November 1, 1996 in Nation/World

Brown Denounces Latest Moyer Ads Sex Offender Commercials Called ‘New Low’ In Spokane Politics

By The Spokesman-Review
 

State Sen. John Moyer’s latest attack ads suggest his opponent, Lisa Brown, coddles sex offenders and votes to unleash them near elementary schools.

Brown said she is astonished and insulted by the ominous ads that feature mug shots of convicted sex criminals and warn viewers that Brown refuses to protect Spokane’s children.

“It’s fearmongering of the worst kind,” said Brown, a two-term Democratic state legislator. “I think it’s a new low in political campaigning in Spokane.”

Republican Moyer said his television ads - and similar mass mailings - are fair fodder in his underdog fight to retain the 3rd District Senate seat.

Moyer insists he simply is alerting voters to Brown’s opposition to a bill that would have kept sex offenders from living within a quarter-mile of schools.

“I realize this is tough,” Moyer said of his ads, “but we’ve got sex offenders all over the place and we’ve got to address that.”

Moyer’s latest mailing notes there are 600 sex offenders living in Spokane and asks the question: “Why would Lisa Brown vote to release sex offenders near our schools?”

About 50 incensed Brown backers picketed the Spokane doctor’s campaign office Thursday at Hamilton and Illinois.

“Two, four, six, eight, Moyer’s ads are full of hate!” they chanted. The signs were just as critical: “Dr. Moyer and Mr. Hyde!” and “Dr. Moyer makes me sick!”

Heidi Gann said the ads prove Moyer, a father of 10 and grandfather of 31, is undeserving of his gentle Marcus Welby image.

“He has a reputation as being such a nice guy, but he’s acting like a barracuda,” Gann said. “Would a mother with a 4-year-old child support sex offenders? Let’s be realistic. This is nuts.”

A few Moyer supporters waved his signs on the edge of the demonstration.

The bottom line is that Brown voted against the sex offender bill, said Terry Little. “There’s all kinds of excuses being made, but that’s how she voted.”

House Bill 2734 would have made it illegal for sex offenders to live within a quarter-mile of schools.

The bill passed the House 90-6 last February, with Brown one of the few dissenters. It was never voted on in the Senate and is still not law.

Moyer said, given the chance, he would have voted for the bill.

“It was poorly written,” Brown argues. The Democrat calls it “a hero bill” legislation that sounds great, but accomplishes nothing.

She also questioned why the bill would keep sex offenders away from colleges, but lacked any protections for pre-schools or child-care centers. “I saw it as more paperwork, and not accomplishing more safety for children,” she said.

Brown said she has repeatedly voted to get tough with sex offenders. She backed a new law last session that demands life sentences for repeat sex offenders.

Moyer said his campaign ads accurately reflect Brown’s liberal, “protect-the-criminals” approach to crime, whether it’s sex offenders or pornographers.

He also talked about his growing commitment to do something about the sex offender crisis.

“It’s going to be much more of an issue for me in this coming session. I really want to get into it,” said Moyer, who got only 43 percent of the vote against Brown in the September primary.

Brown said she first saw the sex offender ad while watching television with her 4-year-old son, Lucas. She said he was startled by the mug shots and asked her, “Who are those men? and why is your picture there?”

It was the second television ad to puzzle Brown’s boy.

A prior Moyer ad attacked Brown for allegedly trying out her social and economic theories on the unsuspecting masses.

“The TV’s off for the rest of the campaign,” Brown said.

Brown said she doesn’t intend to refute Moyer’s charges with a television ad of her own. Her ads never mention Moyer at all.

, DataTimes


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