A commercial was launched Thursday critical of GOP gubernatorial hopeful Greg Gianforte, accusing the Bozeman high-tech entrepreneur of trying to buy the election, favoring millionaires and being out of touch with Montanans.
Good Jobs Montana, a political action committee, is the sponsor of the ad which is part of a $200,000 statewide TV blitz. Scott McCulloch, head of the Billings Education Association, is listed as its treasurer.
Part of the funding for the commercial, reportedly $50,000, came from the Democratic Governors Association.
A Gianforte spokesman called it “a desperate attack ad.”
The 30-second commercial follows on the heels of one launched last week against Gov. Steve Bullock by the Republican Governors Association, criticizing his use of a state airplane for campaign fundraisers while on state business.
This ad addresses those claims:
“A millionaire from New Jersey is desperate to be governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte,” the ad states. “On a mission to buy this election. He bankrolled a DC front group that’s now running dishonest ads attacking our governor, Steve Bullock.”
It ends with: “Greg Gianforte. He’s focused on his fortune, not your future.”
The DGA referred comment to a spokesman for Good Jobs Montana, who was not immediately able to comment.
A spokesman with the Gianforte campaign criticized the ad.
“This desperate attack ad from the governor and his dark money buddies at the DGA shows the fear stemming from their campaign,” Aaron Flint said. “They know that Greg’s positive message about keeping our kids and grandkids here in Montana with high wage jobs is resonating with Montanans — especially seniors. The fact is we’re 49th in the nation in wages, and our kids and grandkids have become our most precious export.”
The Montana Republican Party weighed in as well.
“This ad is from the same outside group led by former Dark Money Chairman Steve Bullock and funded with his corporate cash — the same corporate cash Bullock claims to want out of our political system — that makes false and outrageous claims,” said Shane Scanlon of the Montana Republican Party.
Gianforte has lived in Montana more than 20 years. He said he has founded five startup companies and created nearly 1,200 jobs. He faces Terry Nelson of Hamilton in the June 7 primary.
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