Miles brings Warren's personal past to light in a TV ad right before the election

10/30/2014 03:41 PM

State Rep. Suzanne Miles, R-Owensboro, is bringing the domestic violence allegations against her Democratic opponent John Warren to the attention of voters with an ad that began running just five days before ballots are cast on Election Day.

The ad obtained by Pure Politics shows a pair of protective order documents sought by Warren’s then-wife in 2004 as the couple’s marriage ended alongside a mugshot of the Democratic candidate.

“The court documents tell the story. Demeaned his wife, raised his fist to her, was ordered to stop abusing her by a judge,” the announcer says in the ad. “Shame on you John Warren. You don’t treat women that way.”

Miles told Pure Politics the 30 second ad, paid for by her campaign, started running Thursday morning after many people in the area were providing her with information and documents about Warren.

Miles had previously told Pure Politics she was not bringing the domestic violence issue into her race but said Thursday that after being hit by Warren and his allies day in and day out, she felt people needed to know the person who is running against her.

“Everything is public record, not hear-say unlike information and claims in ads run against me in this election,” Miles told Pure Politics, referencing the attacks leveled against her saying she collects two paychecks from the government through her position in the legislature and her full-time job with Kentucky U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green.

Miles has told Pure Politics she has worked it out with her employer so that she does not get paid by Guthrie’s office on days she is working in her capacity of state Representative.

However, Warren’s campaign contends that the ad is factual. Matt Wyatt, who is consulting Warren’s bid against Miles, said the mugshot shown in the ad is not from the domestic violence situation but rather from an open container incident where he was not charged.

Because of that, Wyatt said the ad is “desperate” and that he would wait to make a full comment as they will be contacting an attorney and trying to have the ad taken down.

“The ad is not factual because the orange jumpsuit picture does not represent anything about what she is saying in the ad,” Wyatt told Pure Politics. “This is a desperate move on the part of Miles and the Republican Party of Kentucky to save a seat they know they are losing.”

According to a search for the mugshot and record by Pure Politics, the 2009 arrest was for possession of an open container in a motor vehicle and public intoxication “1st and 2nd offenses.”

The ad does not say that Warren was arrested for domestic violence. But Wyatt added that placing the mugshot for the the open container arrest and the documents for the protective orders is equivalent to splicing video for an ad.

There is currently a difference of opinion in a state Senate district where state Sen. R.J. Palmer of Winchester had aired an ad with edited court footage to cast his opponent, Republican Dr. Ralph Alvarado, in a negative light.

However, in a hearing about having the ad taken off the air Thursday in Scott Circuit Court, a judge ruled against granting a restraining order to have the Palmer ad taken off the air on the grounds of free speech, according to John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader story:

At a hearing, Judge Robert Johnson said that there are “clearly issues” with how Palmer’s campaign cut and spliced a 2010 courtroom video to produce an ad linking Ralph Alvarado — a Winchester physician and Palmer’s Republican challenger — to a drug-trafficking case. But the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional for judges to block free speech unless a trial determines that the speech is defamatory, Johnson said.

“Having been a candidate myself, I know that no one likes it when someone says something negative about them,” Johnson said. “But the law at this time doesn’t allow the court to restrain it until the claims in the ad are proven as false.”

Apart from requesting a restraining order, Alvarado is suing Palmer and his political consultant, Dale Emmons, for damages.


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