touch on an issue of fundamental concern to voters: violent crime. One spot making the rounds on the Internet attacks Obama nominee for opposing a bill while he was a state legislator that would have extended the death penalty to gang-related murders. “When the time came to get tough, Obama chose to be weak.  Can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?” the ad asks.
Obama and Sen. John McCain have some sharply different views on crime, but in truth, the president has little to do with day-to-day law enforcement. The vast amount of crime-fighting in the U.S. is done at the state and local level. Still, Brown says “There are many, many different votes that Barack Obama has taken over the course of his state Senate career that are going to show him to be absolutely missing in action when it comes to the question of controlling violent crime.” An Obama spokesman said the candidate “has a record that demonstrates he is both tough and smart on crime.” McCain has mostly embraced the tough-on-crime” stance of the last 25 years, including strict sentencing and a focus on the rights of victims. Obama supports restoring cuts in federal aid to state and local government for putting more cops on the street under a program started in the Clinton administration. McCain has indicated cautious support for community-oriented policing and said he wants to make sure federal dollars are spent effectively.