Andy Beshear's campaign attempts to have GOP ad pulled; RAGA defends first ad of cycle

07/17/2015 02:58 PM

The campaign of Democratic attorney general candidate Andy Beshear is attempting to have an ad by the Republican Attorneys General Association removed from Lexington airwaves.

The ad first was launched on Tuesday in the Lexington market where the 30-second spot is airing on: WLEX-TV, WKYT-TV and WTVQ-TV. As previously reported, the spot highlights Republican candidate Whitney Westerfield, a Hopkinsville attorney and the state Senate Judiciary chairman, as having spent time as a prosecutor “who put criminals behind bars.”

The ad targets Beshear for having a lack of law enforcement experience, having a campaign “funded by special interests he would oversee as attorney general” and that he “would support Obama’s policies.”

By Wednesday the campaign for Beshear, the son of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, sent a notice via an attorney to stations which “demand(s) removal of misleading and false advertisement.”

The strongly worded letter warns stations that by airing the ad they expose the station “to legal liability for which damages may be sought, we ask that you refuse to air the ad and/or immediately remove it from the air.”

At the heart of the letter from DBL Law Practice is the remark on Beshear and Obama. DBL says the cited materials in the RAGA ad do not prove that Beshear “would support Obama’s policies,” as the ad states.

Read the entire section of the letter dealing with the claims in the image below:

Download the full complaint here: Letter to stations.pdf

On Friday, the RAGA responded with their own letter to stations defending their ad and the claims therein.

Attorneys for RAGA, with law firm Clark Hill in Washington, D.C., argue that “(t)he letter from Beshear’s counsel is a desperate attempt to conceal Beshear’s lack of experience, questionable campaign contributions, and support for President Obama’s policies. It is meant to intimidate stations and outside advertisers in the lead up to the election.”

“Beshear’s challenge is baseless. Each and every statement in the advertisement is carefully worded, documented and supported, and Beshear does not present a single fact or piece of documentation to dispute the RAGA advertisement. In fact, RAGA’s advertisement is accurate in every respect, raises critical public policy and character issues, and should continue to air.”

Attorneys for RAGA say that the statement at question: “Beshear would support Obama’s policies” is deliberately broad.

“(I)t would be impossible to list all of Obama’s policies that Beshear would support in a thirty-second ad. By maintaining that the ad is ‘misleading and false’ based on RAGA’s general statement, Beshear is declaring that he would not support a single Obama policy,” the letter reads. “If Beshear wants to dispute RAGA’s claim, he would need to demonstrate his fundamental opposition to every single policy that President Obama has implemented, proposed or supported.”

Download the full response here: RAGA – Response Letter to Stations 7.17.153.pdf

At the time this story was published the ad was still running during a review by the stations’ legal counsel.

In a statement sent to Pure Politics, RAGA Executive Director Scott Will said that for voters it’s pretty simple.

“Beshear is an Obama liberal,” Will said. “He’s voted for President Obama twice and he’s voiced his support for Obamacare while on the campaign trail. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.”

Andy Hightower, a spokesman for Westerfield, said that the July ad by RAGA and the involvement of attorney’s seems to show that the campaign for Beshear is in panic.

“It seems early for Andy Beshear’s campaign to be in such a panic, but I’d want to distance myself from President Obama’s terrible policy decisions too,” Hightower told Pure Politics in a statement. “Unfortunately, the only record Andy Beshear has is his father’s; a record of embracing Obama at every turn.”

Beshear’s campaign communications director Galia Slayen responded to Pure Politics request for comment saying, “the letter speaks for itself.”

Watch the full ad in question below.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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