Conservative PAC Ad Features Concerned Mom, Fails to Disclose She’s a GOP Official
Alana Roethle, a mother of four, fearfully expresses concerns about a Kansas Democratic congressional candidate in a new ad. But what she doesn’t say? She’s a GOP official.
“As a mom of four, I care about about keeping our community safe. That’s why I oppose Sharice Davids.”
That is the start of the testimonial from Alana Roethle, a Kansas mother of four, in a conservative super PAC ad that debuted Friday, detailing all the reasons why Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids is “too risky.”
What neither Roethle nor the ad-makers divulge in the 30-second video, however, is that she is a high-ranking official in the state’s Republican Party. Instead, she is simply billed as: “Alana Roethle, Leawood, KS.”
Active in the Kansas GOP since 2010, Roethle is currently serving as the state party’s secretary and as a member of the Kansas Lottery Commission, according to the Kansas GOP website.
In 2016, Roethle, an adjunct marketing professor at Baker University, was an alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention. She even attended Trump’s presidential inauguration.
But instead of disclosing her role in partisan politics, Roethle stares into the camera and condemns Davids’ position on border security as footage of Roethle’s smiling children blur into images of shadowy hooded figures and protests.
“Davids supports an extreme agenda that would put families at risk. Davids would stand with Pelosi to oppose tougher border security. And Davids wants to eliminate ICE, the law enforcement agency that deports criminal illegal aliens,” Roethle says in the ad.
She continues: “Davids even said our police departments are rooted in violence. Sharice Davids is too risky for Kansas families.”
The ad’s financial backer, The Congressional Leadership Fund, is a conservative super-PAC linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP leadership, seeking to elect congressional Republicans and retain control of the House.
CLF did not mention or disclose Roethle’s official role with the Republican Party, only referring to her as “a local Kansas mom discussing why Sharice Davids’ extreme, liberal agenda is too risky for Kansas families” in their press release.
Courtney Alexander, spokeswoman for The Congressional Leadership Fund, dismissed the relevance of Roethle’s officialdom.
“The ad features a Kansas mom talking about how dangerous Sharice Davids’ extreme agenda would be for Kansas families,” Alexander told The Daily Beast on Friday. “Party affiliation does not change the reality that Sharice Davids wants to abolish ICE.”
Davids’ campaign did not comment on the ad, instead telling The Daily Beast in a statement: “Yoder retreats to the Washington playbook of distract and divide when he knows he can't defend his own record. That's clearly what's happening here.”
Roethle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ad was part of a pair released on Friday directly attacking Davids, an openly lesbian former attorney and MMA fighter who is challenging Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder for his seat. If elected, she would make history as one of two Native American women in Congress. (The other is New Mexico’s Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland, whose opponent openly questioned her heritage on Thursday during a Fox News segment.)
The second conservative PAC ad focused on Davids’ “open borders” policy and previous comments on defunding U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement during a podcast interview in July.
“Sharice Davids would abolish ICE and open our borders to criminal illegal aliens,” the video said. “A risk we can’t take.” The ad showcases her interview with Millennial Politics podcast, where Davids discusses her concerns about having ICE handle immigration issues "in terms of policing.”
Nearly 33 minutes into the interview, host Jordan Valerie Allen asked: "And just to clarify, you do support abolishing ICE?"
The Democratic candidate answered: "I do. I would, I would."
Davids has emphatically denied the GOP claims in her own ad last month, clarifying that she does not support abolishing the federal immigration agency and that Republicans are “twisting her words.”