Barr responds to Democrats' TV ad, calls arrest as a 19-year old a "dumb mistake"

10/10/2012 02:53 PM

Republican Andy Barr was quick to respond to an attack ad released this week by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee slamming Barr over his criminal record

Barr released his own TV ad in the Lexington market describing the arrest a “dumb mistake” and calling U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler as a “desperate politician scared of losing.”

“I made a mistake when I was 19. I tried to use a fake id. I paid a fine and did community service. It was dumb,“said Barr, a Lexington lawyer.

The original DCCC ad cites a 1993 arrest for a fake drivers license in Florida, which was first reported in a 2010 Herald-Leader profile on Barr. Barr had pleaded guilty and was ordered to provide eight hours of community service, according to court records that the Herald-Leader’s John Cheves cited.

When Barr applied for state government jobs under Gov. Ernie Fletcher, he checked ‘No’ on the sections asking if he had ‘ever been convicted of violating any law other than ‘minor traffic violations.’ Barr, at the time, said he believed his Florida conviction was “minor” and did not merit disclosure.

In 1999 Barr was charged with public drinking in Lexington, the charge was dismissed several months later, but in the article it said Barr declined to explain the circumstances behind those charges.

A campaign manager for Chandler said at issue isn’t a fake ID, but the fact that he failed to disclose a crime and guilty plea on a state employment form.

“If Barr believes his offense was minor, why didn’t he have the courage to disclose his offenses and explain them?” said campaign manager Eric Nagy in a press release. “He’s either a liar or a terrible lawyer. Andy Barr is so out of touch with reality that he can’t even recognize his problem is an inability to tell the truth, not a fake ID twenty years ago.”

The original DCCC ad below:


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