Anti-Flake ad: '(Flake) doesn't deserve my vote or my respect'

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by Dennis Welch | 3TV Political Editor

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch

azfamily.com

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 28 at 6:00 PM

PHOENIX -- VoteVets.org, the group that's produced hard hitting ads against Republican candidates across the country, has jumped into the Arizona Senate race.

On Thursday, the organization released a new commercial aimed at Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake.

The 30 second spot attacks Flake's voting record on veteran's issues during his 12 years as a congressman.

It begins with an Iraqi war veteran from Chandler saying, "Congressman Jeff Flake voted to send us to that war and then voted against us when we returned home."
 
The commercial highlights several bills that Flake voted against that would have helped veterans pay for college and get job training.
 
At the end, the same veteran says, "Jeff Flake doesn't deserve my vote or my respect."

The commercial comes just days after Democratic senate candidate Richard Carmona released his own ad questioning Flake's voting record on many of the same veteran’s issues.

Officials with Flake's campaign accused Carmona of "cherry picking" a few votes. Flake issued a press release that listed more than 70 bills that he voted for that helped veterans.

Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for Flake's campaign, called the VoteVets.org ads, "despicable."

"Jeff supports the benefit created in the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but extraneous spending was added to the bill, like funding for the Agriculture Department and the National Science Foundation," Wilder said. "Veterans bills shouldn't be used to fund items that can't pass on their own merit.”

The entry of VoteVets.org into the race also marks a turning point the race.

Until now, there’s been very little spending from outside groups. But according to a statement from VoteVets.org, they spent $280,000 to air the commercial on cable and network stations.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the chairman of the group, also took a shot at Flake in the same press release announcing the commercial.

"Congressman Flake cannot run from his extreme votes," Clark said. "When you are one of only twelve House members out of over 400 to oppose a new GI Bill for our troops and one of only three to oppose job training for veterans, you are extremely far out of the mainstream."

Carmona’s campaign declined to comment on the VoteVets.org video, saying they don’t control what the group does.

But Andy Barr, the communications director for Carmona, did say, “Jeff Flake may be re-thinking having said ‘no’ to that pledge we asked him to sign at the beginning of the campaign.”

Barr was referring to a pledge to keep outside spending groups out of the race.

Although Flake has seen little from these types of organizations in the general election, the Club For Growth spent more than $1 million in the primary helping him beat a well-financed challenger.
 

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