By Dr. Derek Ellerman
A new attack ad targeting Arizona candidate for governor, Kari Lake, is arguably one of the most distasteful and manipulative ads in the history of campaigning.
The new ad by The Republican Accountability PAC ranks up there with the 2004 ad calling into question triple-amputee Vietnam Veteran Max Cleland’s “courage” – the previous low in the modern era.
Lake is a stalwart supporter of Donald Trump and thus a popular target of oppositional forces determined to smear anyone with whom he is aligned. The candidate herself took aim at the recent attacks and negative coverage by the media.
.@KariLake: “Guess which candidate is getting 100% negative coverage from the fake news? 100% And I will tell you, anyone who’s getting attacked by the propagandists is the person you want to vote for.” pic.twitter.com/QTRtCSzb9j
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 2, 2022
The anti-Trump PAC hopes their ad will negatively spotlight Lake’s calls for better measures to safeguard election integrity after 2020, while simultaneously blaming her for the Capitol riot.
Just last week, the AZ Gubernatorial candidate Fox 10 news anchor told the Arizona Republic:
“I wish I could sit here and say I have complete faith in the system, I don’t have faith in the system. And that’s why I’m going to work with lawmakers to come up with a way that we have secure elections.”
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The shocking new ad in question features Gladys Sicknick, mother of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died at 9:30pm on January 7, 2021.
The ad, clearly designed to evoke outrage and sympathy, is a direct character attack on Lake at its best and fearmongering at its worst.
In the ad, Gladys Sicknick states that her son died “because of people like Kari Lake”. The grieving mother warns voters that the situation is “dire for democracy” and our country.
You can see this unsavory ad for yourself in the video below.
“My son died because of people like Kari Lake.”
Watch this powerful testimony from Gladys Sicknick, mother of the Capitol Police officer who died after January 6.
NEW from Republican Accountability PAC: pic.twitter.com/2n0FgeEdnb
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) November 1, 2022
Exploiting The Death Of Brian Sicknick
While the death of Brian Sicknick is tragic, the repeated talking points by the media and the left are intentionally loaded and stretch the truth of the matter.
According to the DC Chief Medical Examiner, Officer Brian Sicknick’s official cause of death was “natural causes”. Medical examiner Francisco Diaz found no internal or external injuries nor evidence of a reaction to any chemical substance. However, the ME did state publicly that he felt what transpired on January 6th “played a role”.
Given he was on duty when he collapsed, Officer Sicknick tragically died in the line of duty. That does not change the fact there is no evidence that his death was a direct result of events on January 6th or anyone in attendance.
Gladys Sicknick is understandably in pain and suffering after the loss of her son who so bravely served this country. This is what makes it even more atrocious that the Republican Accountability PAC would exploit this poor woman’s grief to their own ends. Twisting words and events to deliver what they hope to be a coup de grâce.
Yes, the death of her son is tragic. But this exploitation of a mother’s grief for political gain is a travesty, and the lowest low politics has offered in decades.
People who align right seem to find the ad’s rhetoric divisive and dangerous.
This is absolutely atrocious. I truly feel sorry for Brian Sicknick, by all accounts a decent man, being exploited by his own family and ex-girlfriend for political purposes.
Shame on them and shame on these desperate ghouls for peddling this lie https://t.co/2xDqaYXSi2
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) November 1, 2022
While those on the left were quick to applaud Gladys Sicknick for her “courage” or her “powerful testimony”.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 1, 2022
Does This Kari Lake Attack Ad Cross A Line?
Political attack ads aren’t new or limited to just one party. Some of you might even remember the rise of televised attack ads in the 1960’s. You might even recall the infamous “Daisy” ad from the 1964 presidential race that forever set the standard for the absolute basement of political advertising.
Fast forward a few – er six – decades and here we are again having to ask ourselves, “what is too far?”
At a time when public discourse and decency and common sense are quite literally eroding before our eyes, it probably won’t come as a surprise to see political operatives exploiting Officer Brian Sicknick’s mother to sway a vote.
What do you make of this anti-group using Brian Sicknick’s mom in their ad attacking Kari Lake? Comment below and be sure to share this on your socials.
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