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Campaign for Dem AG candidate wants GOP ad pulled

October 20, 2010
By DAVID RUNK Associated Press Writer

DETROIT - The campaign of Democratic attorney general candidate David Leyton asked the Michigan Republican Party on Monday to pull a TV ad attacking him, claiming the woman it features made an anti-Semitic statement online.

The comment was left by a person identified as ''ADAMSMOM'' under a story by The Flint Journal about GOP attacks on Leyton. The person says the newspaper is Jewish-owned and Leyton is the president of the local Jewish Federation, and suggests that influenced the handling of the story about him.

Leyton's campaign claims the comment is by Deb McIntosh, whose son was killed in 2006. She has criticized Leyton's work as Genesee County prosecutor and appears in an ad that began airing statewide last week.

The Flint Journal is owned by the Newhouse family's Advance Publications. Samuel I. Newhouse Sr., the founder of the media giant, was Jewish. The newspaper said it stood by its story.

''We pride ourselves on giving readers an unbiased view of the facts,'' Marjory Raymer, the newspaper's community editor, said in a statement. ''That's what we've done in covering the attorney general race so far and what we will continue doing every day.''

''ADAMSMOM'' posted a comment Monday denying it was a ''racist comment'' and saying ''sorry if this offended anyone.''

Leyton spokesman Todd Cook said the web comment posted Saturday is an example of stereotypical attacks about Jewish people controlling the media. He also said Leyton is a past board member, not president, of the Flint Jewish Federation.

The campaign asked the state GOP and Bill Schuette, the Republican nominee for attorney general, to repudiate the online statement.

The state GOP says Leyton should apologize for such ''awful accusations'' against McIntosh, and had no plans to pull the ad.

''To drag this woman through the mud because of Mr. Leyton's incompetence clearly shows the campaign's desperation,'' said Jennifer Hoff, a spokeswoman for the state GOP.

Schuette's campaign accused Leyton and Democrats of ''continuing to attack the victim.''

''If David Leyton would put as much effort into fighting crime in Flint as he does to attacking the mother of a murdered child, it would be much more productive,'' the campaign said in a statement.

A message seeking comment was left Monday at a telephone listing for McIntosh.

McIntosh, of Grand Blanc, says in the ad that Leyton cut ''an outrageous plea deal'' with the man charged in her son Adam's shooting death and ''refused to press charges against the other two killers.'' McIntosh says her family agreed to the plea deal if others would be charged.

Leyton has said his office did everything it could, and his campaign has called the attack a ''political smear ad.'' He said the evidence didn't support charging the other men.

The ad doesn't mention Schuette. McIntosh and her husband Dan appeared at a news conference last month with Schuette, a former state Court of Appeals judge, where they criticized Leyton's handling of the case.

Leyton and Schuette are among four candidates for Michigan attorney general in the Nov. 2 election.



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