AdWatch: Ad features Patterson targeting Leyton


Associated Press

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 7:04 PM

TITLE: "Not Getting Job Done"

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: One of three spots from Bill Schuette's campaign in rotation statewide.

PAID FOR BY: Bill Schuette for Attorney General.

SCRIPT: L. Brooks Patterson: "Flint is my neighboring community and unfortunately it is fourth in America when it comes to murders — 50 murders so far this year.

"Crime is out of control.

"And there's one person in charge, that's the prosecuting attorney, and that's David Leyton.

"He's not getting the job done and one of the reasons he's not getting the job done is his wholesale, rampant plea bargaining.

"Plea bargaining rewards the criminal and insults the victim.

"We citizens ought to detest that process and yet David Leyton's made a career of it."

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with the camera panning over words in red from a headline from The Flint Journal earlier this year: "'A killing field' — 50th Flint homicide sparks more fear, pleas for help."

It cuts to Patterson, who is the county executive for Oakland County, speaking about "out of control" crime in Flint.

As he speaks, the camera cuts to grainy video of Leyton. And the words "Plea Deal King" are displayed on the screen.

The ad ends with words on screen urging viewers to call Leyton at a number for the prosecutor's office.

ANALYSIS: The ad uses Patterson, a Republican who oversees government services in Michigan's wealthiest county, to stoke fears about crime in neighboring Genesee County and Flint, which is among the most economically struggling cities in the state. Patterson is the former Oakland County prosecutor, and hopes residents in his voter-rich county go for his fellow Republican, Bill Schuette.

The ad rips from the September headlines after the city recorded its 50th homicide of the year. The newspaper reported a call by the mayor's office and police for help from residents in securing neighborhoods.

As Schuette's campaign has done in the past when targeting Leyton, the ad hopes voters will think a county prosecutor is responsible for whether crime increases or decreases in a city.

But the situation usually is more complex, with poverty and other factors contributing to the violent crime rate. Leyton says he's been tested in his job and claims a 95 percent conviction rate with 20,000 criminal cases during the nearly six years he has been in office.

Leyton's office says plea deals are a necessary part of the work prosecutors do in dealing with a big caseload on a limited budget. His campaign notes that Schuette, a former judge with the Michigan Court of Appeals, has no experience as a prosecutor.

Both Schuette and Leyton have focused in part on crime, since it's a hot-button issue with voters. But the attorney general is much less likely to deal with violent crime than with consumer protection and defending the state from lawsuits.




Analysis by Associated Press writer David Runk in Detroit.