Republicans Quarles and Mitchell targeted in ads from Kentucky Family Values

10/23/2014 09:43 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part two in a series of stories by Pure Politics examining claims being made in contentious House races in the state. Part one can be found here .

An agenda being pushed by the House Republicans and the legitimacy of the co-author designation of a Republican House candidate for a book are just some of the attacks being launched by Kentucky Family Values.

Kentucky Family Values PAC is getting involved in the open seat race in the 39th House District where Democrat Russ Meyer and Republican Jonah Mitchell are competing to replace retiring state Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville. The group is running an ad in the district against Mitchell that has come under fire from some saying it is factually inaccurate.

The ad brings into question a book titled “Masters of Success” which Mitchell says he is a co-author of on his campaign website . However, the Kentucky Family Values ad questions the legitimacy of that part of his resume by citing one chapter Mitchell was involved in and brings up the difference in appearance of a snapshot of the book’s cover on Mitchell’s website, where he is listed as the second author, and a copy of the book listed on Amazon.

The script for the minute long ad and the citations for their claims can be found here: KFV Mitchell Fact Sheet.pdf

Below are two covers of the book put side by side by Pure Politics, the first from Mitchell’s website and the second from an Amazon listing . However, an online image search of the books title also has other variations of the way authors’ names are stacked on the cover.

However, the President and CEO of the publishing company behind “Masters of Success” sent a letter stating that Mitchell is a co-author of the book.

“The interview process is a style of authoring and writing. This means he is a co-author,” Insight Publishing CEO David Wright said in the letter.

Kentucky Family Values has previously had problems with claims in their ads .

However, the Mitchell ad is not being taken off the air by iHeartMedia, formerly known as Clear Channel. And the Republican Party of Kentucky is not happy about that. RPK chair Steve Robertson told Pure Politics they have sent the letter from the publisher to the nationwide radio network but have been told the ad will not be taken down.

“Kentucky Family Values is attacking people on foolish things but their claims do not have the value of being truthful,” Robertson said. “And when their claims are stacked up against the candidates they are supporting, it shows the hypocrisy of what they are doing.”

But Kentucky Family Values told Pure Politics they “100 percent” stand by the Mitchell ad, which has been running for more than a week in the district.

“Candidates make all kinds of claims. It is important that they be verified. Kentucky Family Values stands by its advertising and will continue to support people who represent the values we have championed since our founding in 2011—creating more jobs and better wages, saving taxpayer dollars, protecting our schools and providing educational access to Kentucky’s young people,” Dave Contarino of KFV told Pure Politics.

The negative ads are also being distributed in Quarles’ race, where the group is running three radio ads in the district. One of the ads is positive toward his opponent and the other two are attack ads, according to Quarles.

Kentucky Family Values is also sending out negative mailers in the district that seek to hit Quarles on his support for right-to-work legislation .

The right-to-work proposal is part of a plan being pushed for by House Republicans called “Handshake with Kentucky.” The agenda has been has been criticized by Kentucky Democrats as being a replica of a similar plan in Alabama. The Alabama Speaker of the House who advocated for their plan was arrested Monday in an ethics case.

Quarles told Pure Politics the liberal Democrat attack PAC is trying to pull wool over the eyes of voters but said it will backfire because he is already hearing from voters in the district that they are “disgusted” by the ads.

“I pride myself in running a clean and positive race,” Quarles told Pure Politics. “There will be zero dollars spent by me to say negative things about my opponent.”

The negative mailer can be seen below:

The same wording used in the Quarles mailer is also used in the radio ads against many of the other Republican candidates, including ones who are not currently in the legislature.

“Instead, they’re making false attacks and trying to buy elections in Kentucky…and push their radical agenda to help the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of our schools, families and paychecks,” an announcer says in ads against Republican candidates like Mitchell and Republican Ryan Schwartz, according to transcripts supplied to Pure Politics.

The fact sheets of the ads cite the Economic Policy Institute with bullet points that say right-to-work laws will “reduce wages by $1,500 a year for both union and non-union workers, after accounting for different cost of living in the states.”

In a phone interview with Pure Politics, Schwartz said he believes right-to-work legislation is something that needs to be passed in the state in order to make Kentucky more competitive with other states. The 56th District candidate said the Kentucky Family Values attacks are misleading.

“I believe the Kentucky Family Values PAC is designed to be a deceptive organization,” Schwartz said. “They are stretching the truth in a big way.”

Pure Politics will have more on the ads in the some of the House districts in the next installment of the series


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