It's an ad paid for by the Republican Governors' Association (RGA), Right Direction PAC. And it’s one that’s raised some controversy.
The advertisement attacks gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock and his spending.
Television and radio stations across the state were asked to pull to ad, after receiving a letter from a Missoula lawyer Karl Englund. Englund represents ‘Friends of Steve Bullock’/Bullock-Walsh for Governor. The letter said ‘there is no proper attribution’ in the ad.
And the RGA general counsel responded, saying the ad was accurate, and that stations ‘should continue to broadcast it.’ However, later they presented stations with a substitute ad to run in its place.
NBC Montana is no longer running the spot, but checked some of the claims in the commercial.
“…Bullock's office gave millions of dollars in state contractor grants to donors, his former law and lobbying firm and even his own brother,” the ad says.
Much of the argument between the Bullock-Walsh campaign and the RGA stems from the statement about Bullock's brother. The ad claims bullock's office, the Montana Department of Justice, gave money/grants to his brother.
Steve's brother William Bullock was a founder of the company Pioneer Technical Services, environmental sciences, engineering and surveying firm.
According to the State of Montana, Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP), Pioneer Technical Services was part of a water restoration project in Butte. The company received a $262,017.38 grant for the project.
While it's true that the NRDP is part of the Montana Department of Justice, it’s up to the governor (not the DOJ or Attorney General) to approve NRDP grants.
“It's no surprise bullock has been investigated multiple times for violating campaign finance laws,” says another claim in the ad.
According to Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices website, seven complaints have been filed against Bullock in relation to campaign finances. Four of those complaints were dismissed, two are pending and one resulted in a violation.