Campaign of GOP Arizona governor nominee Kari Lake uses foreign stock footage in ads


Republican nominee Kari Lake has said that her campaign makes sure to use items 'made in America.'

Kari Lake, the Republican nominee running for governor of Arizona against Democrat and current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, has repeatedly slammed Democrats and the "political elite" for sending manufacturing jobs overseas and vowed that as governor she'd bring back production to her home state.

In September 2021, Lake vowed that her campaign would use products made by American businesses.

But in a campaign ad released Oct. 10, Lake uses stock footage and images that were produced outside of the United States.

Over the course of the campaign, Lake has numerous times attacked Democrats for outsourcing businesses and jobs and sending them overseas. Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled Congress has worked to bring jobs and manufacturing back to the United States, including pushing for taxes on companies who ship jobs overseas and passing a bill in July that provided funding to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips.

"I blame our political elite, and many of them are still in office right now, and these are the people that sold us out. They sold out our manufacturing. They sold out our production. They sold out America to this globalist agenda, which was, give it all to China," Lake said during an interview with the conservative network RSBN at a Trump rally in Iowa in October 2021. "And we want cheap products that we then ship over. And now that they've decimated our manufacturing, we're stuck. But we're going to bring it back, and President Trump was on his way to doing that."

"When we first started this campaign I said to my staff … we were looking for some of these hats and t-shirts, all I know is, I want obviously that whatever we have, we have made in America," Lake said at an event held by the National Association of Women Business Owners the month before. "But I want an Arizona business. And our first business we hired is a woman-run business, her husband's a veteran. … My priority is to always hire Arizona businesses first and foremost. If we can't find it here, we'll hire an American business, but I really believe in that."

One of Lake's most recent campaign ads does not fulfill her promise, however: It is full of stock footage created by artists in Russia, Italy, France, and Ukraine.

One image in the ad, showing a woman holding her child in a grocery store, is the work of a Shutterstock creator located in Russia.

A clip of a pen crossing out a line was made by a stock footage producer in Ukraine.

A clip of two people embracing was made by a producer located in France.

And a clip of a different woman hugging a child in a grocery store was made by a user in Italy.

Lake's campaign did not return a request for comment on why it did not use stock footage made in the United States or Arizona.

Lake, an election denier who falsely claims the 2020 presidential election was rigged and stolen from former President Donald Trump, is pushing for changes to voting systems, including a failed attempt to get all ballots in the state counted by hand rather than by machine in a process experts say is error-prone and would take weeks to complete.

She has vowed to imprison those involved in running that election, including her opponent Hobbs, who administered the 2020 election in Arizona.

And she wouldn't commit to accepting the results of the 2022 election if she lost.

Hobbs had been leading polls until earlier in October, when Lake took a 0.7-point lead in the FiveThirtyEight polling average.

Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race a toss-up.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.