One thing for sure is that this 2014 election season will probably go down as one of the nastiest campaign seasons in Montana history – mostly because of the U.S. Senate race.
Montanans have been subjected to some interesting ads in the senate race between U.S. Representative Steve Daines and U.S. Senator John Walsh. We’ve seen ads about rape, physical violence, veterans, healthcare, and families.
There’s good news! We have not seen too many third party ads yet – and it’s only June!
Daines was first to air a negative attack ad and he may not stop. Will the independent voters in Montana, whose votes Daines needs to win, grow tired of his attacks on John Walsh, a highly decorated Iraq war veteran?
On Friday night I happened to see the newest campaign ad from Congressman Steve Daines which is titled “Mistreated.”
After hearing the ad for the first time, I said, “That was pretty nasty.” I also thought, “And this is only June.”
In the 30-second ad, a woman identified on the screen as Major Cindy Neely speaks. She is outside and a flag is flying on a house that is over her left shoulder. Neely is then shown at a desk looking at photos and you can see a uniform with ribbons on the chair where she is sitting. She is indentified on the screen as Major Cindy Neely, Inactive Reserve. Toward the end of the ad John Walsh’s name appears on the screen with “Workers Claim Hostility, Sex for Favors” Associated Press 3/22/13.
Here is the script:
I’m Steve Daines and I approved this message.
MAJOR CINDY NEELY:
I’m Major Cindy Neely. I served our country in Iraq, then in the Montana National Guard under John Walsh. I feel I owe it to every woman in Montana to speak out. Under John Walsh women like me were mistreated. There are pending lawsuits charging harassment and I experienced discrimination personally. John Walsh looked the other way to protect his own career and women suffered. John Walsh is not fit for office.
My Analysis & Commentary:
I checked the “Workers Claim Hostility, Sex for favors” story by the Associated Press 3/22/13. You can read the story for yourself HERE. The graphic on the screen with the name John Walsh and “Workers Claim Hostility, Sex for favors” appears to tie Walsh to the claim of hostility and to sex for favors. So I read the AP story. Then I read it again. I did not see John Walsh’s name mentioned in the story. I did not see Major Cindy Neely’s name in the story, either.
Last week I wrote about Daines sending a letter to the President of the United States recommending John Walsh to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. Daines letter of recommendation was sent in February 2013. Daines said Walsh “served with distinction” and that he was “proud to recommend” Walsh to this position.
The latest Daines ad “Mistreated” appears to be another attempt by Daines to smear Walsh who Daines said, “served with distinction in the Army National Guard for over 30 years.”
Walsh countered that ad with one of his own called, “No Tolerance” in which a woman identified as Sgt Kelly Gallinger (Ret.) says:
“Congressman Daines is attacking John Walsh’s 33 year record. It’s nothing more than a lie. I served with John and he doesn’t tolerate misconduct, period. He promoted the second woman Colonel in Montana National Guard history and John’s fighting for a tough new law cracking down on sexual assaults in the military.”
The ad ends with Gallinger saying, “Congressman Daines – Montanans and John Walsh deserve better than your false ads.”
It would be refreshing to see Daines talk about the issues in his ads for a change – and then Walsh could respond about his views on the issues instead of having to respond to Daines’ attacks.
I bet most Montanans would agree.
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