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Republicans are airing their first TV ad about the pay to play scandals. State Senator Andrew Brock’s ad calls on “embattled House Speaker Jim Black to resign…” (WRAL-TV, 8/7/06). Brock also says the beneficiaries of the ‘pay to play’ scandals are Democrat House members who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Black.

A State judge just ruled Black’s campaign has to return $6800 in illegal contributions, and virtually every major newspaper has called on Black to resign. And, at last, Republicans are holding Speaker Black and his fellow Democrats accountable in a way politicians understand – in the court of public opinion before an election.

Democrat legislators, who have remained united in lockstep behind Black, may look at the pay to play scandals differently when Republicans start running their ads in their districts – where their constituents will see them. But Black’s allies can’t very well pass the buck now by saying, Well, it was Jim Black, and not us – because they’ve been defending Black tooth and toenail for months. Instead, Democrat legislators are going to have to defend the scandals, just like Black is doing.

Stay tuned. It may be interesting to see how they do that.

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