The “Marsha for Senate” campaign on Thursday announced it launched its third television ad, this time featuring her work to shut down human trafficking site backpage.com.
The ad will air in media markets across the state and on digital platforms statewide.
Tennessee U.S. Senate Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) is running against Democratic former governor and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen in the Nov. 6 election. They are vying for retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s seat.
Regarding the ad, Blackburn campaign manager Kevin Golden said, “Marsha Blackburn has led the fight against human trafficking, and she was instrumental in shutting down backpage.com. She is a mother and grandmother, who will make keeping our children and our communities safe a top priority. In the Senate, she will continue her work to stop this horrific crime.”
In her ad, Blackburn says, “backpage.com operated in over 97 countries. Billions of dollars, trafficking human beings, even our children. It’s sick, it’s immoral, and it’s why I fought to shut them down. Human trafficking is a tragedy that must be stopped. I’m Marsha Blackburn. I approve this message because I’ll always fight those who prey on our most vulnerable.”
Backpage.com was taking advantage of the internet to exploit minors and facilitate sex trafficking, Blackburn’s campaign said. The congresswoman co-sponsored legislation to make it easier for law enforcement to take action against websites that facilitate sex trafficking. In April of this year, backpage.com was shut down following a lengthy investigation, the campaign said.
In April, Fox News reported this message was listed on the website: “‘Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division,’ the notice on the site read.”
News of the site’s seizure follows reports that the Arizona home of the site’s founder, Michael Lacey, was raided, Fox News said. “Law enforcement activity is occurring,” the Phoenix FBI told the New York Daily News.
The Washington Post reported in April, “Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of backpage.com whose name was conspicuously absent from an indictment of seven other Backpage officials unsealed Monday, has pleaded guilty in state courts in California and Texas and federal court in Arizona to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to facilitate prostitution.” He agreed to testify against co-founders, the paper said.