As we’ve noted several times in the past, the National Black Republican Association is a fringe right-wing group that seems to have little in the way of staff or money, yet still manages to generate attention for itself every election cycle by running ridiculous ads and then waiting for the media to report on them:
[NBRA Chair Frances] Rice managed to put up a “Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican” billboard in South Carolina this year, and, leading up to the elections, ran a radio ad in swing states. In the ad a black woman says, “Dr. King was a real man,” and another responds, “You know he was a Republican.”
Rice said she wanted to start a conversation about the history of the Republican Party. The tactic proved its worth in media coverage. She ticks off the news outlets that covered the campaign.
“I spent a few thousand and garnered half a million in free coverage by my estimate,” Rice said.
Given the success the NBRA has had with this tactic, they apparently have bigger plans in mind:
A Sarasota-based group that grabbed national headlines when it put up several billboards in Florida proclaiming “Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican” says it will be doing it again.
This time the National Black Republican Association says it would like to put up 50 of the controversial billboards in Denver. The group wants the billboard to be up in time for the Democratic National Convention which is scheduled for August 25th – 28th.
Hmm … considering that the convention is now less than two weeks away, that seems like an expensive and almost impossible task. But just to make sure, I called the advertising specialists at The Media Team in Denver to inquire about the cost and possibility of actually doing so.
When I told them that I was interested in finding out the cost and availability of 50 billboards in Denver for the week of the convention, they literally laughed at me. They then explained that the only things available at this late date would be Spanish language and low traffic billboards and, when I asked how much it would cost, hypothetically, to rent just one prime location billboard for the week of the convention, the estimate was $25,000, with the rates for other billboards ranging from $5,000 to $18,000 depending on location.
So unless the NBRA has several hundred thousand dollars on hand – and a time machine that allows them to go back and make reservations for the billboards before they were all booked – it looks like this is just another self-aggrandizing boast designed to make it seem as if the NBRA has any influence at all.