Skip to comments.Begich campaign pulls controversial attack ad in Alaska U.S. Senate race
Posted on 09/02/2014 7:28:06 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
ANCHORAGEA controversial ad from the campaign to re-elect Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, which attacked his Republican rival Dan Sullivans record as Alaskas attorney general, has been pulled from the airwaves. But an argument over the ads merits continued Tuesday.
The ad started running early Friday and claimed that a list of sex offenders flashing across the screen had received inappropriately light sentences when Sullivan was attorney general. It made reference to one defendant in particular though not by name who is charged with murdering two elderly Anchorage residents and sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl. In the ad, a retired detective pointed to an apartment building where the crime allegedly occurred and said the suspect got out of prison earlier than he should have because of a prior plea deal, allowing him to kill the couple and rape the girl.
Sullivan has made his efforts to combat sex crimes and domestic violence a central part of his campaign. He quickly responded with an ad of his own that called the Begich campaigns TV spot dishonest and named the defendant, Jerry Active, whose earlier plea deals predated Sullivans time as attorney general, Sullivan said. Sullivan also spoke to reporters in several separate phone interviews. This stoops to a brand-new low, Sullivan said Friday. It is more than shameful that Mark Begich would put distortion and lies on the air. The guy will do anything to get re-elected and hes showing it. At first, the Begich campaign said it was standing behind the original ad. A written statement from the campaign detailed several plea deals with sex offenders that the Department of Law approved under Sullivan, despite his stated goal of getting tough on such criminals. Sullivan served as attorney general from June 2009 to December 2010 before being appointed commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and, later, stepping down to run for U.S. Senate. According to the Begich campaign, Sullivan said at a March 2014 campaign event that he was responsible for everything that happened at the Department of Law while he was in charge. Among Actives string of criminal charges was a January 2009 break-in during which, Active admitted, he touched a girl in a sexual manner. A plea agreement in March 2010 convicted Active of attempted sexual abuse of a minor and he received a sentence of four years to serve behind bars.
Sullivans name appeared on the plea agreement, but his signature did not. As is typical, a state prosecutor directly handling the case signed the agreement.
With time off for good behavior, Active served two-thirds of the sentence. After violating terms of probation twice and landing back in jail, Active allegedly attacked the elderly couple and young girl in Anchorage the day of his release in May 2013.
The Department of Law, under current Attorney General Michael Geraghty, admitted to having made a mistake years earlier in sentencing Active for providing alcohol to a minor. The case should have been handled as a felony offense, not a misdemeanor, Geraghty said. And after Actives most recent alleged crimes, the double homicide and sexual assault, the department also announced it would no longer offer plea bargains in the most serious felony cases, including charges of sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor.
State Democratic Party spokesman Zack Fields said the Department of Laws review and policy change was evidence that Sullivan, as attorney general, had made a mistake that allowed Active to continue committing crimes. Fields said Sullivans response to the ad was an attempt to cover up his involvement in the plea deal.
There is no basis in fact for the Begich campaigns claim that Sullivan was responsible for the murders and sexual assault, Geraghty wrote in a statement.
In the Friday interview, Sullivan said the Department of Law prosecuted more than 12,000 cases during the time he was attorney general. Sullivan said he was not intimately involved in every case but that he had instituted guiding policies to put convicted sex offenders and perpetrators of domestic violence in prison for longer sentences. Much of the departments dealings with Active happened before Sullivans tenure leading the department, he said.
While the ad controversy remained unsettled Tuesday, both campaigns said they had stopped the ads from airing.
On Sunday, a lawyer representing the family of Actives 2013 victims contacted both campaigns asking for the ads to be pulled. The Sullivan campaign, whose ad had mentioned Actives name, agreed, but it is unclear when the TV spot was actually removed.
Both campaigns said they had agreed to either pull or modify their ads on Sunday, but according to The Associated Press, the ads were both still on TV through Monday because of the Labor Day holiday. The Sullivan campaign ad also aired again at least once early Tuesday.
Whatever the reason was for the delay, a strongly worded letter from the victims familys attorney, Bryon Collins, was sent to the Begich campaign Monday.
You are tearing this family apart to the point that your ad was so shocking to them they now want to permanently leave the state as quickly as possible, Collins wrote in the letter.
Collins also wrote that publicizing details of the Active case could hurt the possibility of successfully prosecuting him by tainting potential jurors, who are not supposed to have prior knowledge of a case.
Croes said the ad had been removed out of respect for the familys wishes. He said because there had not been an ad already produced to replace the first one, the campaign had pulled the original ad altogether but planned to replace it soon with another spot questioning Sullivans time as attorney general.
But Croes, in a brief interview Tuesday, again referred to the 2010 plea deal and the 2013 changes to Department of Law policy regarding plea deals.
We still believe Dan Sullivan needs to answer questions about his role as attorney general, Croes said.
Somebody stepped on their d##k.
Since Mark Begich is a Democrat Senator in Harry Reid’s US Senate in the football town of Washington DC, does that make Begich a REIDSKIN?
The DemonRats”Accuse”someone of something and it becomes”LEGEND”!!!
I know nothing about what went on up there, but, just based on the article, Begich has a point - if a Republican, or Democrat, is head of a department, and has been at that position for a while, then YES, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE for what happens in that department. They set the tone, they set the policies. If prosecutors are pleading down serious crimes, then someone IS NOT STOPPING IT...and that is the boss.
So advice to Republican candidates - the laws are written FOR A REASON, and you may well be held accountable if you think you know better, just as Huckabee was (and will be again) for the deaths of 4 Police Officers near Seattle, and countless thousands of other felonies.
...it’s generally a good idea to let the Democrats keep cutting loose felons, and let them pay the price for that (once in a while), as Dukakis did.
If it’s hurting Begich, someone should pay for air time to put it back on.
I searched you tube. Could not find it. It was on the TV yesterday before the local news.
Begich is Harry Reids “bitch”...
The ad just proves what a DB little mark really is.
Willie Horton lives....
Barf and gag. Gebich needs to be voted out with extreme prejudice.
Begich is obviously a child molester and child molesters do not belong in the US Senate.
...... missing among the IRSs internal emails are communications with Sens. Mark Udall, Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu, Al Franken, and a dozen other Democrats who received campaign contributions from the federal agencys union.
Democratic senators who took campaign donations from the IRS union include Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana who received $25,500, Al Franken of Minnesota with $5,000, and Mark Begich of Alaska.
(Excerpt) Read more at thecoloradoobserver.com ...
Buh Bye Mark!