Less than 24 hours after their debate, Rep. Mia Love (R) is demanding an apology from her opponent in Utah’s 4th district race, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams (D).
McAdams, Love claimed during an interview with KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic, willfully misled voters in an attack ad accusing her of illegally misappropriating funds.
“I believe that I deserve an apology,” Love says, “I believe my family deserves an apology. And I believe that the voters deserve an apology.”
“Mia Love kept the money.”
The controversy stems from an attack ad run by the Ben McAdams campaign accusing Love of illegally raising money in a primary election that she did not expect to face.
“Mia Love’s campaign may have raised more than $1 million illegally,” the ad claims. “Mia Love kept the money.”
The attack ad was a major talking point in yesterday’s debates. Love claimed that the Federal Election Commission had called her and assured her that she had not broken any laws. Her campaign can legally use the money, Love claims, to help fund other campaigns.
After the debate, however, Love became much more ferocious. When KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic asked her what she wished she’d said the night before, Love didn’t mince words.
“McAdams knew that we were doing nothing wrong,” Love said. “He knew it. … Yet he went out and told the voters and continued to double down and tell the voters something that he knows is wrong.”
Love, citing McAdams’ experience as an attorney, insisted that her opponent knew full well that he was misleading his voters.
“You can’t just make up your own facts,” Love said. “You can have your opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re facts.”
Ben McAdams responds
Mayor Ben McAdams also spoke with Dave & Dujanovic today, though his interview was done separately and came a few moments before Love’s.
During the interview, McAdams, like Love, was asked what he wishes he could have said during the debate. McAdams, however, didn’t demand any apologies. Instead, he said that he regretted not taking the chance to compliment his opponent.
“I do think Representative Love is a good person,” Mayor McAdams told Dave & Duajnovic. “I like her. I know that she has put her life on the line to represent the state of Utah, and I respect that.”
When KSL contacted Ben McAdams for a comment on Love’s demand for an apology, however, the McAdams campaign’s tone had radically changed.
“Unfortunately, Rep. Love continues to have a difficult relationship with the truth,” McAdams’ campaign manager said in an email to KSL Newsradio. “She lied to Utahns and to the press last night. … We expect D.C. politicians to lie when they’re embroiled in scandal. Utahns expected better from Mia Love and we can do much better.”
The McAdams campaign also noted that the Alliance for a Better Utah is hosting a press conference today to address Love’s alleged violations of campaign finance law.
The Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit advocacy group that says it campaigns for “balance, transparency, and accountability” in Utah politics. They were also the group that originally filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Mia Love for raising funds during an unopposed election.
They have promised a press conference on what they call “misleading statements” from Love:
Better Utah will hold a press conference this afternoon addressing the misleading statements from the @MiaBLove
campaign during last night's #utdebate & the current status of our complaint submitted to the FEC.
— Better Utah (@betterutah) October 16, 2018
Their conference will begin at 1:30 PM today. KSL Newsradio will provide minute-to-minute coverage of all new developments.
More to the story
You can hear Dave & Dujanovic’s whole interview with Rep. Mia Love and Mayor Ben McAdams on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.
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