Critics slam NM candidate’s ad showing image of execution video

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A new ad for Republican challenger Allen Weh, who is running for U.S. Senate, got some national attention and some accusations that he crossed a line by using the recent execution of an American journalist in his race against Sen. Tom Udall.

Allen Weh told KRQE News 13 he stands by his ad all the way.

Weh’s new campaign ad released Monday on YouTube shows images of the vacationing President, montaged with video of turmoil in the Middle East.

An image of his opponent, Democratic incumbent Udall, is shown just before a still frame from the tragic video released last week, showing the jihadist believed to have executed American journalist James Foley. Coverage of the ad by news outlets from the Washington Post to CNN quickly brought the New Mexico race to the national stage.

“We showed a picture of a jihadist terrorist, purportedly the same guy that executed…James Foley,” Weh told KRQE News 13 in a phone interview. “People need to be reminded of what the threat is.”

The reaction on social media was swift and overwhelmingly negative.

“Bad form, bro – as a Pastor, and a Vet, I find using Foley’s death for a campaign is beyond any form of human decency,” John O’Keefe wrote on Weh’s campaign page on Facebook. “My heart breaks for your lack of empathy and compassion.”

“Please reconsider using a still image of journalist James Foley’s killer in the ad,” wrote Heidi Mandato on the campaign page. “It is beyond distasteful and I am sure extremely painful for his family to see.”

Weh doesn’t see a problem with it.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. In fact, I think it serves the greater good,” Weh said. “You’ll note that no picture of Mr. Foley was ever in that film. None, ever.”

Udall’s campaign sent KRQE News 13 a statement, saying using the image of Foley’s killer for personal gain in a campaign ad is “reprehensible and appalling.”

Late Monday night, Foley’s brother sent us a statement, saying his family has “no reaction” to Weh’s ad.

“His decision [to use the image] doesn’t affect the family,” said Michael Foley. “We have no reaction.”

 

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