Wendy Rogers' First TV Ad Features Footage from Beheading of James Foley
A still from congressional candidate Wendy Rogers' first TV ad.
Republican Congressional candidate Wendy Rogers released her first TV campaign ad, which features video footage from the beheading of journalist James Foley.
The ad attempts to paint her opponent, Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, as weak on terrorism. It's likely only to cause controversy for showing footage of Foley's execution at the hands of the extremist group known as the Islamic State (or ISIS, or ISIL), even though the actual beheading isn't shown.
"Terrorist threats are growing," the ad says. "Are we secure? Are we protected? Keeping us safe and secure is Congress' job. Kyrsten Sinema hasn't done her job."
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Rogers' campaign manager didn't return a call or e-mail seeking comment.
"It is reprehensible and unbecoming of anyone seeking elected office to use the footage of an American tragedy for political gain, and Wendy Rogers should remove this ad immediately and apologize to Mr. Foley's family," says Tyrone Gayle, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "For Wendy Rogers to use such a reprehensible tactic to make baseless claims just to smear Representative Sinema proves how desperate her campaign has become."
When the video was released a few months ago, there was an effort by some to stop its spread online, like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who said the company was actively seeking and suspending accounts sharing the video.
A woman identified as Foley's cousin reportedly tweeted, "Please honor James Foley and respect my family's privacy. Don't watch the video. Don't share it. That's not how life should be."
Now it's fodder on the campaign trail.
Interestingly, Rogers just recently blasted Sinema for one of her ads, which used the story of Daniel Somers -- an Iraq War vet who committed suicide last year -- to tell of Sinema's committment to cleaning up the Department of Veterans Affairs. Crucially, the ad featured Howard and Jean Somers, Daniel's parents, voicing their support for Sinema's efforts.
Rogers issued a press release calling the Sinema ad "sickening," and said it was "revolting that she would attempt to exploit a soldier's suicide for her own political gain."
And what does that make this ad?
For what it's worth, Rogers isn't really the first one to go down this path. In August, a Republican running for one of New Mexico's U.S. Senate seats released an ad including an image of the man who beheaded Foley, but not an image of Foley.
Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.
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