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Lewis campaign ad attributes quote to Keller – one he never said

Caleb James
October 24, 2017 10:18 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A new campaign ad from Albuquerque mayoral candidate Dan Lewis features a local crime victim claiming to quote Lewis’s opponent, Tim Keller.

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But when KOB couldn’t find the quote anywhere on the record, we asked Lewis about it. And he says that, despite the phrase appearing in quotes over a picture of Keller with his name, the words actually came from someone else’s mouth.

The ad features Jennifer Wertz, the single mom and convenience store clerk who shot a would-be armed robber in September. According to Lewis’s campaign, Wertz volunteered to appear in the ad.

And she does; about 15 seconds into the TV spot, she seems to be quoting Keller when she states, “Tim Keller says we cannot be hard on catch-and-release judges.”

The statement appears on-screen in quotation marks, albeit worded a bit differently. Directly above is Keller’s name, and the text is overlaid over video of the current state auditor.

When we asked Lewis directly if Keller said those words, he told us, “He said we can’t blame judges, and that’s what he believes.”

He goes on to say the quote prominently featured in the ad did not come from Keller.

“The two words – ‘catch-and-release’ – that’s our ad,” Lewis said. “Jennifer Wertz said that.”

The Keller campaign does not dispute that he has frequently discouraged blaming judges for Albuquerque’s crime epidemic, and there are plenty of on-the-record quotes from Keller that prove as much. Given Keller’s long public record of making similar statements, we asked why the Lewis ad would seemingly invent a direct quote, instead of using something already in print.

“Criminal court judges in this city, they’re called catch-and-release,” Lewis said.

When asked if it’s responsible to make it seem like Keller said the statement directly, Lewis said the following.

“That’s for you to decide.”

Keller’s campaign provided the additional following statement to KOB:

"What's clear is that Dan Lewis has a problem with the truth. It's a pattern of false claims about my record on public safety.

"As auditor, I know a thing or two about accountability and the first thing is that leadership is about taking action and stepping up to our challenges, not blaming others. It's easy to point fingers at judges – just as Dan Lewis has done for years – without proposing real solutions. What's hard is to actually push for real change in our criminal justice system to keep violent criminals and repeat offenders off our streets. That's what I will do as mayor."

 

 

 

Credits

Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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