Saturday, May 25, 2002

Election elicits attacks in ads

Candidates air racy commercials

The Associated Press

        PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — Television ads have intensified a race for a county political office, with critics saying a candidate crossed the line by challenging the incumbent's character with a bedroom video.

        After Property Valuation Administrator Connie Hancock claimed in a TV ad that her challenger had numerous brushes with the law, Glenn David May II countered with an ad briefly showing a woman he says is his opponent removing some of her clothing on a bed as a man stands nearby.

        “Why was Connie Hancock falsely attacking me? She expected this video to surface,” Mr. May said in a commercial that aired on WYMT-TV in Hazard on Thursday. It “shows just how little she values her reputation and wedding vows,” he continued.

        The video never explains who the man is, and it's unclear what is taking place or if the woman is even Ms. Hancock.

        Her political consultant, Dale Emmons, called the video a fabrication that is “clearly an attempt to destroy her family” to win an election.

        “It's the biggest piece of sleaze I've ever seen in my life,” Mr. Emmons said.

        Ms. Hancock did not return telephone messages Friday. In an ad that began airing on Friday, Ms. Hancock responded to the attack ad, calling Mr. May “dangerous, evil and vile.”

        “He's willing to destroy my home, even my children to win this election,” she said.

        Paul Blanchard, an Eastern Kentucky University political science professor, criticized Mr. May for running the ad and WYMT for airing it.

        “This is another example of where it appears a candidate has gone over the line of discretion and good common sense,” Mr. Blanchard said.

        WYMT News Director Tony Turner said the station received the commercial Thursday and began airing it during the noon newscast after consulting with three lawyers and the Federal Election Commission.

        Mr. Turner said the station had no choice: It had already sold air time to Ms. Hancock and had to allow Mr. May the opportunity to buy a comparable amount of air time.

        The ad came after Ms. Hancock ran a commercial against Mr. May showing someone being handcuffed, a cell door being slammed shut and locked, and a judge's gavel slamming down.


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- Election elicits attacks in ads
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