Alabama: Republican Targets Foe’s Health Credentials

Posted September 17, 2008 at 6:42pm

Depending on which side of the aisle you sit on, commercial insurance broker Wayne Parker’s (R) latest ad in the 5th district race can either be viewed as a decisive blow to state Sen. Parker Griffith (D) or a sign that the mud-slinging has truly begun in the race to replace retiring Rep. Bud Cramer (D).

“Parker Griffith calls himself a medical pioneer, but is he really?” the new 30-second ad from Parker’s camp states. “Griffith resigned his privilege to practice medicine at Huntsville Hospital. Court records state a hospital executive committee recommended Parker Griffith’s medical privileges be revoked. Medical pioneer? … Parker Griffith just can’t be trusted.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said Wednesday that the new ad raises an important issue regarding Griffith’s résumé and that voters deserve an explanation.

Griffith appeared on a local television station Tuesday evening to respond to the ad and also released a statement Wednesday.

The statement notes that Griffith was recruited to work at Huntsville Hospital as the region’s first radiation oncologist and that he later left the hospital to found the Huntsville Cancer Treatment Center.

“This center was the first comprehensive cancer treatment center in Alabama, and Huntsville Hospital viewed it as a competitor. At that point, Dr. Griffith resigned his position at Huntsville Hospital and instead chose to practice at other local hospitals.”

Griffith said the new ad is a low blow and an example of politics at its worst.

“It is a total distortion of the facts, and the sign of an increasingly desperate campaign by my opponent,” he said in the statement. “Wayne Parker has no record of accomplishment to discuss, and instead of talking about his own ideas, he chooses to attack me.”

Everett Stars in New Ad From Love Campaign

State Rep. Jay Love, the Republican nominee in southeast Alabama’s 2nd district, is featuring the man he hopes to replace in Congress, retiring Rep. Terry Everett (R), in his latest campaign commercial.

In the ad, which is Love’s third commercial of the general election campaign, Everett seeks to debunk claims by Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright that Bright will be a conservative voice in Congress despite running as a Democrat.

“In Washington, the choices we make matter,” Everett says in the 30-second ad. “And the teams we choose matter most. Nancy Pelosi and the liberals are financing Bobby Bright’s campaign and they expect something in return. … Join me in supporting Jay Love — a real conservative.”

Everett’s last major public statement on the race to fill his seat came in July during the final days of the Republican runoff. At the time, Everett was neutral in the contest between Love and state Sen. Harri Anne Smith. But Everett decided to step off the sidelines in the days leading up to the election to admonish both candidates for how negative their campaigns had become.

At the time, Everett called on both Love and Smith to take down their negative ads and “focus on the issues” in the race.