Readers of the Burlington Free Press opened their papers today to find a head-scratcher of an ad at the center of the A section.
Across the "double truck" centerfold is a slightly incoherent advertisement by John D. Haywood, the former presidential candidate who sued student journalists at St. Michael's College for libel — and $51 million — claiming their article about him for a class project cost Haywood the 2012 New Hampshire primary.
The Democratic primary. The one with Barack Obama in it. In which Haywood lost to the prez by a margin of 115 to 1.
Haywood's ad quotes a Freeps article about his libel lawsuit getting tossed by U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Conroy, then asks, "Is my lawsuit a product of pettiness and sour grapes as found by Magistrate Judge Conroy? With all briefs now on file, that very question is soon to be decided by the Judges of the Court of Appeals. Vermonters must keep an open mind, as only enactment of a National Health Service will terminate the greatest financial crime ever perpetrated against the American people —"
The ad also features a picture of Margaret Thatcher and a lengthy discussion of why the U.S. must adopt the British health care system.
It's actually the third double-truck ad Haywood (pictured), a retired Navy officer from North Carolina, has paid for in the Free Press, and apparently it won't be the last. At the bottom of today's ad is a preview of things to come: "Future Ads Coming: What Justice Louis Brandeis said, and what would Attorney Louis Brandeis do?"
We can hardly wait.
If the ads are slightly kooky, the money it costs to run them is not. Açcording to a Free Press media kit, the base price for a full-page ad during weekdays runs from $1209 to $4662. Of course, we don't know whether Haywood received a volume discount for running multiple two-page ads. But based on those rates, it's reasonable to assume he's shelling out somewhere in the ballpark of $5000 to $8000 per double truck.
Now, I'm no political consultant, but wouldn't that money be better spent taking on Hillary in 2016? Maybe Haywood figures his health care treatise will clear the Democratic field.