Alexander said the ads were aired in the campaign’s final weeks and he waited until after the election to complain because he didn’t want people to think he was trying to influence voters. Alexander said he consulted with Manieri and is considering filing complaints with the Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Ethics Commission. Hood’s brother is the executive director of the Ethics Commission, and would likely be asked to recuse himself.
Matt Steffey, a professor at Mississippi College School of Law, said he was concerned by the campaign ad.
“The tone and tenor of political advertisements is increasingly troublesome. For the attorney general’s campaign to make a statement prior to indictment is problematic, but I don’t know if it amounts to an ethics violation,” Steffey said. “The bottom line is this: At best that would be fodder for a defendant’s motion to change venue. That essentially will fall on the discretion of the trial judge.”
Mississippi State University political scientist Marty Wiseman said the ad, while unfortunate, is not likely to be corrected.
“There’s always a reluctance to control freedom of speech, and in this case he could say it was an opinion,” Wiseman said.