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GOP Attack Ad Features Murdered Little Boy, Family Demands It ‘Crosses the Line’

A Minnesota woman saw a grisly reminder of the tragic murder of her 4-year-old grandson every time she turned on the television.

A GOP attack ad, running regularly on the air, featured the dead little boy as an example of Democratic governor Mark Dayton’s inability to do his job and protect the lives of the state’s youngest residents.

The thing is Yvonne Dean, the little boy’s grandmother, said she never approved for the boy’s image to be used.

“I just can’t believe somebody would use [Eric’s death] for political gain,” the grieving grandma told the Minnesota Star Tribune after she saw the image air. “To use our family’s tragedy is crossing the line.”

She also said when she called the Republican Committee to get the ad stopped, they told her they had no intention of taking the ad down.

Dean, who is a registered Republican, also said that the ad is not even accurate, because the governor had nothing to do with her grandson’s death.

In February 2013, little Eric Dean died from a perforated bowel, the result of horrendous abuse by his stepmother. The county, which had 15 reports of abuse of the child, did not report the family to the police except one time, when the child had broken his arm, missing the opportunity to help the child.

The inaction of the country social services no doubt contributed to the death of the little boy, but according to Dean, the buck stops there.

“[The] system failed Eric at the county level…how could that be Governor Dayton’s fault?” she told the local paper, adding that blaming it directly on Dayton was “unfair.”

Only after a public outcry did the GOP leaders agree to take the ad featuring the murdered child down.

According to a statement published by the Star Tribune, “The ad is currently being revised and an edited version will begin airing as soon as possible.”

It is unclear what the party means by ‘editing’ and if any reference to the boy’s case will remain, but the ad has now been removed from YouTube.

Jeff Johnson, the GOP candidate for Governor, who remained mum when the controversy erupted, has since issued a statement saying that removing the ad was the right thing to do.

Photo Credit: Star Tribune

H/t: Michael Brodkorb

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.