Sexual assault victim notes McConnell's support of DNA legislation in new ad

10/15/2014 10:22 AM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s co-sponsorship of legislation to expedite DNA testing in sexual assault cases is the focus of a new statewide television ad released Wednesday, featured the victim the bill was named after.

The 30-second spot, titled “Debbie Smith,” uses footage from a press conference in August, where McConnell and Smith pushed Congress to extend the Debbie Smith Act. The law, co-sponsored by McConnell, provides funding to alleviate backlogged DNA testing in rape cases.

“He has been a true champion on this issue, working across party lines,” Smith says in the ad. “His commitment to this legislation speaks of his devotion to women, to crime victims and their families.”

The ad can be viewed here:

Smith was raped in 1989, but her attacker was unknown for six years because of delays in DNA testing, according to a report by The Courier-Journal.

Women’s issues have been central to the campaign of McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. She has often cited his votes against the Violence Against Women Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and she leads McConnell among women in the latest Bluegrass Poll, 47 percent to 44 percent.

McConnell’s campaign has countered that the Senate Republican leader co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act and supported a stronger Republican version of the legislation last year.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.


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