Hope, Loomis tussle over controversial ad

MARYSVILLE — Less than a day after they met for their candidates’ interview at the office of The Marysville Globe and jointly pledged not to run negative campaigns, Liz Loomis and Mike Hope, who are running for the 44th District Representative Position 2, were already taking issue with one another’s campaigns.

Hope denounces attack ad’s

allegations, connects it to Loomis

Hope is the Republican challenger to Democratic incumbent Loomis in the state’s 44th Legislative District, and on the evening of Oct. 16, he alerted The Marysville Globe to a mailer ad, paid for by “People for a Stable Economy,” which insinuated that he is against diabetes screenings, mammograms and overnight stays for newborns and their mothers.

Hope disputed these insinuations, both on his Web site and in an interview with The Marysville Globe. He noted that his gym caters to young athletes and stresses the roles of proper nutrition and preventive healthcare in reducing the chances of diabetes, and added that he does support overnight stays for newborns and their mothers, saying, “Who wouldn’t support that?”

Hope was most upset by the claim that he doesn’t support mammograms, citing how a preventive screening revealed a tumor in his wife’s chest that she had removed as a freshman in college. Ever since, she’s participated in breast cancer walks across the country, and their family members and friends have donated thousands of dollars over the years to provide money for breast cancer research, treatment and preventive measures.

Hope tied the mailer ad to Loomis by noting that “People for a Stable Economy” is funded by the NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Political Action Committee, among several other groups, and adding that Loomis sits on the NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Foundation Board.

“How could she not know?” Hope asked. “That would be like if the Seattle Police Association ran a negative piece on Liz Loomis, and I was a trustee or vice president. It just doesn’t fly.”

While Hope considers the mailer ad “despicable,” he stated that he has no intention of campaigning negatively against Loomis, saying, “The only negativity you’ll see will be from her campaign.”

Loomis denies connections to ad, joins Hope in denouncing it

When reached for comment, Loomis agreed with Hope’s opinion of the mailer ad’s content, but denied any connections between the mailer ad and her own campaign.

“I think it’s shoddy,” Loomis said of the mailer ad and its claims. “It’s terrible and politics at its worst.”

Loomis noted that the NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Foundation Board and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington PAC are two different entities, and added that she only serves on the Foundation Board, and not the PAC. According to Loomis, when she saw the mailer ad on the morning of Oct. 17, she sought to contact Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, to express her displeasure with the ad.

“I don’t appreciate Mike Hope linking me to this ad, but I’ll talk to him about that in person,” Loomis said. “This is the problem with independent expenditures. We’ve seen the controversies they’ve caused in the governor’s race and the presidential election. It’s horrible.”

Cooper defends ad, also denies Loomis involved

When reached for comment, Cooper expressed no regrets about the mailer ad and defended the accuracy of its claims. She explained that the ad claims that Hope is supported by special interests that are against health insurance coverage for diabetes screenings, mammograms and overnight stays for newborns and their mothers.

Cooper expanded on Loomis’ denials of any connections between her campaign and the ad by citing Loomis’ absence from any Foundation Board meetings for the past year as a result of both her campaign and her obligations of office.

“She’s been an inactive member for the past year,” Loomis said. “There is no coordination between the independent expenditures and her campaign. She’s not involved, period.”

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