New Nelson Diaz Ad Piles on Jim Kenney

The spot says Kenney, the mayoral frontrunner, "excused police brutality."

Screen shot from Nelson Diaz's new ad

Screen shot from Nelson Diaz’s new ad

Another ad bashing mayoral frontrunner Jim Kenney is on the tube.

Former city solicitor Nelson Diaz unveiled his first campaign advertisement Wednesday, which takes Kenney to task on police accountability and attacks state Sen. Anthony Williams for supporting vouchers.

While zooming in on images of Williams and Kenney, the narrator in the spot reads,”As mayor, Nelson Diaz won’t accept the voices that say, ‘We can’t fix schools without vouchers. We can’t stop police brutality.'” Alongside Williams’ and Kenney’s faces, faux headlines read, “Bankrolled by Voucher Groups” and “Excused Police Brutality,” respectively.

Diaz’s campaign says its criticism of Kenney is a reference to a comment he made nearly 20 years about Philadelphia police. After a friend’s home was burglarized in 1997, then-City Councilman Kenney said, “You can’t use the flashlights, you can’t use the clubs on the head, you can’t shoot anybody. What’s next? Are we gonna hand them feather dusters?”

Kenney has since said he is embarrassed by the remarks.

Williams also began airing a negative ad about Kenney this week. Unlike Diaz’s spot, it exclusively hones in on Kenney, highlighting his same ill-advised comments from the nineties.

Most of Diaz’s advertisement doesn’t focus on Kenney or Williams, though, and instead introduces viewers to Diaz. Currently, Diaz has little name recognition and is polling in the low single digits, according to several internal surveys. The spot says he grew up in poverty and rose to become “the first Puerto Rican judge” and a “White House fellow.”

Diaz’s campaign says it spent “six figures” to air the ad on broadcast stations from Wednesday to the May 19th primary election, but a spokesman wouldn’t provide a more specific figure. Is the ad buy enough to make difference for Diaz? It’s hard to see how it could be this late in the game as he is polling so poorly.

But could it hurt Kenney? It certainly doesn’t help his campaign for residents to again hear that he is soft on cops. But a single line in a mostly biographical ad probably won’t be remembered by most viewers.

Lynne Abraham also unveiled her second ad of the race today, which will begin airing Thursday. It details her work as district attorney to allow children to testify in trials remotely as well as her current education policies. Special interest group polling show she is trailing behind Williams and Kenney in the mayor’s race.

The only mayoral candidate left who has not yet aired a TV ad is ex-con and former state Sen. Milton Street. We’re guessing it stays that way.