• WisPolitics


Friday, October 15, 2010

 5:09 PM 

Dems hit Duffy over record as DA, Lassa criticized for negative ads

Democrats are raising questions about Republican 7th CD candidate Sean Duffy’s claims of prosecutorial success, and Duffy’s campaign says Ashland County residents are steamed at Dem Julie Lassa for portraying their home in a negative light in her ads.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate held a conference call with reporters Friday accusing him of either making up or using public employees to tabulate his claim of a 90 percent success rate. He said the party has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and Office of Lawyer Regulation on the matter.

The party has also launched a Web site, http://therealseanduffy.com/, attacking Duffy’s record. The site claims Duffy “let child sexual predators and drunk drivers off with minimal sentences, putting them back on the streets.”

The Duffy campaign says those claims are false and an attempt to revive a floundering Lassa campaign. The figure comes from a public records studied by campaign manager Matt Seaholm and a volunteer. According to spokeswoman Wendy Riemann, they calculated as Ashland County DA Duffy won 63 of the 68 cases he both charged and tried, which equals a success rate of 93 percent.

Duffy was named Ashland County DA in 2002 by then Gov. Scott McCallum and elected later that year unopposed. He resigned in July to focus full-time on his congressional run.

Lassa has been blasting Duffy's record in ads as they battle to replace the retiring Dave Obey, D-Wausau. In one, the assistant DA Dan Goglin, who gave Obey’s campaign $150 according to the Huffington Post’s political contribution tracker, said Duffy was a “no show” in the office. Another claims that under Duffy’s tenure violent crime quadrupled and sexual assault rose to the highest rate in the state.

Local TV station WDIO ran a story with local residents calling on Lassa to stop running the ads, saying the put the county in a negative light. One of the people cited in the story, David Bretting, is CEO of Bretting Manufacturing, the largest employer in the city.

"Its just a shame that somebody is willing to sacrifice Ashland County and the city of Ashland for political points when its just not true," Bretting said.

According Huffington Post’s contribution tracker, Bretting has given Duffy’s campaign $2,000, and other family members have contributed more than $15,000 to his campaign.

The Ashland Daily Press reported the county board directed County Board Chairwoman Peg Kurilla to send a letter asking Lassa to drop the ads.

Lassa campaign spokeswoman Haley Morris said the calls are generated from Duffy backers looking to distract from his record.

“We’ve gotten response from voters in Ashland County who are concerned and they grow more concerned when they learn about Sean Duffy’s failed record and that he was putting his political career above the safety of Ashland County residents,” she said.


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