ILLINOIS — Political ads attacking candidates have been filling airwaves for weeks. Some include the race for the House 102nd district.
When Republican Adam Brown said he wouldn’t run for re-election, Randy Peterson was the first to file, but at least on TV, you’ve probably seen more of the two candidates who declared after him.
Brad Halbrook represented the 110th district for several years. Jim Acklin is the retired superintendent of St. Joseph-Ogden schools. It’s Acklin’s time as superintendent which has become the target of a campaign advertisement.
“When Superintendent Jim Acklin had the chance to stop a sexual predator at his school, he blamed the victim instead. Acklin touts his judgments. March 15, make your own.”
Here’s some background. In 2012, a coach and teacher in the school district, named Jon Jamison, was arrested for criminal sexual assault after three students claimed he had sexually inappropriate relations with them.
A few months later, one student sued the district. Acklin said he had a duty to alert law enforcement of the potentially inappropriate relationship right away even though Jamison denied any wrongdoing.
That was in 2008 when the girl was just 14. But, neither Acklin nor anyone else in the district was ever found guilty of any criminal negligence. Acklin’s campaign countered with its own ad.
“Brad Holbrook’s exploiting the sexual abuse of a young girl by a teacher for political advantage. Brad Holbrook. He’s gone too far and has to be stopped.”
Then they go through the timeline of the case which ended with a settlement in the civil suit brought against Acklin and the district.
One important note; the ad was paid for by Citizens of Jim Acklin, but the original ad with the claims against Acklin was paid for by the Liberty Principles Political Action Committee. It has no official coordination with the Halbrook campaign.
Halbrook issued this statement: “Our campaign has been focused on meeting voters one-on-one and letting them know about our agenda for reform in Illinois. I haven’t talked to Liberty Principles. I think it’s up to voters to do their own research on ads from candidates or interest groups and learn the truth themselves.”
Fair advice for any voter.