NEW CORNYN AD FEATURES THE NAMESAKE OF JENNA’S BILL ON CHILD SEX ABUSE OK’D BY SENATE LAST WEEK. The ad, which focuses on the bipartisan nature of the bill, is airing in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin markets.
September 24, 2020
Less than a week after the Senate passed a bill aimed at curbing child sex abuse, named for Texan Jenna Quinn and authored by Sen. John Cornyn, the Cornyn campaign is featuring Quinn in a television ad that began airing on Tuesday.
“You’re just a kid and no one believes you, “ she says into the camera in the 30-second spot, airing in Dallas and other major markets. “But years later, John Cornyn did. He actually listened to me.”
Quinn survived sexual abuse by her father’s friend beginning at age 13. In 2007, she started to rally Texas legislators to adapt school curriculums to include sexual assault awareness.
The state’s Jenna Quinn Law, introduced by state Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, passed the Legislature in 2009.
The House has not set a vote on the measure.
At a news conference last week, Quinn thanked Cornyn for giving her and other survivors of sexual assault a voice, saying “the message for survivors is that you’re seen, and you are heard.”
According to Admo Advertising Analytics, Cornyn’s campaign spent a modest $16,301 on the ad on the first day.
The ad emphasized the bipartisan nature of the bill, co-sponsored with Sen. Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate.
Cornyn is seeking a fourth term and is eager to court suburban voters and others who value cooperation as he faces Democrat MJ Hegar. One poll earlier this month showed him ahead by just 6 percent points.
Cornyn has portrayed himself as a “steady hand on the wheel,” and his advertising pitch has cast him as more moderate than his solidly conservative voting record.
The Quinn ad dovetails with another ad that has aired for two weeks focusing on his work championing a law aimed at ending a long backlog of testing for rape kits, paving the way for more cases to be cleared. Together, the ads are positioned to appeal to women and suburban voters whose votes could be decisive.
One ad, in Spanish, highlights his support for “Dreamers,” which immigrant advocates call “misleading.”
Campaign spokesperson Kristan Piferrer called the passage of the bill a “testament to Sen. Cornyn’s dedication to providing care and justice to survivors while delivering results for Texans/”
Cornyn has supported various legislation for survivors of sexual assault throughout his career.
He has continuously pushed for the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act, which provides grant money to states and local governments to conduct DNA tests on backlogged rape kits, and he sponsored the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Act that would further address the backlog in rape kits.
Cornyn, however, split with some women’s rights and sexual assault advocates during the hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, when he called the deliberation of allegations of sexual assault against the nominee “embarrassing.”
“The Jenna Quinn law is particularly important during the COVID-o19 crisis,” Cornyn said, urging the House to take up the measure quickly. “Young lives are on the line, and the Jenna Quinn Law can, and has already, made a difference.”
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