Most who have watched five minutes of TV in the past week have likely seen at least one nasty political ad for a local contest. Prior to Election Day, things had gotten ugly in a slew of major races for the state legislatures and governor’s mansions across the country.
But it’s the little-watched battle for Campbell County attorney in Kentucky that has drawn the ire of not just one disgruntled politician, but a number of major rock bands who have unwittingly been pulled into an off-the-radar turf battle.
Like thousands of others vying for office this year, local lawyers Steve Franzen and Jim Daley have been trading barbs back and forth in the lead-up to November 2. But when Daley released a flier this week that took some vicious swipes at Franzen, nobody could quite figure out how the bands Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour and Disturbed got drawn into the fight.
On one side of the flier, Daley states: “It’s a fact: Steve Franzen has made a living defending criminals charged with: child pornography, unlawful transactions with minors, custodial interference, assaults on police officers, drug trafficking, and the list goes on … Now he wants you to trust him to be your County Attorney? He’s gotta be kidding.”
The other side features images of members of all three bands taken from their publicity stills with the warning “On November 2 tell Steve Franzen you don’t trust someone who makes a living defending criminals to serve as your County Attorney.”
According to local station WLWT, Franzen hit the streets Wednesday night to convince voters that the claims on the flier were untrue.
“I think the whole thing is despicable, frankly,” Franzen told the station. “Supposedly they’re my clients, but I haven’t seen any of these people. I don’t know anything about them, other than I’m told they’re professional rock musicians.”
He said he assumes that Daley had gotten permission to use the bands’ likenesses in the ad, but a source close to Disturbed confirmed that the band was not approached by Daley’s camp or asked permission to use their photos on the flier and added that the band has sent a cease-and-desist order demanding Daley “immediately stop distributing the flier and destroy any remaining copies in his possession.”