ads proved especially effective as George Bush aggressively challenged
Michael Dukakis on prison furloughs, national defense, and the polluting
of Boston harbor in Dukakis' home-state of Massachusetts.
ad showed Dukakis looking uncomfortable riding a tank. Another showed
prisoners going in and out of jail through a revolving door to criticize
Governor Dukakis' granting of furloughs to prisoners. Furloughs were
the subject of the most controversial ad of the election. "Willie Horton"
told the story of a prisoner furloughed from Massachusetts who committed
a heinous crime in another state. The ad used a menacing mug shot of
an African-American criminal and was widely denounced as appealing to
ad was also controversial because it was not produced by the Bush campaign.
A political action committee not affiliated with Bush paid for the ad
in an early example of outside groups using ads to effect an election.