Truth Test: PAC Ad questions Brendan Kelly's record as prosecuto - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Truth Test: PAC Ad questions Brendan Kelly's record as prosecutor

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WSIL -- A new ad, from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican-aligned Political Action Committee, attacks Democrat Brendan Kelly's record as St. Clair County State's Attorney. 

"As a State's Attorney, Brendan Kelly was liberal on crime," the ad claims.

Kelly is looking to unseat incumbent Republican Mike Bost in Illinois' 12th congressional district, widely considered to be one of the most competitive seats this election cycle. 

The ad claims Kelly isn't tough on crime, and hasn't done enough to punish sexual assaults. 

"On Kelly's watch, more than 50 percent of St. Clair County crimes were pled out," it says.

That's true, but is that number high as the ad implies?

On the federal level, more than 97 percent of crimes were pled out, and here in Illinois, it's more than 95 percent statewide. In comparison, Kelly's number of more than 50 percent is not high.

Next, the ad uses an out of context sound bite to repeatedly attack Kelly's time as a prosecutor.

"As prosecutors, our goal is not a conviction," he says in the edited clip.

He said it, but if you watch the full comment in context, it has a different meaning.

"As prosecutors, our goal is not a conviction. Our goal is not to make an example necessarily of anybody, our goal first and foremost is justice," Kelly said in a 2015 interview with the Belleville News-Democrat. 

The ad's claim that Kelly didn't do enough to prosecute sexual assaults, is also misleading. 

"Brendan Kelly even turned his back on women who alleged sexual assault, allowing reported rapes to go unprosecuted," the ad says.

While not all reports lead to charges, the article cited in the ad actually says that under Kelly, more sex crimes are being prosecuted. 

Kelly did plead out more than half of crimes and he didn't prosecute every reported rape, so that information is true -- but context matters, and by leaving out the full story, the ad is misleading to voters. 

News 3 will be fact-checking politicians throughout the election season, so if there's a claim you want us to truth test, email truthtest@wsiltv.com.

You can view previous Truth Tests here

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