A lawyer for Arizona candidate for U.S. Senate Martha McSally threatened to “pursue legal remedies” against cable television stations running a statewide ad supporting competing Senate candidate Dr. Kelli Ward, but station managers refused to pull the ad.
The Kelli PAC television ad criticizes Rep. McSally’s statements against then-candidate Donald Trump’s immigration and border plans and her low House voting record score from conservative group Freedom Works.
The McSally for Senate campaign’s lawyer, James Tyrrell, sent two letters to station managers for television stations running the ads, according to letters provided to Breitbart News.
Tyrell listed two items in the first letter as a “false statement of fact.” The first took issue with a clip of McSally criticizing a portion of President Donald Trump’s border and immigration plan, the second took issue with use of a letter grade to represent a McSally’s Freedom Works score.
Kelli PAC Chairman Doug McKee responded to Tyrrell’s accusations in a response letter to the station managers. He pointed out that McSally had a score of 49 percent for 2018 and lifetime score of 58 percent. McKee cited the National Center for Education Statistics which identifies a score of 59 as an “F” grade. Individuals associated with Kelli PAC had checked McSally’s Freedom Works score several times and as of July 24 her lifetime score was 58. As of Tuesday it appeared to have risen two percentage points.
McKee told Breitbart News, “Martha McSally is a Never Trump, Pro-Amnesty moderate, not a conservative. It is really sad that her high priced DC Lawyers are trying to bully Arizonans to suppress the truth, but it won’t work. Arizonans have a clear choice between Martha and true conservative Kelli Ward, and they deserve the facts, not McSally’s deception.”
Tyrrell’s first letter secondly addressed part of the ad that contained statements made by McSally denouncing then candidate Trump’s December 2015 call for temporary immigration restrictions related to being at “war with radical Islam.” The letter stated that Trump’s comments at the time were on a “completely different topic” than the “President’s border plan” which the ad associated McSally’s comments with. Tyrrell writes, “The ad then deceivingly inserts an MSNBC clip of Congresswoman McSally from an interview she did with Andrea Mitchell on December 8, 2015 on a completely different topic—then-candidate Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” proposal.”
The Kelli PAC Chairman’s letter pointed to Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.” This order is entitled, “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.” The order regarding the President’s policy on immigration details a “temporary pause” on immigration from specifically identified terror-prone countries. McKee’s letter
McKee wrote of EO 13780, “The order was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and is one of the most high profile pieces of the Trump Administrations border security plan.”
McSally lawyer Tyrrell warned in his second letter to station managers, “We are taking this matter seriously and will be forced to pursue legal remedies if your station does not comply with its legal and FCC regulatory obligations.” He then asked to be contacted directly with their decision.
“Mr. Tyrell is certainly an intimidating person, but his arguments are without merit, and his threats to sue your station are empty. Such actions would only highlight McSally’s past statements further in a very high profile way,” McKee wrote to the station managers. “McSally’s team would rather use legal sleight of hand than openly debate her record.”
In 2017 Rep. McSally co-sponsored a bill which would have provided legal status to some illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children, CNN reported in early June. After announcing her run for the Senate she requested to be removed from that bill and has co-sponsored legislation that would not provide a DACA pathway to citizenship. The report also stated that a YouTube video of McSally defending the DACA program that her congressional office had previously highlighted in a press release has since been removed from public viewing.
The Kelli PAC ad ran for two weeks in late July on cable stations across the state ahead of early voting in Arizona’s primary election. Arizona’s primary election is August 28, 2018.