The Beebe complaint -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

The Beebe complaint -- UPDATE

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Belatedly, on the jump, find the text of Mike Beebe's complaint about ads being run by the Republican-financec Coalition for Arkansas' Future re his purported enabling of Nick Wilson follies. My bet is they're happy to be thrown into that briar patch.

UPDATE: KAIT in Jonesboro has pulled the ad. Release on jump, following Beebe's initial release

BEEBE NEWS RELEASE

(LITTLE ROCK)  -- The Mike Beebe for Governor Campaign released a letter to Arkansas television stations running a false ad by the Republican front group Coalition for Arkansas’ Future calling on the stations to pull the false ad from the airwaves.

The letter was formally sent to stations, Monday, by Beebe campaign attorney Michael Langley.  Federal law prevents stations from pulling ads aired by political candidates, but stations are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of ads sponsored by independent groups.

“These ads purposefully misquote newspaper articles and purposefully use pictures in a way to mislead viewers," Michael Langley, Beebe campaign attorney, said.  “The stations have a legal obligation not to run ads that are incorrect. We have simply asked the stations to live up to their obligations and we will take every possible step to get them to put the public interest ahead of any other as the law requires."

Monday, October 23, Hutchinson held a press conference in Little Rock attempting to falsely tie Mike Beebe to the scandals of Wilson.  Following Hutchinson’s lead, CFAF launched its corresponding attack ad on Beebe, Friday, October 27.  The ad was met with outrage by those who investigated and prosecuted the Wilson case.   A political 527 group, named for the section of the IRS code that governs it, CFAF can take unregulated money for its political causes with far less reporting standards than a political campaign or political party. 

--See Letter Below--

October 28, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been brought to my attention that the group Coalition for Arkansas’ Future is once again trying to run an ad that contains factually inaccurate and false information.

The purpose of this letter is to request that you immediately stop running the “Nick Wilson” ad authored by the Coalition for Arkansas Future due to the factual misstatements and fabrications contained in it. Once a station is aware that a third party group is using false information to make a statement against a candidate, the station does not have to run the commercial. Based on the evidence presented in this letter, I ask you to cease running this commercial due to the factual inaccuracies that exist in it.

The Coalition for Arkansas’ Future’s commercial claims, "Nick Wilson stole millions from Arkansas taxpayers. Mike Beebe let it happen" and "Beebe and Wilson passed a corrupt law."  Mike Beebe did vote for the bill that set up a program to protect children. He did not vote for a corrupt law. To say that he did is a lie.  The administration of the program created by that law was corrupt. Mike Beebe was not involved in the administration of the program.

According to a letter to Mr. Beebe from Mr. Larry Jegley, the 6th Judicial District prosecuting attorney, “the legislation in question was not itself the corrupt issue; rather, it was abused to line the pockets of Nick Wilson and others. It was evident from the beginning you were not associated with any of the problems.” The letter goes on to add, “Wilson and his associates manipulated the program administered by the Supreme Court and diverted funds aimed at protecting children for their own unlawful gain. This could not have been known before the legislation’s passage. Any attempt to say otherwise is shameful and false.” Mike Beebe had no knowledge that the program created by legislation was being implemented in a corrupt manner until after the fact.  By the logic of this ad all legislators could be held responsible every time a state employee embezzles money because they, the legislators, voted to appropriate the stolen funds. (Attached Ex. “A”, “B”)

According to Ms. Paula Casey, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas who investigated Nick Wilson, “To try to falsely associate Mike Beebe with that scandal is preposterous. The investigation was intense and far reaching but led us to the wrongdoers who were then prosecuted for their actions. If anything, the legislature was divided into two factions at the time, Nick Wilson and his associates on one side and the reformers led by Beebe on the other.”

The advertisement next goes on to display the words “133-count felony indictment” on-screen with photos of Beebe and Wilson implying  Beebe was indicted along with Nick Wilson.(Attached “Ex. C”). Mike Beebe was not was not associated with the scandal according to the prosecutors involved in the case. The deceptive practices in the ad create a false and misleading impression of Mr. Beebe on the viewer. As Paula Casey put it, “To contradict facts of the case and the obvious history is proof of intentional disinformation and a lack of concern for the truth.”

The content in the ad presented by the Coalition for Arkansas’ Future includes portions of a newspaper commentary that are represented as accurate and factual. Appearing on screen at the end of the ad are the words "embedded in disdainful behavior.” Attribution is given to a September 28, 1997 article authored by John Brummett. (attached “Ex. D”) The author of the ad represents these words as a complete quote when in fact it deleted significant words necessary to understand Brummett’s true meaning. The statement as printed in the paper read, Beebe is embedded in the periphery of disdainful behavior” (John Brummett's Column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 09/28/97)(emphasis added). The full quote for this citation is:  "That Beebe is probably specifically innocent is nearly beside the point.  It may not be fair that now he'll have to run with Nick Wilson and Jim Guy Tucker around his neck.  But we're talking about politics after all, and fairness doesn't apply.  Beebe is embedded in the periphery of disdainful behavior, and the perception is ripe for exploitation."  (John Brummett's Column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 09/28/97)

The Coalition for Arkansas’ Future purposefully altered a newspaper article and presented the counterfeit statement to the public as though Mr. Brummett had written the commentary himself. The authors of the ad presented these tainted statements to the public with the intent to do harm to Mr. Beebe. It is a work of fiction.

The Coalition for Arkansas’ Future has proven that it is willing to play fast and loose with the facts. Its ad presents untrue statements as fact, creates false impressions, and rewrites the work of others without attribution. The ad is full of untruths and misinformation. It should not be on the air.

 
I ask you to cease running this commercial due to the factual inaccuracies and fabrications that exist in it. I ask that you call Ms. Cherry, the Executive Director for the Coalition for Arkansas’ Future and ask that she please provide any evidence that she has that Mike Beebe was complicit in Nick Wilson’s actions. Failing that and based on the evidence presented in this letter the ad should be removed immediately.

 
Sincerely,

 

Michael W. Langley

RELEASE ON KAIT

(LITTLE ROCK) --  Television ads attacking Mike Beebe are being pulled today after a television station judged the attacks to be false.  The ads by the Republican front group Coalition for Arkansas’ Future, pulled off the air for making false allegations against Beebe, repeated attacks made just days earlier by Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson.

 

Channel 8, KAIT Jonesboro, pulled the ads after being formally contacted, Monday, by Beebe campaign counsel Michael Langley.

 

“These attacks are false and it’s only right they be taken down,” Zac Wright, Beebe spokesman said.  “This shadow organization is operating as a front group for Asa Hutchinson and it’s about time they be held accountable for some of the false, negative nonesense they’ve been repeating.”

 

Monday, October 23, Hutchinson held a press conference in Little Rock attempting to falsely tie Mike Beebe to the scandals of Wilson.  Following Hutchinson’s lead, CFAF launched its corresponding attack ad on Beebe, Friday, October 27.  The ad was met with outrage by those who investigated and prosecuted the Wilson case.   A political 527 group, named for the section of the IRS code that governs it, CFAF can take unregulated money for its political causes with far less reporting standards than a political campaign or political party.  Federal law prevents stations from pulling false ads aired by political candidates, but stations are responsible for insuring the accuracy of ads sponsored by independent groups.

 

As a 527, CFAF faces the same standards of truth and accuracy as other commercial advertising.

 

“Given the circumstances, CFAF should disclose publicly the individuals and groups funding this ad so that the contributors can be properly informed that their money is being used to pay for false attack,” Wright added.

 


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