Candidate Uses Opponent's DUI Arrest in Campaign Ad

The spot is called "Drunk with Power: Making Bad Decisions"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    State Representative Randy Ramey and incumbent State Senator Caroline Pankau, both Republicans, are squaring off in the newly-drawn 23rd Senate District. While it hasn't yet gone to the airwaves, Pankau has taken to the Internet with an ad that uses footage of her opponent's August 2011 drunken driving arrest. (Published Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012)

    It's not unusual for candidates to drag their opponent's skeletons out of the proverbial closet, but one race in suburban Itasca has video of one particular skeleton being used as the basis for an attack ad.

    State Representative Randy Ramey and incumbent State Senator Caroline Pankau, both Republicans, are squaring off in the newly-drawn 23rd Senate District. While it hasn't yet gone to the airwaves, Pankau has taken to the Internet with an ad that uses footage of her opponent's August 2011 drunken driving arrest.

    The spot is called "Drunk with Power: Making Bad Decisions."

    "They used the video from the police car. You know, I guess you could say it sets a new standard in lowness," said Ramey, reached by telephone on Tuesday.

    Pankau obtained the footage through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    Ramey, who is president of the DuPage County Republican Party, has apologized for his conduct during the arrest, calling it stupid. Still, he said the use of the footage raises questions.

    "It shouldn't be part of a campaign but good part, I feel, is that we must be doing pretty good out there for her to be going negative so early," he said.

    And while attack ads are certainly nothing new, voters were mixed on whether they felt Pankau's ad was appropriate.

    The incumbent released a statement late Tuesday afternoon saying her public record is available for all to see. She said Ramey must live with the fact that his public record is also available to every citizen. If he doesn't like what's in that record, Pankau said, he has no one to blame but himself.