At some moment in the last month, Danny Elfman had an idea. It wasn’t another creepy soundtrack to another Tim Burton film. It wasn’t a reunion tour with his old band Oingo Boingo. It was, rather, about his “greatest fear”: President Sarah Palin.

In no time, Elfman and followers formed a political action committee, a Web site ( and a political ad now doing a small run in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“This is the story of one person who was feeling really frustrated and demoralized and thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to do something about it,’” said Sheila Shirazi, who is handling press for Elfman’s group.

In the ad, a voiceover suggests John McCain may die in office, as his face morphs into that of Palin, the White House in the background.

Our greatest question, though, is why no spooky music? Elfman, after all, scored such movies as Beetle Juice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, and even creepier ones like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. And besides, it’s almost Halloween. But no. Those hoping for a dark and twisted soundtrack to the election will be disappointed.

Explains Shirazi, “Danny’s actually a fairly modest person. I think that he really wanted this to be about the message. He didn’t want anything to take away from it.”

Elfman supposedly plans to continue his PAC to focus on other candidates in future elections. We can’t help but recall all the musical cliches in political ads, and hope Elfman can get over that modesty thing.

This originally appeared on The Secret Money Project Blog, a joint project of CIR and National Public Radio tracking the hidden cash in the 2008 election.

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Will Evans is a senior reporter and producer for Reveal, covering labor and tech. His reporting has prompted government investigations, legislation, reforms and prosecutions. A series on working conditions at Amazon warehouses was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and won a Gerald Loeb Award. His work has also won multiple Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, including for a series on safety problems at Tesla. Other investigations have exposed secret spying at Uber, illegal discrimination in the temp industry and rampant fraud in California's drug rehab system for the poor. Prior to joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2005, Evans was a reporter at The Sacramento Bee. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.