In the Democratic primary for Attorney General, one candidate, Jesse Laslovich, is running like a frontrunner, raising funds and meeting with Democratic constituent groups while gaining their support. The other candidate, Pam Bucy, seems to be running a campaign far more interested in tearing down her opponent, using specious and even juvenile attacks rather than focusing on issues that should matter in this race.
Early in the race, it was an anonymous demonstrably false campaign suggesting that Mr. Laslovich had an anti-choice record. Lately, it’s been attacking Mr. Laslovich’s age, but the latest faux outrage is that a manufactured controversy centered around the fact that Laslovich’s campaign treasurer is a long-time supporter of Democrats in Montana.
I just learned some disturbing news. The law firm that is representing Rehberg in his lawsuit agains the Billings Fire department are supporters and donors of the Jesse Laslovich campaign for A.G. One of the lawyers is even his campaign treasurer. What is Laslovich thinking! This is ridiculous.
This kind of smear is both poor politics and unfair to Mr. Edwards, who has a longstanding record of supporting Montana Democrats.
A little more context about Mr. Edwards might be useful:
- He’s working on behalf of families impacted by the Exxon oil spill, protecting landowners from the company, which he says has “caused real harm to the last free flowing river in America.”
- He contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Party just this June and has been a long-time contributor to the party and individual candidates.
- He was an important supporter in Jon Tester’s bid to unseat Conrad Burns.
The truth is that Mr. Edwards doesn’t need me to defend him. He’s proven his longstanding commitment to the Democratic Party. Although I haven’t met him and do disagree with his client’s decision to sue the city of Billings, I’m not sure that demonizing him in an effort to smear Jesse Laslovich is a terribly productive strategy.
But is is the hallmark of a campaign that can’t stop going negative.
That kind of politics might play well in the Helena bubble, but statewide campaigns aren’t won with these kinds of attacks. They’re won by candidates who work the ground, raise money, and focus on issues. So far, Jesse Laslovich is running that kind of campaign, and it’s damn disappointing that Pam Bucy isn’t.