Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Watch the nastiest campaign ad of the year

The campaign arm for House Republicans is now airing a truly astonishing ad in Nebraska's 2nd District, tying the Democratic candidate, state Sen. Brad Ashford, to a brutal crime spree committed by a perpetrator who had gotten released early from prison.

"Four murders in 11 days — a judge decides Nikko Jenkins is responsible for all of them," a news anchor is heard saying, over video footage of the inmate himself.

Then comes the ad's main announcer: "Nikko Jenkins was released from prison early, after serving only half his sentence. The head of the Omaha police union said Jenkins is the poster child of 'why the Good Time law is a farce.' Brad Ashford supported the Good Time law, and still defends it — allowing criminals like Nikko Jenkins to be released early."

The Washington Post explains the story in question:

The state's "good time" law awards prisoners two days served for each day spent behind bars with good behavior, an effort to reduce prison sentences and ease the state's prison overcrowding. Jenkins was sentenced to 21 years for two carjackings he committed as a teenager, but was released after serving ten-and-a-half. After his release, he went on a crime spree, killing four people. [Washington Post]

The Jenkins case has become a center of attention in Nebraska for the state's serious mistakes administering the law — including multiple violations that Jenkins committed while he was still in prison, the Omaha World-Herald has previously reported.

Ashford is running against incumbent GOP Rep. Lee Terry. Roll Call reports that sources in both parties say Terry has been trailing in the polls. --Eric Kleefeld