Saturday, October 18, 2014

GOP revives Willie Horton-style attack ad to save embattled NE Rep. Lee Terry

One or another of the GOP's national hit squads has now resuscitated the 80s Willie Horton ad attacking Michael Dukakis, with Nebraska State Senator Brad Ashford standing in for Dukakis and Nikko Jenkins substituting for Willie Horton.
     Jenkins, who was improperly freed from the Nebraska penetentiary early — not by Brad Ashford's "good time" legislative formula but by a judge who made a big mistake —  killed four people after being let out.
     Shortly thereafter, the Omaha World-Herald uncovered a huge and still-evolving scandal involving the state's GOP Governor, Dave Heineman, and his Department of Corrections. From the Columbia Journalism Review:
The state had improperly cut years off the sentences of at least 200 prisoners; many had already been released, and others were set for early release. This, Cooper told me, was a conservative estimate. State officials would later revise the total to a whopping 873 prisoners, 306 of whom had already been released. 
     Now the GOP is attempting to convince Omaha voters that the early release of dangerous inmates is a Democrat-driven problem:

     The Willie Horton revisitation isn't a Lee Terry ad, but his campaign has refused to disavow it, and in fact defended it to KETV in the above video.
     Lee Terry is running the following ad which excoriates Brad Ashford and asks voters that if Ashford won't protect Americans from "bad guys" in Nebraska how would he in the rest of the world?
     In 2010, Terry tried to block a U.N. investigation into the killing of an unarmed, 19-year-old American citizen in the Middle East.

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