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
4 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. Fair is Fair

    ThinkAgain – Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Say WHAT: "Horton— a black man serving a life sentence without parole for murder— was released as a part of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program. While on furlough, Horton committed armed robbery and rape."

    How do you feel about this in regard to the four Lakewood, Washington, police officers who were murdered on November 9, 2009?

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee broke his silence Monday and defended his decision to support freedom for a convict now wanted in the ambush slayings of four Seattle-area police officers. "If I could have known nine years ago that this guy was capable of something of this magnitude, obviously I would never have granted the commutation," Huckabee said.

    Did you give Huckabee a pass, or did you say it made him eternally disqualified from ever running for public office and a symbol of how repubs coddle criminals?
    --------–
    Well, Huckabee isn't running for office; Begich is. Furthermore, Huckabee's actions won't "disqualify" him from running for public office... but it surely will be a factor preventing him from winning.

    September 2, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Yes we need to be tougher on sex offenders. It makes absolutely no sense that a man that preys on a child or teenager should get less time than a drug dealer. But it happens all the time. That said, he could have used a different example to drive the point home. Do I think he should step down? Hell to the No!

    September 2, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. rs

    Political ads- especially run by so-called "dark-money" PACs are notoriously fact free. In Arizona, the Republican running for Governor has ads proclaiming his Democratic challenger voted to increase tuition at state universities nearly 100% over his tenure as a member of the Board of Regents.
    The statement is true as it goes. But, what it fails to supply is the fact that since 1993, the Republican leadership in the state has been steadily reducing state funding for state schools. In 1980 the rate of funding was more than 80% of the total budget for the schools (the state Constitution mandates "as nearly free as possible"), today it is around 22%.
    So, yes to make up for drastic funding cuts (to cover those tax breaks to the rich and those "corporate incentives"), our state's Regents did have to raise tuition- and it was approved by the Republican Legislatures and Republican Governors.
    The lies of the Right are thick and hideous- but few are immune this close to an election.

    September 2, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    @tom I
    "Seems like you both have double standards and point to the other side for bad behavior while excusing the bad behavior on your side. It's always a sign that you have a flawed argument when you say something like "well, what about this?"

    Well, then I guess you own theorem here shows you ALWAYS have a flawed argument then.... all your arguments consist of this. Always trying to get Dems to admit their side does the same thing.
    Kinda' like a christian harping about a satanist's efforts to recruit new members.... well. they do the same thing, right?

    September 2, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. just asking

    rs
    Political ads- especially run by so-called "dark-money" PACs are notoriously fact free. In Arizona, the Republican running for Governor has ads proclaiming his Democratic challenger voted to increase tuition at state universities nearly 100% over his tenure as a member of the Board of Regents.
    The statement is true as it goes. But, what it fails to supply is the fact that since 1993, the Republican leadership in the state has been steadily reducing state funding for state schools. In 1980 the rate of funding was more than 80% of the total budget for the schools (the state Constitution mandates "as nearly free as possible"), today it is around 22%.
    So, yes to make up for drastic funding cuts (to cover those tax breaks to the rich and those "corporate incentives"), our state's Regents did have to raise tuition- and it was approved by the Republican Legislatures and Republican Governors.
    The lies of the Right are thick and hideous- but few are immune this close to an election.
    --–

    are you insane? you stated the ad was correct! but you want the ad to tell the democrat's side of the picture?! isn't that what the democrats should be doing?!!

    so instead of a mostly taxpayer funded, free college education, the people actually going to school were expected to pay for it! what a concept!! i know it drives the lefties over the edge whenever they actually have to pay for something they demand.

    September 2, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @Tony D
    ThinkAgain – Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.
    @Thomas: "If the two year old , who's grandparents were murdered had been careering a gun this wouldn't have happened."
    I realize you're being sarcastic, but for those who don't understand your post, bear this in mind:
    On November 29, 2009, four Lakewood, Washington, police officers – fully armed and trained in using their weapons – were shot dead in a coffee shop.
    Why? Because unlike in the movies, bad guys don't walk up to you and launch into a monologue before they start shooting.
    -

    Whether a criminal announces his intention or not, a person has a far better chance of defending himself, and his family, if they are armed and know how to use their weapon, when confronted with a dangerous person or situation.

    Using your defective logic, I guess we should take all firearms away from the police because they obviously did not help them in this situation.
    --------------
    " a person has a far better chance of defending himself". A person owning a gun also has a far better chance of shooting a friend or family members, having them use the gun in an accidental shooting of a child, shooting themselves or a friend or family member in haste or by accident. These far far outweigh the tiny amount of lucky self defense cases.
    NRA folks live in a movie dream world.

    And there have been populations AND police at times around the world with less guns doing very well thank you. Guns are not required no matter what gun manufacturers push the NRA to say.

    September 2, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. barryinlasvegas

    No doubt he is a democrat – they have nor morals or ethics.

    September 2, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Tom l

    Ol' Yeller says:
    September 2, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am
    @tom I
    “Seems like you both have double standards and point to the other side for bad behavior while excusing the bad behavior on your side. It’s always a sign that you have a flawed argument when you say something like “well, what about this?”

    Well, then I guess you own theorem here shows you ALWAYS have a flawed argument then…. all your arguments consist of this. Always trying to get Dems to admit their side does the same thing.
    Kinda’ like a christian harping about a satanist’s efforts to recruit new members…. well. they do the same thing, right?
    ----

    Since I don't vehemently SUPPORT either side my theory is indeed quite valid. I point out the hypocrisy of both sides trying to point to the other side's bad behavior. You, on the other hand, support dems in a hyper partisan way trying to it'll us awful and evil repubs are while never acknowledging that your side does just as many bad things. A wonderful example would be how you chastise a repub for fundraising off of a tragic event while remaining silent when a dem fundraises off of a tragic event. Or just like rs says that Rand Paul's symbolic vote to shutdown the govt proves what an evil partisan he is but when Obama voted against a debt ceiling increase and therefore was symbolically votin for us to not pay our obligations it is totally fine. Both sides are hypocrites. Doesn't make me better than anyone else, it just means that I don't buy into the us vs them party system today. I just find it to be bogus.

    And, as far as your final point, sure. Whatever makes you feel better. Your analogy just demonstrates that you find one side evil and the other side altruistic and wonderful. I just don't agree with that.

    September 2, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Will we in MI make Snyder a one term Governor?!?!

    Fox News Detroit just posted a poll that has the Koch-bot trailing the challenger by 6 points. Even with the constant Koch attack ads. I'm no fan of polls because the only one that counts is Election Day but for the MSM and Fox to say this, ole Rick must be getting scared.

    Remember the Right to work for less Rick??? No wonder the minimum wage increase passed. The nerd is scared to death!

    September 2, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Tony D

    Silence DoGood
    NRA folks live in a movie dream world.
    ---

    Now that is truly funny. You see, I live in the REAL world, the world where there are violent criminals, violent sex offenders, violent mentally ill, robbers and rapists, thieves and druggies that would kill you for your pocket change, when there is nobody else to help you but yourself and hopefully your trusty friends, Smith and Wesson.

    Please, by all means, announce to the world you don't believe in defending yourself. But you have NO right to demand that of others that do not believe in becoming the cooperating, willing victim. If I or my family's time comes, we will not go with a whimper, but with a fight and several loud bangs. And hopefully, the attacker will learn that what looked like easy prey, was loaded bear.

    September 2, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. bobo

    Vote out all Dems.... look what they gave us.... Obamacare and a failed stimulus package..... No leadership abroad....

    September 2, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Vote out all republicants... look with they gave us.... obstruction and divisiveness... no plan for anything except to send YOUR kids to act as cannon fodder for THEIR unfunded wars...

    September 2, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. reality check please!

    Tom, for what its worth, last week you complained because you wanted a opinion, one that left the Republicans out if it, no? Now that is seeming to contradict yourself, again. Just saying, oh and just asking, one governor touted putting more into education, sounds good huh, now reading the law it becomes quite clear he not only increased subsidies (handouts) to private, and charter schools at the expense of k-12, that's lying pal.

    September 2, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. reality check please!

    Tell you what bobo, you want to go back to the Republican control, why don't you take half your 401k, and flush it down your toilet, whalla, your back in 2008, how's that sound, oh, and remember, you need to pay more taxes mitt Romney's tired of paying your share, k?

    September 2, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. truth hurts but reality bites

    Anonymous
    Vote out all republicants... look with they gave us.... obstruction and divisiveness...
    ---

    Republicans giving us divisiveness??? Now THAT is truly comical. The demonizer in chief has been hard at work for 6 years on that. Harry Reid's personal attacks on the Senate floor? Calling fellow Americans terrorists? The left has perfected the divide and conquer strategy with their "War on Everything" BS.

    The fact is that if the American people wanted what Obama and the Democrats were selling, they would never have thrown the Democrats out in 2010, and would have put them back in 2012, right? The fact is the American people elected them in 2010 to stop the out of control leftist Obama-Democrat agenda. The fact is the American people have had enough of the Democrat failure and leftist rubbish and will throw them out of the Senate in 2014.

    September 2, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    @Tom i
    "Since I don't vehemently SUPPORT either side my theory is indeed quite valid"

    You say that all the time, but your posts indicate otherwise. Though once in awhile, just to keep up the charade, you will post that you didn't support going in to iraq (or some other silly thing), therefore that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt you are 'middle of the road'... but, when you review who you attack in your post (100% Dems) that tells the truer story.

    "Your analogy just demonstrates that you find one side evil and the other side altruistic and wonderful. I just don't agree with that."
    I don't know how to say it otherwise... I am a Democrat. I am a yellow dog Democrat. I will support them 100%. I do not believe they are 'altruistic and wonderful'... I believe they are human and make mistakes and disappoint sometimes. I will not support a crook... but you and faux news saying they are a crook (while ignoring the growing number of investigations, charges, and indictments against sitting republicants) does not make them crook.
    As for the other side being 'evil'... well I wouldn't say evil, but they have sold the soul of their party to the highest bidder. They are the party of the rich, for the rich, and bought paid for by the rich. And through a series of lies, propaganda, and ignorance on the part of a few voting blocks (and by suppressing the votes of others) they still manage to remain a party.
    You carry water for the republicants on here daily. Daily. You can deny that all you want, but you will convince none of the regulars who see you staunchly supporting them on here everyday... you are not fooling anyone, except maybe yourself (no, maybe about it... I think you truly believe you are some bipartisan pinnacle of hope... when in fact you are a tea bagger republicant who gets all your information from right wing propaganda sources and think you superior to everyone on here. Everyone.).
    But, tom I... this is something that I and many on here have told you.Your refusal or inability to listen, analyze, and be self aware is your problem not mine. You are the one who looks like a fool by claiming to be something you are not. You are a partisan, too... the difference between me and you is that I will admit it wholeheartedly (it is what I am), whereas you, you want to deny it and hope no one notices.
    Projecting onto me or the others or trying to spin the argument into this being about our lack of self awareness is just silly.

    I'm a yellow dog Democrat. I am. I do not put myself forward to be anything but that; you however...
    Different story. Different standards. Different set of rules.

    September 2, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Hector Slagg

    Well,
    You do need to be able to separate the wheat form the chaff. Most people can do that most of the time, or will correct it next time around. Most likely a lot of corrections coming in November.

    September 2, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    Tony D... the manly man.

    AKA- the scared little republicant who is afraid to go get the mail without first shouldering his AK-47, getting his other 'manly men' buddies to arm up and go with her to the mailbox.

    Why are republicants so scared of every thing? Was it dubya and his code red/yellow/orange terrist warning system and faux's daily 24 hour 'Your Neighbor is a Terrist'- Run for you Lives' coverage after 9-1-1?

    Calm down dude... the REAL world has some bad guys, but they aren't under your bed or in the bushes outside your door. You are WAY more likely to shoot yourself or a loved one when you go waving your big manly man gun around.

    Especially when you are shaking like a leaf....

    September 2, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. salty dog

    Sorry there Tom yeller is correct. Maybe you should find examples of your disagreement on gop policy, I'd like to see it.

    September 2, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    "Since I don't vehemently SUPPORT either side my theory is indeed quite valid"
    ---------------------
    You don't really support anything except finger pointing, particularly at people who meet your stereotype of a liberal. Your lack of criticism of Republicans is palpable. There is not a single thing that they currently do or support that you do not tacitly condone.

    September 2, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Tony D

    Ol' Yeller
    Calm down dude... the REAL world has some bad guys, but they aren't under your bed or in the bushes outside your door. You are WAY more likely to shoot yourself or a loved one when you go waving your big manly man gun around.
    ---

    Sorry, only moron lefties can't tell the difference between a violent attacker and a family member. And only a brain dead leftie talks about waving a gun around. Shows how little you actually know about firearms.

    Especially when you are shaking like a leaf....
    --–

    Wrong again. The ones shaking like leaves are the defenseless lefties kneeling before their attacker begging for their life, just before they depart this world.

    September 2, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. salty dog

    Tom, it doesn't bother you that Canada had outlawed books on climate change, removed them from libraries? Who do you honestly think is responsible for that? When is the last time we seen that, and what type of government would do that. Independent studies showed 97% of the worlds leading scientists believe in it, I find it very concerning that the same two men are putting so much resources into controlling our government, with great success I might add, yet you find them to be benign.

    September 2, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Ol Yeller you are so right!! And nothing scares me more than a coward that's afraid of his own shadow with a gun. Nothing. They're so busy looking for the boogeyman in every corner and shaking like Don Knotts. I wonder how that little girl is going to turn out after what she did?

    I'm choosing my words carefully....

    September 2, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. tom l

    But, tom I... this is something that I and many on here have told you.Your refusal or inability to listen, analyze, and be self aware is your problem not mine. You are the one who looks like a fool by claiming to be something you are not. You are a partisan, too... the difference between me and you is that I will admit it wholeheartedly (it is what I am), whereas you, you want to deny it and hope no one notices.
    ======

    Posting comments to demonstrate to hyper partisans here how hypocritical they are does not make a hyper partisan. It makes me swimming against the stream of the gang. That's all. As I have posted dozens of times, there is no way for me to be a hyper partisan with the positions that I hold; so let's go over those again. I agree that a woman has a right to have an abortion (not a repub position), I am for gay marriage (not a repub position), I do not agree with the Patriot Act (not a repub position), I don't believe our foreign follies have helped and don't want the U.S. always playing a role in every foreign country (not a repub position), I believe the military industrial complex rules both parties (not a repub position), I believe that pot should be legal (not a repub position). That's just a few. I have more. I can't possibly support the repubs the way you do dems because they don't really believe in small govt even thought they say they do. I believe in the individual. I don't believe the govt is there to help us; I believe the govt does more harm.

    You continue to mistake my criticisms of dems (and there have been several of repubs) as meaning that I love repubs. I don't. You think I "worship" Rand Paul because I think he is better than most other politicians and exaggerate that stance by me to mean that I think he is G-d. You constantly put your feelings that you feel and place them on me as if I will feel the same way. This is why I say you project a lot. You make assumptions about me. You say I don't listen (which has a degree of truth to it) as if you do listen.

    That being said, I am weary. I am tired. It is exhausting having the 2 of us talk at each other rather than learn from each other why we have the opinions that we do. Let's try to have discussions moving forward; rather than mean spirited accusatory comments that get us nowhere. I'm tired of the politicians winning (and what I mean by this is having us at each other's throats.). Let's have dialogue and learn. I know we are both quality, intelligent individuals. Let's learn from each other.

    September 2, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "I see, so when Obama voted against raising the debt limit and voted "present" those were intelligent and symbolic votes that you fully support. However, when Rand Paul symbolically votes (and even says that he did not like the shutdown apporoach) he is actually voting for the shutdown. So Obama can vote for te US not to live up to its debt obligations and according to you that's perfectly fine and acceptable when your guy does it but when the voter guy does it he's a bad guy. Just want to be clear on the "rs rules" that seem to change depending on whether there is an "r" or a "d" next to their name. Thank you for demonstrating your hyper partisanship and lack of any credibility."
    ----------------------–
    When you vote for a budget, and then vote against funding said budget, then that makes you a bad guy. Sen. Obama did not vote for the Iraq War, and had been publicly opposed to it from the beginning. George W. Bush has the unflattering distinction of being the first POTUS to start a war, and not raise taxes in order to pay for it. Bush cut taxes to pay for his war, and told the American people that the Iraq War would "pay for itself: George W. Bush committed that folly twice.

    There's nothing wrong with voting not to borrow money for an unfunded war. One would think that a self-described Libertarian would be far more amenable to fiscal responsibility, but you're not. You're far more amenable to criticizing Democrats that you are to your alleged libertarianism.

    #NOBODYSFOOLED

    September 2, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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