On Tuesday, more of Arizona’s leaders came forward to condemn the recent false and damaging attacks hurled by Wendy Rogers against Senator Steve Smith and his campaign for Congress. Condemnation of Rogers is coming from anti-human trafficking advocates to Arizona legislators.
Rogers’ attacks on Smith include allegations that the Christian-based modeling agency he works for is associated with sex-trafficking. Her bizarre ads filled with innuendo have resulted in a growing list of Arizona leaders who have condemned her campaign and/or called on her to withdraw her candidacy for Congress.
After Smith reported that he would be filing suit against Rogers, her campaign pulled the ads.
To date, there have been several elected officials and public figures who have come to Smith’s defense, including but not limited to: the Arizona Police Association, Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Congressman Andy Biggs, Congressman Matt Salmon (retired), Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, and prominent Arizona family values leader Cathi Herrod.
“The moral condition of our country is reflected in the conduct of our citizens. What kind of example are we being to the upcoming generation when the rule of the day is “the end justifies the means? I am speaking out against the character assassination against Senator Steve Smith by Wendy Rogers. There is no truth to her allegations. They are fabricated lies,” said Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen.
“Wendy Rogers has routinely violated Reagan’s 11th commandment. Many of my hardworking, northern Arizona constituents have grown weary of her negative, personal attacks, and want instead, to be represented by individuals who demonstrate the honesty and temperament of a statesman and not a mudslinger,” stated Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe. “Rogers’ latest untrue, personal attacks against Steve Smith are so dishonest and caustic that I ask my fellow Arizonans to join me, along with the many others who are calling on Rogers to drop out of the CD-1 race.”
Kathleen Winn, director and founder of Project 25, which seeks to end child sex trafficking and sexual exploitation by 2025, offered a warning to “politicians who use current societal breakdowns as political ammunition. Sexual exploitation of minors is serious. Trafficking of minors is a criminal activity with strict penalties. If you happen to believe one of your opponents is exploiting children, trafficking minors, selling them on a website for sex producing a political attack ad is NOT your first course of business. Contacting law enforcement to report the alleged crime is what you need to do. Those of us involved in bringing down the bad actors appreciate political hysteria when it unifies the community against the perpetrators but to make outrageous claims for some perceived political capital is egregious. Let me be clear the perpetrators don’t give a damn about who you vote for when they target your child on line. They benefit when you falsely accuse and it is found to have no merit. There have been real perpetrators arrested in Arizona over the past few weeks, who have sought to have sex with minors or had raped and exploited children. Intelligent law enforcement caught them and now they will be prosecuted. Facilitation of crimes against children is against the law, falsely accusing someone for selfish gain is dangerous and should not be tolerated.”
“We’re tremendously blessed to have so many top-notch conservative legislators and members of law enforcement throughout Arizona supporting our campaign for Congress, including during a time when our patience and resilience to remain above the fray has been seriously tested,” responded Senator Steve Smith to the news, adding “Their statements of condemnation against Wendy’s bottom of the barrel politics speak volumes, and further reinforces that her General Election viability to unify the Party and beat a well-funded Nancy Pelosi Democrat incumbent has been permanently decimated. I call on Wendy Rogers to suspend her inappropriate and vile campaign for Congress, effective immediately.”