After being informed that the ad had false language and statements about Cheri Beasley, North Carolina's Democratic candidate, and her record as an ex-chief justice of the state Supreme Court, North Carolina TV stations pulled the ad.
The ad, "Failed Our Children," links Beasley with three child predators who were either released or had their indictments overturned. In one case, a man was convicted of 12 counts child pornography. They claim that Beasley voted to free him.
Beasley and the court heard a case about whether police could search the USB drive of James Howard Terrell Jr. without a warrant. A majority of the court and she upheld the assessment by a lower court that the search was not permissible under "private-search doctrine". The matter was sent back to the lower court but Terrell Jr. was not directly voted free.
Democratic lawyers wrote to TV stations informing them that Terrell Jr. was still in prison and was not released by Beasley's decision.
"The ruling did not release the defendant, as the ad claims. CMG won't run the ad if it contains false statements on a material issue. In a letter obtained first by CBS News, a representative from WSOC-TV and WAXN-TV in Charlotte said that the ad had been removed from airing.
Chris Hartline, spokesperson for NRSC, stated in a statement that "Every word of this ad was true." Cheri Beasley's family of victims of violent criminals knows this better than anyone. Our media buyers will take note of this bizarre statement by a TV station, which had not asked for or received our support for the claim.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety database, Terrell Jr. was released by a court on December 23, 2021. It is not clear if or how the decision of the state Supreme Court played any role in Terrell Jr.'s release.
Another NRSC ad attacks Beasley for her involvement in other cases of violent crime, and portrays her failure to protect them. CBS17 also checked the ad and found that it was lacking context. CBS17 confirmed that the death sentence had been vacated unanimously by the state Supreme Court. The ad is still airing.
Beasley spokesperson Dory McMillan stated that Washington Republicans were caught lying about Cheri Beasley’s record. The false attack was then rightfully removed from television. Voters know Cheri collaborated with law enforcement to bring violent offenders to justice.
These ads reflect a similar approach taken by Senate Republicans against U.S. Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during Jackson's confirmation hearing. Missouri senator Josh Hawley went after Jackson in seven child pornography cases that she managed. In these cases, she imposed sentences shorter than the federal guidelines and prosecutor requested. Fact checks revealed that Jackson's claims were lacking context and that her sentencing practices were consistent with recommendations from a bipartisan sentencing committee.
In November, Beasley will be facing Republican nominee Rep. Ted Budd.