The latest bad news for Democrats is that Judge Roy Moore has opened up a lead in the race for the Senate seat from Alabama vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As a result, the anti-Moore forces appear to be getting desperate.
No longer confident that Moore would be dumped from Congress if he did win, due to recent revelations about sexual misconduct by other senators, members of a shadowy super PAC set up to help Democrat Doug Jones have released advertisements that appear to engage in voter intimidation, telling voters that their vote is public record while claiming their community will know if they “helped stop Roy Moore.”
According to Breitbart:
Highway 31, a Birmingham-based pro-Doug Jones super PAC is using what could be perceived as voter intimidation tactics against Roy Moore by suggesting the votes cast in a December 12 special election are “public record.”
Beginning last week, some Alabamians were posting on social media about encountering online pre-roll video advertising making such a claim.
In watching some youtube videos on Cash Cab there is an ad running for Doug Jones as follows: "Your vote is public record & your community will know if you voted to stop Roy Moore" @MooreSenate I will just leave this here. #VoteRoyMoore
— Joan Alexander (@joanalex28) December 3, 2017
— Joemantler (@Joemantler) December 3, 2017
@fmtalk1065 have you seen the YouTube ad for Doug Jones where they state that "your vote is public record and your community will know if you fought to stop Roy Moore "? Is that not voter intimidation?
— James Owens (@JamesOw52157488) December 3, 2017
One declares Moore to be a “child predator,” a claim apparently based on a report that lays out decades-old allegations that he acted inappropriately and that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage women while employed as a prosecutor in Etowah County, AL in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
After leveling the “child predator” charge, the narrator tells viewers their vote is public record, and their community will know if they “helped stop Roy Moore.”
“If you don’t vote, and Roy Moore – a child predator – wins, could you live with that? Your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore,” she said.
Ryan Saavedra, a reporter with the Daily Wire, said on Twitter that the Alabama Secretary of State is investigating the ad to see if it breaks any laws.
Pro-Doug Jones super PAC used this ad on YouTube: "your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore."
Alabama Secretary of State officials said today they're investigating this ad to see if it broke any laws.
Voter intimidation? pic.twitter.com/obkGh6MKkr
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) December 4, 2017
On the bottom corner of the ad is a link to ALvoteplan.com, which is paid for by Highway 31 — an Alabama-based pro-Doug Jones super PAC — which has come under criticism for its sketchy nature because it is using unprecedentedmethods to hide who is paying for the ads before election day.
Brendan Fischer, the director of the FEC and federal reform programs at the Campaign Legal Center, called Highway 31’s actions “wild” and a blatant attempt to hide who is pushing for Doug Jones.
“This looks like a blatant effort to dodge disclosure requirements,” Fischer said. “And it could have the effect of keeping voters in the dark about who is funding these ads until after Election Day.”
“Super PACs are required to disclose their donors, but the group Highway 31 has structured its spending in a way that campaign-finance experts say is almost unprecedented,” Lachlan Markay wrote at the Daily Beast. “While legal, it will have the effect of obscuring the group’s benefactors, who will have financed a series of ads over the last two months of the campaign propping up Jones and hammering his Republican opponent, former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.”
Markay also observed that the group has reportedly spent some $2 million in ads:
Highway 31 has reported nearly $2 million worth of ads in the race, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, making it the single largest independent spender of the general-election contest. The group filed what was expected to be its first itemized disclosure of donors and expenditures Thursday. But in the filing, Highway 31 said it had received and spent no money whatsoever.
Instead, the filing revealed, a handful of Democratic campaign vendors have produced and placed a number digital ads for the group entirely on credit. Though it disclosed no income or expenditures, Highway 31 listed debts owed to those vendors, and the amounts owed match up precisely with the values of the ads it reported to the FEC.
We do know, however, that “three Washington, D.C. consulting firms with ties to former Obama campaign staffers ‘have provided millions of dollars in advertising services’ for Highway 31,” Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy reported.
I don't even like Roy Moore really (supported Luther Strange from the start) but just got an ad on YouTube saying "Your vote is public record, your community will know if you helped stop Roy Moore- Doug Jones for Senate". Uhhhh, seems rather threatening.
— Yorgo Sarris (@bamayorgo1) December 3, 2017
Yes, it does.
Yours truly spoke with Rabbi Eric Walker about the Roy Moore election Monday morning. You can catch that video below:
- Roy Moore takes commanding lead as majority of Alabama Republicans say allegations are false
- Largest Tea Party Facebook group to host Judge Roy Moore Day on Sunday, Dec 10
- The NBRA Endorses Judge Roy Moore for Senate