Alaska Senate race heats up with heinous crime in the spotlight
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, is fighting to keep his seat in this year's midterm elections.
September 1st, 2014
08:45 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Alaska Senate race heats up with heinous crime in the spotlight

(CNN) – The campaign of Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, is changing a political ad to remove references to a gruesome murder case after the victims’ family called on the campaign to stop using the case for political purposes.

Begich's Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, had released his own ad to counter Begich's commercial, and Sullivan's campaign agreed to take that ad down as well, in light of the family’s wishes.

The drama over the Willie Horton-style ad is the latest development in a tight Senate race that could determine the balance of power in the Senate.

A quick ad war

On Friday, Begich's campaign released an ad featuring a retired Anchorage police sergeant standing at the scene of a horrific crime in 2013, in which a man named Jerry Active is accused of beating an elderly couple to death, then sexually assaulting the couple's 2-year-old granddaughter as well as the girl’s great-grandmother, who has dementia.

Active had previously been sentenced to four years in prison for a 2009 sexual assault attempt, a sentence that should have been eight to 15 years but was shorter because the state failed to identify a prior felony conviction, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

While the retired sergeant in the ad, Bob Glen, doesn't mention any specific names in the spot, he describes the grisly acts and accuses Sullivan, who was Alaska's attorney general at the time of Active's plea bargain, of letting "a lot of sex offenders get off with light sentences."

"One of them got out of prison and is now charged with breaking into that apartment building, murdering a senior couple and sexually assaulting their 2-year-old granddaughter," Glen says in the ad.

Sullivan's campaign quickly put out an ad of its own, called "Shameful," with the GOP candidate rebutting the claims in the initial ad that Sullivan is soft on sex offenders.

Sullivan’s campaign also released a timeline that points out the sentencing mistake was made by the state before Sullivan was appointed attorney general in June 2009. (Begich's campaign, however, noted Sullivan's name appears on the plea agreement that was issued in March 2010.)

plea agreement

Family demands the ads be taken down

After both ads aired, an attorney representing the victims' family asked the candidates to take down the spots, saying the publicity about the case could affect the trial, which is scheduled for September.

Sullivan's campaign issued a notice to Alaska television stations on Sunday, asking them to remove the counter-ad because it references the case. Monday night, it removed details about the case, including Active's name, from its website.

A spokesman for Begich’s campaign said the team is modifying the ad “to remove any potential reference to the pending criminal case."

Monday morning, his campaign removed material about the ad and asked television stations to replace the current ad with an older campaign ad until the ad at issue had been changed.

Still, the family's lawyer, Bryon Collins, issued a letter Monday demanding Begich to "unconditionally order the removal of ALL ads and references to anything to do with the case," either directly or indirectly.

Collins later communicated privately Monday that he approved of the actions taken by Begich to remove references to the case, according to Begich's campaign.

Collins did not return calls from CNN.

CNN’s Steve Brusk contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Alaska • Mark Begich • Senate
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. tom l

    You have no right to accuse anyone of demonization, not when you came onto this site launching personal attacks and demonizing other posters. You don't try to have conversations, you try to manufacture arguments by framing your opponent's narrative for them. "you believe this, now defend it." I'm not sorry that you're disappointed. Did you really think that someone, anyone, is going to buy into your playing the victim card" "my feelings are hurt." That's pathetic.
    =======

    Were you writing this to yourself? Weird. Because I have just proven in this comment section how YOU have been the one manufacturing MY position and then saying "prove it". And the personal attacks come from both sides. I certainly am guilty of that but do you honestly think you are innocent of that (or any members of the gang, for that matter)?? Goodness gracious. And I like how you jump on the distraction bandwagon and throw out "victim" as if I am one or even feel that I am a victim. As I have said countless times, someone has to control you to be a "victimized" and you clearly don't control me.

    I just tried to move forward, forgive the transgressions of all of us and try to have meaningful dialogue. This is clearly something you don't want nor appear to be able to handle. As I demonstrated, and have several times, I hold many positions that dems agree with. I have asked you several times to give me one example of something you agree with repubs on and you haven't been able to. All you have done is " you try to manufacture arguments by framing your opponent's narrative for them". Job well done.

    September 2, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. salty dog

    Fair, how many assault rifles do you own, I'm going out on a limb, and say zero, why, because your looking to defend yourself, and that's fine. And I'm curious as to your opinion on the militia type gathering for Mr Bundy, I am very grateful I didn't live near there, a stranger with an assault rifle asking me my business on my own road would not wash with me, not even once. And let's be honest, look at the Philly episode, they burned down sixty houses fighting armed black men, and I know if they had been black, it likely would have ended much differently, the government would never have backed down.

    September 2, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Ol' Yeller

    @Fair
    So let's see... I'm a female. I own 2 weapons (an S&W .38 revolver and a Glock 9mm). I have a conceal carry permit. I carry not because I think there's a "big bad boogie man around every corner", but IN CASE there happens to be one around the next corner I turn. My weapons are only compensating for the fact that without them, I stand no chance.

    Oh, one other thing. I have enough courage to use them,

    What say you?

    Good for you... I can respect someone being cautious and prepared (I own guns myself- including a Glock). tony d, however, reflects in his initial post that his reality consists of this long list of boogie men and it his him and his pistol against an army of criminals, cretins, and father rapers.
    I have no issues with responsible gun owners.
    I do take issue with gun nuts.
    --------–
    You show a blatant double standard. It's OK for me to carry because I'm being cautious and prepared. I also happen to be female. You sneer at Tony D for carrying and assume he's "compensating" for something else. Clearly you think Tony D is male and should not need to be cautious and prepared. You should rethink this, man...

    September 2, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    @just asking

    salty dog
    Independent studies showed 97% of the worlds leading scientists believe in it,
    -

    'believe' in climate change? yes, that makes it a religion. welcome to the religious zealotry of the left, masquerading as science."

    says the rwnj whose neanderthal beliefs include that the earth is only 6000 old, men rode around on dinosaurs, all the animals were saved from a great flood by putting them all at once on one boat, and our foreign policy must include (at all costs) ensuring that the Jews maintain control of Israel so 'you know who' will come back.... Welcome to the science of the right... which is just religion dressed in a lab coat wearing horn rimmed specs spouting the usual nonsense.

    Please... let's not get into religion unless you want to go over to the Belief blog (where I can tell you what I really want to tell you... they have Liberal moderators there)

    September 2, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    salty dog

    Fair, how many assault rifles do you own, I'm going out on a limb, and say zero, why, because your looking to defend yourself, and that's fine. And I'm curious as to your opinion on the militia type gathering for Mr Bundy, I am very grateful I didn't live near there, a stranger with an assault rifle asking me my business on my own road would not wash with me, not even once. And let's be honest, look at the Philly episode, they burned down sixty houses fighting armed black men, and I know if they had been black, it likely would have ended much differently, the government would never have backed down.
    ----------–
    Out on a limb, you say? I state that I own 2 weapons and then spell out what those 2 are, and you go out on a limb that I don't own an assault rife. Well, Kudos!!! You must be great at picking out the winners of 1-horse races too!

    You are correct – I don't own any assault rifles. I do love the fact, though, that if I wanted to own one, I could.

    As far as the Bundy incident – he's a deadbeat. and there's no place for vigilantes (spelling?... you know what I mean).

    September 2, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    You fail the sniff test because you fail to criticize "Repubs" whenever they do anything that disagrees with the majority of Americans. As I recall, you blamed Democrats for everything from the government shutdown, to the Great Recession, to TARP, and even the high annual debt, which has been cut by more than half.
    =====
    I did not blame dems for the shutdown. I blamed both parties for the shutdown you just didn't want to hear that and as soon as I place blame on someone other than repubs you go into lockdown mode and have to spew your democrat talking points which I then must refute as you are ignoring half the problem. I blame both parties for the recession (which wasn't really that "great' and the one in the late 70's was far worse). I blame repubs for TARP as it was George Bush who passed that. I find the irony of dems like you claiming that Obama saved us from the great recession yet it was a repub bill passed that he used to "fix" it (according to you guys, the economy has been fixed). The debt is obviously both parties fault and to lay blame on one vs the other shows your hyper partisanship. Also, you don't even seem to understand the difference between "debt" and "deficit" as your post indicates. Yes, our deficit has been cut, but that's only due to taking in more taxes ("revenues") than ever before. It is not due to an actual cut in spending. So read again, dear Rudy. Perhaps you will actually take the time to read it.
    --------------------------------–
    Lies, and more lies time. Your positions are evolving. In your dubious efforts to spread the blame, you blame Republicans for the Iraq War, and you have blamed Democrats for TARP. I called you on it, I know. Now you're evolving again.

    If you think the recessions of the late 1970s, [Carter slam noted, tom, but not Nixon's wage and price controls and freezes], were worse than the Great Recession of 2007 then you understand every little about recessions and economics. What made the The Great Recession unique from previous recessions is that it hit struck across ever sector of the economy.

    Past recessions struck mostly in on sector, while the other sectors remained relatively unharmed. The Savings and Loans crises in the early 1990s affected housing. We have had energy price increases cause recessions for airlines, but not banking, construction, or retail sectors. The Great Recession hit housing and construction through the mortgage crisis. It hit airlines through the skyrocketing price of oil. It hit banking through the Wall Street meltdown. It hit retailers when hundreds of thousands were losing jobs month after month.

    The economy was in free fall, dude. If you wish to believe that a recession under Democrat Carter was worse than the Great Recession of 2007, do please carry on. You're only demonstrating that I've been right about you all along.

    September 2, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    "... ... Were you writing this to yourself? Weird. Because I have just proven in this comment section how YOU have been the one manufacturing MY position and then saying "prove it". And the personal attacks come from both sides. .."
    ------------------------------
    I am going to let you in on a little secret that should put things in proper perspective for you. No one was making dogmatic personal attacks against other posters until you showed up, tom. Now do you understand what you look like?

    September 2, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    "As I demonstrated, and have several times, I hold many positions that dems agree with. I have asked you several times to give me one example of something you agree with repubs on and you haven't been able to. All you have done is " you try to manufacture arguments by framing your opponent's narrative for them". Job well done."
    -----------------------------
    Excuse me, tom, but it was "smith" who had asked me to do that, and I responded to him. I've searched and searched, but 'smith' never replied or responded to my post. Perhaps, he was moderated out. However, you have posted about me never responding to "your" request". Maybe I missed it, but the only request that I had came from "smith".

    BTW, you actually responded to my reply to "smith" by trying to twist my position on amnesty into something that I did not say. I know what you have asked me to do. I replied to "smith". Besides, don't blame me for my silence because the Republicans do not stand for anything. Rather, they are simply against everything the administration tries to do. In other words, what Republicans stand for has become a very short list over the last several years.

    September 2, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Tom l

    —————————————————————————————-
    I am going to let you in on a little secret that should put things in proper perspective for you. No one was making dogmatic personal attacks against other posters until you showed up, tom. Now do you understand what you look like?

    ---

    Haaaaa. Yep it's all me. I did it. I have that power.

    September 2, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    Yes, our deficit has been cut, but that's only due to taking in more taxes ("revenues") than ever before. It is not due to an actual cut in spending. So read again, dear Rudy. Perhaps you will actually take the time to read it.
    -----------------------------
    No spending cuts? I suppose that you've never heard of the sequester cuts. If you think the annual deficit reduction is due solely to tax increases, then you really are a right wing ideologue. Let me point out that most of the increase in tax revenues has come from the significant decrease in unemployment, which has dropped from 10.2% to 6.2%.

    September 2, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Tom l

    “As I demonstrated, and have several times, I hold many positions that dems agree with. I have asked you several times to give me one example of something you agree with repubs on and you haven’t been able to. All you have done is ” you try to manufacture arguments by framing your opponent’s narrative for them”. Job well done.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Excuse me, tom, but it was “smith” who had asked me to do that, and I responded to him. I’ve searched and searched, but ‘smith’ never replied or responded to my post. Perhaps, he was moderated out. However, you have posted about me never responding to “your” request”. Maybe I missed it, but the only request that I had came from “smith”.

    BTW, you actually responded to my reply to “smith” by trying to twist my position on amnesty into something that I did not say. I know what you have asked me to do. I replied to “smith”. Besides, don’t blame me for my silence because the Republicans do not stand for anything. Rather, they are simply against everything the administration tries to do. In other words, what Republicans stand for has become a very short list over the last several years.
    ---

    Ummmm, you're wrong. It was ME who asked you to give one position that you agree with repubs on because you called me an extremist. Your reply was "amnesty" and hen later you said you were just joking (classic Rudy tactic that everyone knows about – I'm not fooled). Then I asked again for you to name positions and rather than answer, you decided to ask me what I agree with dems on. I rattled off at least a half dozen positions and you decided to ignore and obfuscate and go off on another tangent. It's ok, buddy. It's probably all my fault. If it wasn't for me, everyone would be singing together in joyful harmony. Some day you will realize how toxic you are and how much your hyper partisanship is ripping us apart. Not today, but perhaps some day you will.

    September 2, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. it must be said

    just asking
    salty dog
    Independent studies showed 97% of the worlds leading scientists believe in it,
    -
    'believe' in climate change? yes, that makes it a religion. welcome to the religious zealotry of the left, masquerading as science.
    -

    And don't forget it was originally called "Global Warming", until the fraud science was revealed. All those 97% BELIEVERS believed in a fraud and they were pushing the fraud on the rest of the world because after all, how can 97% possibly be wrong?!

    So now, in true liberal/leftist/change-your-name-to-hide-the-truth fashion, global warming has become climate change! Because who can argue against THAT fact, that the weather is constantly changing! All to justify there global anti-fossil fuel war. The left will use any mechanism it can to spread their lies and deceit.

    September 2, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Lisa P

    Boomer in Mo

    Lisa P, most of the stimulus came from the Geo. W. term. And some of it worked, although you would not believe that, I'm sure. But I live in an overwhelmingly Republican county that had a real "shovel ready" project started immediately after the bill was signed and it was completed ahead of schedule. I no longer cross myself before I have to cross the Osage River on Highway 17.
    September 2, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm
    -------------------------------
    Most came from GWB because Congress refused to vote for the more that was needed. Why would you think that I would not believe that it worked? Here it mainly got folded into county highway department budgets at a time that the help was badly needed, though, unfortunately, that made the success barely visible. Glad to hear that some more visible and needed projects like your Osage River bridge were completed as well.

    September 2, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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