Michael Gilmore Calls Lynch Campaign Spokesperson’s Spin “A Disgrace”

October 25, 2010

For Immediate Release
OCTOBER 25, 2010
Contact: Kevin Smith
Phone: (603) 571-4710
Email: director@nhcornerstone.org

Manchester, NH – In a story reported in yesterday’s Union Leader print edition, Mr. Michael Gilmore, who appeared along with his wife in the recent Cornerstone Action ad “90 Days“, was asked what he though of the recent press release from the Lynch campaign which implied that the Gilmores’ were suddenly in favor of the new law which grants early release to violent and sexual offenders, and caps parole violation sentencing at 90 days.

Mr. Gilmore told the Union Leader, “Pamela Walsh spun it so we totally agreed with the bill, that we flipflopped. It’s a disgrace what happened.”

Despite Mr. Gilmore’s repeated clarifications, the Lynch campaign continues to distort his words and exploit his recent letter to the Conway Daily Sun for political gain. All of this comes as the sex offender who violated parole for stalking the Gilmore’s daughter, is set to have his hearing before the adult parole board on Tuesday.

Commenting on the Lynch campaign’s latest antics with regard to Mr. Gilmore was Cornerstone Action’s Director, Kevin Smith:

“It is terrible that Governor Lynch’s campaign continues to exploit this family’s tragedy by shamelessly continuing to twist Mr. Gilmore’s words out of context – even as Mr. Gilmore calls them out on it! We repeat our call for Governor Lynch and his campaign to apologize to the Gilmore’s for using them as political pawns in his bid for re-election.”

Below is the article that appeared in yesterday’s Union Leader print edition:

Parole hearing Tuesday linked to SB 500
By NANCY WEST New Hampshire Sunday News

The convicted sex offender at the heart of a political firestorm over Senate Bill 500 will appear before the Adult Parole Board on Tuesday, but the longest he can be locked up for violating his parole is 90 days under the new law.

Michael and Jacci Gilmore of North Conway, who were featured in a TV ad opposing parts of the new law, say they will attend the hearing on Michael Seibel and hope other citizens will, too. They say they want citizens to get the facts first-hand, instead of relying on what they call political posturing by some members of Gov. John Lynch’s campaign.

“Seeing is believing. Hearing is believing. We’d like them to experience our frustration and see why we are so adamant about fighting to fix this bill,” Mr. Gilmore said. Said Mrs. Gilmore: “He’s (Seibel) on parole until 2017. He should go back to prison and serve the remainder of that term plus the two years, in county jail for new crimes committed while on parole.”

John Eckert, the parole board’s executive assistant, said hearings are open to the public, but they are subject to Department of Corrections security regulations because they are held in a locked building on the grounds of the State Prison for Men in Concord.

Limited seating. There is room for about 20 visitors in the hearing room, and people with a connection to the case, such as the Gilmores, would have priority for the seats, he said. “We’re not going to let the hearing become a public forum on the new law,” Eckert said.

Alan Coburn, vice chairman of the parole board, said under the old law prior to Oct. 1, the board could have ordered Seibel, 32, to return to state prison for the six-month sex offender relapse program for parole violation and add a setback for any number of years up to his maximum release date in 2017. The relapse program has been abolished, Coburn said.

Seibel was convicted of two new crimes while on parole so after he finishes the 90 days at state prison for violating parole, he will have to serve his two new one-year sentences at Carroll County House of Corrections. Since county jail inmates still earn “good time,” Seibel will likely only serve 16 of the 24 months
for the new crimes, simple assault and sexual assault, against a 16-year-old girl, Coburn said.

Coburn said he will again speak out against portions of the new parole reform law at the hearing on Tuesday. “I think (Seibel) should be evaluated for sex offender treatment. I feel he is dangerous to society,” Coburn said.

Held in Berlin. Seibel is being held at the Berlin prison facility and will appear via video on Tuesday. Seibel was sentenced to serve 5 to 15 years in state prison for a 2002 aggravated felonious sexual assault against a victim under the age of 13, according to Jeffrey Lyons, Department of Corrections spokesman. Seibel also served a concurrent 3 ⁄ 2 to 7 year sentence for endangering the welfare of a child at that time. Lyons said Seibel had previously served his maximum sentence of three years for a separate misdemeanor sexual assault conviction in 1999.

Controversy erupted after the Gilmores spoke out against portions of the new law in a television ad. Mr. Gilmore said he was mistaken in the ad when he said inmates would be sent to county jail for 90 days for violating parole, when in fact they would serve those 90 days in state prison. He said when he tried to correct that statement, some people in Gov. Lynch’s campaign twisted his words to imply he was suddenly in favor of SB 500.

“Pamela Walsh spun it so we totally agreed with the bill, that we flip-flopped. It’s a disgrace what happened,” Mr. Gilmore said.

On Friday, Walsh, Lynch’s campaign manager, emailed the New Hampshire Sunday News the news release in which Lynch’s attorneys called on television stations to immediately cease broadcasting the ads created by Cornerstone Action/National Organization for Marriage saying they contained factual and legal inaccuracies. Walsh told the newspaper the ad suggested Seibel would only be jailed for 90 days and didn’t mention the sentences he would serve for the new crimes. “He (Seibel) is not just getting sent back for 90 days. He’s also facing a sentence on new charges and will be serving sentences on the new charges,” Walsh said.

Lynch’s opponent in the gubernatorial race John Stephen said: “This is a three-time sex offender who failed treatment in prison and has now reoffended again. He had five years hanging over his head and he’s only going to get 90 days in prison for violating parole. Look at the facts of this case. This is a dangerous sex predator and he needs to be locked up for as long as possible,” Stephen said.

Cornerstone-Action is the legislative and issue advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research.

Cornerstone Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit education and research organization dedicated to the preservation of strong families, limited government and free markets.

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