This new “issue ad” that touts the monument building skills of Lucas St. Clair — and his denial of any prior knowledge of or connection to the ad — simply doesn’t pass the smell test. We’ve had this type of campaigning imposed on us long enough to instantly see what’s going on: His campaign wants a boost over the line, it thinks we’re some gullible rubes, it’s happy when some friendly deep pockets whip up an attack ad or misleading fluff piece, and then says it has “no idea” how such shenanigans could have happened. (Except for the obligatory expression of regret that money is considered speech nowadays.)

Call me naive, but I thought primaries are supposed to be some level playing field in which friendly colleagues honestly compete for their party’s favor. A slick and pricey bit of television that appears just weeks before the election – that’s something we (sadly) expect in the nasty General Election yet to come. At a recent candidate forum, I saw St. Clair express respect for all his rivals and solemnly vow that he would never stoop to dark-money tactic. Et cetera, et cetera. He, or his shadowy backers who produced the monument ad, have obviously done a 180 on all that.

Maybe what the St. Clair campaign has rolled out here proves that he can hold his own in those famous congressional knife fights. Surrounded by relatives and good friends with money, and always ready with the thinnest of denials, he might just be a survivor up there. But myself, I’m looking for a someone to represent my interests. Not another Bruce Poliquin.

Mike Ray


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