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Thursday, September 4, 2014

FactCheck: Attack ad on Mike Ross 'extraordinary whopper'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 6:55 AM

click to enlarge FALSE AND DEFAMATORY: Republican attack ad on Mike Ross.
  • FALSE AND DEFAMATORY: Republican attack ad on Mike Ross. has done new reporting
about Mike Ross' sale of his family drugstore in Prescott years ago and concluded that a Republican ad attacking Ross on the deal is an 'extraordinary whopper.'

The ads are so false as to be defamatory. TV stations shouldn't run them. Republican opponent Asa Hutchinson should disavow them. Don't hold your breath.

The claim that Ross got a sweetheart deal on sale of his family pharmacy is based, FactCheck found, on "a shoddy appraisal that led to a regulatory hearing and the permanent surrender of the appraiser’s license."

Among other shortcomings, the appraiser failed to take into account what Ross had paid for the property or the proven business value of the drugstore in making his appraisal. FactCheck notes that Ross was cleared by the House ethics panel. About the only truth in the ad is that an independent group called for an investigation. There was none. Nor did there need to be. No law came close to being violated.

It's a slimy ad in a slimy season. Will Republicans pull back in the face of a devastating critique by FactCheck? What do you think? (Do you think the Democrat-Gazette, which once editorialized against this same attack on Ross' sale as an attempted smear by a liberal group, will rise to Ross' defense in a race where they are expected to endorse Asa Hutchinson?)

Hutchinson wins no marks for integrity this campaign. Just this week, he is the candidate who opposes a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage but says it is unfair to call him a critic of raising the minimum wage.

Says Mike Ross, with plenty of foundation, of Hutchinson's appearance with Chris Christie, leader of the Republican Governors Association during the week the RGA smear ad debuted:

“It says a lot about Congressman Asa Hutchinon’s character and trustworthiness that he will campaign alongside the leader of a group who is smearing my wife and me with accusations has found to be ‘false and defamatory.’ Based on this new independent analysis, I once again call on Congressman Hutchinson to join me in asking the RGA to immediately pull this slanderous ad from the airwaves and apologize.”

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