When the Democratic race for Attorney General began in earnest, I didn’t know who to support. Unlike people who follow politics professionally in Montana, I didn’t have a strong opinion about either Jesse Laslovich or Pam Bucy; I simply knew that Democrats were going to need a strong candidate to run against Tim Fox, who gave Steve Bullock a close race in 2008.
While each candidate has impressed me with professional qualifications and personal values, I’ve found the campaign waged online by supporters of Ms. Bucy to be unimaginably awful. I’ve written about this before, but the anonymous attacks haven’t come to an end. As the primary has gotten closer, the attacks have been more persistent, more personal, and more desperate.
It’s certainly not surprising that people affiliated with political campaigns anonymously comment on blogs and other online news sources. What has been surprising, however, is just how willing supporters of Ms. Bucy have been to attack Mr. Laslovich, a fellow Democrat who has remained entirely positive during the race.
And to believe that these are the uncoordinated responses of random people who happen to all visit a blog within minutes of a post at 10:00 p.m., each under a more ludicrous pseudonym than the commenter before, would be to believe that Karl Rove isn’t coordinating his Tester attack ads with Denny Rehberg.
I’ve said all along that I will support either candidate against Tim Fox in the general election, but that commitment is wavering. If supporting Ms. Bucy means supporting this kind of campaigning and the politics of personal destruction, I’m not sure I can do it.
Two qualified candidates with excellent resumes are facing off in the Democratic primary for Attorney General. It’s just terribly unfortunate that only one campaign is behaving that way.