No, it wasn't a rerun of that '80s show. but the TV scene forced Mike Taylor, the Republican candidate in the Montana Senate election, to pull out of the race last week. He claimed an ad sponsored by Democrats tarnished his reputation by suggesting he was gay. The ad shows an early-'80s Taylor, clad in a leisure suit that exposed his chest and gold chains, applying makeup to a Tom Selleck look-alike. Taylor ran a hair-care school for 10 years through 1988, and the clip is from Beauty Corner, a television show he hosted. Democrats said his weak poll numbers, not the commercial, caused the dropout. But it's not the only campaign ad making a stir this political season. --By Sean Gregory
Republicans mock their opponents for replacing Senator Robert Torricelli with former Senator Frank Lautenberg after Torricelli withdrew because of ethics questions. The ad shows a frustrated schoolboy asking his teacher: "If I fail this test, can I have Frank Lautenberg take it for me?"
"Waco was nothin' compared to Colorado City," an antipolygamy activist says, while the Branch Davidian compound burns. Independent gubernatorial candidate Richard Mahoney suggests Republican Matt Salmon cannot crack down on the town's polygamist sect because he is Mormon.
Independent nominee for Governor Tim Penny and Democrat Roger Moe are "Taxman and Roger" in an ad portraying them as Batman and Robin. "Holy tax increases," yelps a Robinesque voice. Republican Tim Pawlenty appears as Superman with an antitax emblem on his shirt.
Senate candidate Elizabeth Dole rips Democrat Erskine Bowles, President Clinton's ex-chief of staff, for his link to a North Carolina textile company that is "exporting our jobs to Mexico and China." The connection? His wife, Crandall, is the CEO. The attack on his wife left Bowles "galled."