Slew of negative ads hit the airwaves in Alabama Lt. Governor race

(img: WPMI)

A slew of negative ads in the Lt. Governor's race have hit the airwaves. But is what you're hearing all true? Both candidates are responding to the claims.

One ad starts with, "By the book? That's not what happened in 2002 when Will Ainsworth was arrested."

"To me it's the lowest ad run this political season," said Republican candidate for Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth.

Ainsworth says it's true he was charged with theft of property back then, but the sinister implication that's he's a crook is false.

"It was a college prank that involved porcelain tigers that were kidnapped as a prank when I was in college. The charges were dropped," said Ainsworth.

The second charge mentioned in the ad talks about an incident in "2001 when he was arrested in Jackson County."

Ainsworth says that's embellished, too.

"All I got was a ticket for improper registration on a boat," said Ainsworth, who has gone on the attack as well.

He's said about his opponent Twinkle Cavanaugh in ads she "supported the largest tax increase in Alabama history."

This is referring to a constitutional amendment voters cast ballots for in 2003. The amendment would have created Alabama's largest tax increase ever at $1.3 billion, but did not pass. Cavanaugh was not in public office at the time and denies supporting it at the ballot box.

"I absolutely did not vote for any tax increase," said Cavanaugh.

Ainsworth has called her a career politician and special interest lobbyist. Cavanaugh currently heads the Public Service Commission.

"My opponent has not been providing any documentation for any of the name calling. He's just been name calling. Everything I have done there has been clear documentation," said Cavanaugh.

"With attack ads you're going to have a lot of innuendo," said political science professor Sam Fisher.

Fisher says these kinds of ads can often confuse voters and contributes to voter apathy.

"They also have a habit of depressing voter turnout, where people just throw their hands in the air and say well, I'm not real wild about this," said Fisher.

The Republican run-off election is July 17th.

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