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Allen West Defames Patrick Murphy in Political Ad
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Political ad campaigns can be ruthless. We were reminded of this upon Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) released an ad juxtaposing West’s and opponent Patrick Murphy’s behavior in 2003. Democrat Patrick Murphy was arrested then, at the age of 19, for disorderly intoxication and for using a fake driver’s license.

The ad explains that West “had just received deployment orders and prepares to meet his men to go to war,” and then relates how “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand. Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Murphy has called this incident “the biggest mistake of my life.”

  
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Nevertheless, dragging up an opponent’s worst moments can go both ways, and if one can throw mud, so can the other.

“Allen West is now opening up what his military record was in 2003,” said Eric Johnson, an adviser to Murphy’s campaign. “In 2003, he was criminally charged by the military with assault and for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was subsequently kicked out of the military. I find it odd that he’s trying to brag about that particular year of service. And he’s attacking Patrick Murphy for drinking as a teenager, which I think is a silly attack.”

West is leading the polls by 11 points. This may be in part due to the greater amount of advertising he is doing compared to his opponent. As Roll Call reported:

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A Democratic source familiar with the buys in the district said West’s campaign was up with 1,400 gross rating points of television from Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 and was booked for 1,600 points from Oct. 2-8.

Murphy’s campaign, a pro-Democratic super PAC and a pro-Allen West super PAC are all also on air right now, but with less of a presence.



Murphy’s campaign had, according to the Democratic source, 450 points of TV through Oct. 1 and 500 points Oct. 2-8.

Three times the ads, and incendiary accusations, can take their toll on an opponent.



 

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