Kyrsten Sinema's Vet-Suicide Ad Blasted as "Sickening," "Exploitative" by Challenger Wendy Rogers

Republican congresswoman wannabe Wendy Rogers has drawn first blood in the general election contest for Congressional District 9, represented by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

This morning, Rogers, who recently whupped ex-ASU quarterback, ex-NFL player Andrew Walter in the GOP primary by an astonishing 21 points, blasted as "sickening" and "exploitative" a TV ad that Sinema currently has running.

"Exploitative"? You be the judge...

The ad features Sinema supporters Howard and Jean Somers, parents of decorated Iraqi War vet Daniel Somers, who suffered from traumatic brain injury and PTSD and committed suicide last year after not getting the proper care from the U.S. Office of Veteran Affairs in Phoenix.

See also: -Wendy Rogers to Face Kyrsten Sinema; Martha McSally to Challenge Ron Barber Again -R.I.P. Daniel Somers of Lisa Savidge, 1/14/83-6/10/13

The tragic details of his death have been reported by several national outlets, and his heartrending suicide note went viral online.

Congresswoman Sinema gives a disturbing account of Daniel Somers' treatment by the VA.

"Daniel tried to get help through the Phoenix VA," Sinema tells the camera over soft piano music. "One day, Daniel told them he was thinking about committing suicide.

"They told him they didn't have any beds to check him in. They didn't refer him to another hospital. They told him he could lay down on the floor in the corner, and when he felt better, he could drive himself home.

"Of course, shortly thereafter, he committed suicide."

Sinema then informs us that her two brothers are in the U.S. Armed Forces, one of them on active duty.

"That could be my little brother," she says. "That could be my big brother."

A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, whose campaign site proudly boasts of her and her family's military service, Rogers apparently spied an opening in Sinema's ad, denouncing it in a statement dripping with contempt.

The press release quotes Rogers, thus:

"I find it sickening that Kyrsten Sinema would air such an ad. It is revolting that she would attempt to exploit a soldier's suicide for her own political gain. As a veteran and social worker, I find this ad to be exploitative, offensive, and in poor taste. It is absolutely vile that Kyrsten Sinema and her campaign team would even consider an ad like this, and I hope that she will immediately cease airing this ad and issue an apology."

So far, no reply from the Sinema camp.

The district is a competitive one. Two years ago, Sinema beat Republican Vernon Parker by a little more than 10,000 votes, or four percent of the total.

Sinema is favored to win this year, and she certainly has the money for a decisive victory. As of August 6, Sinema had four times the cash on hand that Rogers did, nearly $900,000 to Rogers' $217,000.

Regarding the ad, it's certainly depressing, but how could it be otherwise?

I suspect if Somers' parents had thrown their support behind Rogers instead of Sinema, the former Air Force pilot would have had zero problem doing the same exact ad, swapping out herself for the congresswoman.

Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Stephen Lemons on Twitter at @StephenLemons.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.