RALEIGH – An attack ad put out by the campaign of incumbent State Attorney General Josh Stein, smearing his opponent as ‘leaving rapists on the street,’ is getting a lot of attention. Unfortunately for Democrat Josh Stein, it’s for the wrong reasons.
For one, it turns out the ‘star’ of this new ad, a sexual assault victim that helps smear Republican Jim O’neil as some heartless advocate for rapists, actually works for the N.C. Department of Justice. You know, the department led by AG Josh Stein.
When WRAL is forced to call out a statewide Democrat like Stein, you know it’s too egregious for even them to ignore. From WRAL:
“[…] Juliette Grimmett is a temporary contract employee at the State Crime Lab, working as a sexual assault victim policy strategist. The position is funded by a grant, and she makes about $32 an hour, the Attorney General’s Office confirmed this week.
None of this is disclosed in an attack ad Stein’s campaign has run against Jim O’Neill, Forsyth County’s district attorney and Stein’s Republican opponent in the attorney general’s race. […]”
More telling though, is news that one employee of the State Crime Lab’s sexual assault initiative found Stein’s campaign attack ad SO misleading, SO nasty, that he resigned in protest.
More from WRAL:
“[…] Bill Hart Sr. told WRAL News on Friday what he told the newspaper: That the ad’s over-the-top accusation bothered him enough to leave.
The first part of the ad, praising Stein for his work on sexual assault and cutting down a backlog in rape kit tests, is fine, Hart said.
“Josh has worked on this along with a lot of other people,” he said. “But when the ad pointed to Jim O’Neill and said he left 1,500 kits on the shelves, that’s just not true.”
Hart, a former assistant district attorney in Wake County, said district attorneys don’t have that sort of control over rape kits stored by law enforcement departments. There are a number of reasons kits go untested, including some victims who don’t want their cases to proceed. […]
In a statement, the O’Neill campaign commended Hart for resigning and called the ad’s key accusation “a bold-faced lie.”
“The people of North Carolina deserve better than having a career politician as their attorney general who doesn’t know how the criminal justice system works,” O’Neill said in the statement. “It’s time for Stein to come clean with the people of North Carolina and apologize for lying to us.” […]”
Apparently, the problematic nature of this ad was enough to have the Stein campaign stop running it. The Stein campaign says it was just a normal advertising pivot, and if you believe that, we have some land to sell you. As nasty as it is, tagging someone as on the side of rapists is pretty damaging, and a campaign doesn’t drop such a hard hitting ad ‘just because.’
Jim O’neil, meanwhile continues to campaign across the state in a bid to replace Stein as N.C. Attorney General. It’s an important race — in a sea of important races — because the AG plays a significant role in defending State actions against activists’ lawsuits. Stein has used this role to undermine the State and the General Assembly, while promoting the ends of activists on the Left, in direct contravention of his sworn duty.
Lean more about Jim O’neil here, and make sure to support him, and other Republicans all the way down the ballot.