Strangely, the group paying for these ads is a rampant violator of Federal election law, StopHillary PAC, and the group describes itself as having formed to defeat democratically elected officials who are “cancers”. The group recently had donations returned to them from Republicans after the veracity and tone of their ads was questioned.
These ads were about Benghazi and asked:
- “Dear Hillary Clinton, I’d like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in Benghazi and then four Americans were murdered. . . . But Mrs. Clinton, I can’t.”
The Group paying for these ads is still registered with the Federal Election Commission as StopHillary Pac, but they are presenting themselves with a different name in the ad. The ‘Committee to Defend the President.’
These type of ads are a staple of modern politics. They are designed to serve two purposes. First, to pressure Tester into voting to confirm Gorsuch. I have trouble believing that Austin Knudsen is going to persuade anyone on that front. Nobody’s ever heard of him beyond the voters in his district and it’s doubtful that someone posing standing next to a fence post, looking like a politician trying to look like a rancher (he’s actually a lawyer), is going to have much sway with voters.
The second purpose of these ads is to try to soften up Tester for 2018, a political effort disguised as an issue campaign. That might be slightly more effective, and of course the problem is that there’s no opponent for Tester to respond against. For that, you’ll have to wait another few months to see who declares as a Senate candidate for 2018.
Maybe Knudsen is using this dark money to float the idea of a run?
Ironically, Republicans have again chosen a standard bearer who blocks access to public lands. Knudsen is in court lately, defending his gating off of public access to a city park in Culbertson that belongs to the American legion and that has led to the Knudsen family being sued by the City of Culbertson.