Rounds Campaign responds to Bosworth’s attack ad - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Rounds Campaign responds to Bosworth’s attack ad

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The Republican primary is just weeks away and the candidates are stepping up their game.

The first negative attack ad of the U.S. Senate race was released online Thursday by Annette Bosworth.

The ad addresses former Governor Mike Rounds’ commutation of Joaquin Ramos, who was originally sentenced to life in prison for killing his girlfriend and unborn child.

Bosworth’s commercial condemns Rounds’ commutation that changed his sentence to 150 years, opening up the possibility Ramos could be paroled.

“Mike Rounds commuted the sentence of a man who shot his girlfriend in front of her children. The woman and her unborn baby were both killed.” This is the opening line of Bosworth’s new online commercial.

Governor Rounds’ campaign staff confirms the first line of the ad is true, but they have a big problem with the next line.

“Mike Rounds claims to be pro-life and tough on crime, but even after the victim's family pleaded with Mike Rounds not to reduce the killer's sentence, Rounds did it anyway,” states the second line of Bosworth’s commercial.

“Bosworth’s ad is lie,” said Rounds for Senate Campaign manager Rob Skjonsberg.

He says governor rounds did not meet the victim’s family until after he commuted the sentence at the recommendation of the entire parole board.

But, after meeting the family and hearing their concerns, Rounds sent a letter to the parole board with the following recommendation:

“Based on the additional information that has been shared with me, my recommendation to the Board is parole not be granted to Mr. Ramos.”

But Bosworth is standing by her ad, releasing this statement:

“Mike Rounds is an irresponsible liar. Mike Rounds is the only person responsible for Ramos ever coming up for parole.”

These kind of political jabs between candidates are nothing new during the heat of an election.

“This is not old, probably the classic example of attack advertising in American history is Jefferson vs. Adams....that was a nasty campaign and that was in the 1800's—it’s not new,” said John Fiksdal, the President of Media One who has worked on political campaigns for the past 40 years.

Fiksdal says the goal of these negative ads hasn’t change much either; the ads are meant to sway voters from one candidate to another.

“A vote is an emotional response, that could be a positive emotional response, where people could say, ‘O yes, I can see how much better things could be in the future.” Or a negative response, “O, we can't possibly hire this person,” said Fiksdal.

Other advisers say another goal of these political ads is to simply draw people’s attention to the issues addressed in the ad.

“The people who put it out there want the public to become curious about what the issue is,” said Joe Henkin, a partner at HenkinSchultz advertising firm in Sioux Falls. Henkin says after seeing these attack ads, many voters will do their own research to decide where they believe the truth lies on the issue. Even so, Fiksdal points out negative attack ads have been known to backfire on both candidates involved. For example, Rounds won the 2002 RebulicanGubernatoriall primary back in 2002 after Mark Barnett and Steve Kirby essentially knocked each other out of the race with negative ads.

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