HELP FROM A WAR BUDDY
When National Geographic Explorer dispatched TV producer Gordon Forbes to Afghanistan two years ago to document the U.S.-led war against the Taliban, the military brass assigned a Navy lieutenant to be his escort.
"The Pentago told me to take him into Afghanistan and see that he didn't get killed," said Lt. Jeff Gorell, whose civilian job is a deputy district attorney in Ventura County. "We lived up in the mountains and nearly froze to death."
As anyone who's ever watched a war movie can attest, those circumstances can lead to a certain amount of bonding. Gorell, who lives in Ojai, and Forbes, from Santa Barbara, struck up a friendship. At some point, Gorell talked about his political aspirations and mentioned the Assembly campaign he had been forced to abandon when he was called into active duty. Before they came down from the mountain, Forbes offered to help out Gorell should he decide to run for political office again.
Gorell is now engaged in a fierce, four-way campaign for the Republican nomination in the 37th Assembly District, which includes most of Ventura County.
The results of Forbes' offer of help can be seen regularly, starting today, on cable television franchises in Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Moorpark, Santa Paula and Ojai. All began airing political commercials for Gorell. They were produced by Forbes, who donated his professional services.
Political consultants often steer candidates away from cable television advertising because, although the time is relatively cheap to buy, the production costs for a professional quality TV ad can be steep. Better to run no TV commercials, the consultants say, than to run schlocky spots that make the candidate look like a discount used-car salesman.
Gorell shouldn't have to worry about that. Forbes has won multiple Emmys for his work.