The ads in the race for sheriff have gone from discourse of crime and leadership to bedroom talk, and candidate Scott Israel is fuming.
In the video above, Israel's wife, Susan, denounces the attack campaign. An enemy of the Israel candidacy posted three YouTube videos of a young woman claiming that she was 17 and that she and Israel had an affair, that she had an abortion, and that she just now realized he was married with triplets.
"Do you really think I'm stupid?'' the unidentified woman asks.
Israel asked YouTube to take down the videos, which he called defamatory. YouTube declined, as you'll see in Israel's campaign statement on the jump.
I'll post her videos on the jump page, with the Scott Israel campaign statement about them. As a side note, there is mention on the YouTube page of Israel's "illegitimate'' child. The child that was the subject of a paternity suit against Israel was conceived before he was married, public records show.
Israel's wife says the claims are "despicable lies.'' It's disgusting, hurtful and it's absolutely false.''
The videos did not come from the sheriff's campaign, but Israel blames him directly.
Israel's campaign says the woman is quite obviously a bad actress reading from cue cards, and also looks about a decade older than she says she is.
Here's the statement from the Israel campaign:
DEMOCRAT SCOTT ISRAEL DEMANDS REPUBLICAN SHERIFF
AL LAMBERTI PULL OFFENSIVE YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Democrat candidate for Broward County Sheriff Scott J. Israel today demanded incumbent Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti call on his supporters to take down YouTube videos in which an actress falsely accuses Israel of marital infidelity, statutory rape, and paying for an abortion.
“These are false and vicious smears far outside the bounds of decency in any political campaign. Al Lamberti needs to call on his supporters to take down this dishonest, filth now,” said Israel.
“Taunting my wife Susan and mocking our three children -- making all these false allegations -- is truly despicable,” said Israel.
“I have never met the woman in this video. These are sleazy and anonymous attacks, as the woman in them doesn't ever reveal her name,” said Israel. The videos also were posted on YouTube under a fake YouTube member name of “Barry Israel” and the YouTube pages each display false disclaimers indicating the videos came from Israel’s own campaign.
The woman’s video messages are internally inconsistent. She first implies she had a fairly recent six-month affair in the original video, then says she “worked” with Israel, then implies in a subsequent video that she is just 17-years-old even though the actress is clearly a decade older than her claimed age.
Even worse, it is readily apparent in one video that the actress is reading from cue cards – and doing a rather poor job of hiding her poor acting work. At other times, she is giggling, winking and playing with her long hair in the videos.
An attorney acting on behalf of Israel contacted YouTube’s legal department last week to request the deletion of the defamatory videos. YouTube Legal responded: “We do not remove content due to allegations of defamation. … We recommend that you pursue any claims you may have directly against the person who posted the content. If your lawsuit results in a decision against the person who posted the content, and if that court order requires us to remove the content from our service, we will respond accordingly.”
Israel has also asked that people with any information about the identity of the actress to please contact his campaign. “I plan to sue for defamation once we can identify the ‘Jane Doe’ who appears in the video,” said Israel.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Scott Israel, Democrat, for Broward County Sheriff
Also, here's Israel's wife's statement:
Sheriff Al Lamberti and his supporters have sunk to a new low, attacking my family and falsely accusing my husband Scott Israel of marital infidelity and statutory rape in an on-line video.
I know politics is dirty, but this is too much! These lies must be refuted.
As a wife and mother, I have to speak out. Al Lamberti has gone too far.
Lamberti has smeared my husband Scott with a video that attacks my family, and even mocks our children. He falsely accuses my husband of having an affair and of rape and of paying for some woman's abortion.
My husband has never met the woman making these outrageous charges in this vile video. She's clearly an actress or model and reading from cue cards. Scott is a good and honest man, a great father, and wonderful husband. These attacks are despicable lies.
I decided to make my own video to expose these lies and tell people how I feel about this outrageous attack on my husband and my family.
You can see my video here:
Hiring some cheap actress to make false claims of marital infidelity against my husband, and posting it online, is low even for a Republican like Lamberti. The "woman" in the video doesn't say her name or location.
It's an assault on our family, and on my husband of 41 years. It's disgusting and hurtful.
Lamberti is also lying about my husband's 30 year record in law enforcement in his TV ads. Lamberti knows the internal affairs files are not "missing" but were legally expunged because the claims were investigated and proven false. My husband is a real cop -- not some slick politician like Lamberti.
Sheriff Lamberti should be ashamed. But there is a reason he is doing these desperate acts.
Lamberti doesn't want to talk about the report on Channel 10 about his own top HR administrator in BSO embezzling almost $2 million in taxpayer money right under his nose. Why were there no controls in place? Who was watching the store?
Lamberti doesn't want to talk about his ties to convicted ponzi criminal Scott Rothstein. Rothstein and his associates spent $225,000 to elect Republican Al Lamberti sheriff in 2008. BSO actually helped Rothstein flee the country when his $1.2 billion ponzi scam collapsed. Lamberti's top executive officer at BSO personally drove Rothstein to his private jet getaway in a BSO car and helped him load a duffle bag with $16 million in cash onto the plane!
Lamberti doesn't want to talk about the giant no-bid BSO contracts he rigged for his big GOP contributors in return for tens of thousands in campaign contributions. It is a shady deal that is currently under investigation by FDLE! Thanks to Al Lamberti, Broward taxpayers paid more for each police car than any other county in Florida -- but Lamberti did generously reward his rich donors.
Worst of all, until recently Lamberti's top paid political advisor was right-wing radio talk show host Bill Lewis -- who turned out to be a convicted armed cocaine trafficker who spent 11 years in federal prison. Lamberti fired Lewis only after Lewis assaulted his wife in front of their three children and sprayed her in the face with Lysol, and she called 911. Even then, Lamberti only fired Lewis after his criminal record was exposed in the media. Now Lamberti says he has no responsibility for checking the background of the people who work for him. Even though BSO regulations say BSO employees - including Lamberti - cannot associated with convicted felons.
Next time you see a TV ad lying about Scott Israel, please remember who is paying for it and recognize these are more lies from a Republican who will say anything. My husband Scott is a good man and is qualified to bring integrity and professional law enforcement leadership back to the Broward County Sheriff's office.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.