Tom Emmer stars in controversial TV ad; spokesman says it wasn't for broadcast [VIDEO]

emmerAd.JPG
Believe it or not, this still is from a commercial for a construction company, not a campaign advertisement.
Should a congressional candidate let himself be filmed shilling for a construction company with one of his campaign signs displayed in the background?

SEE ALSO: Tom Emmer can't get a job at Hamline

Probably not. But Tom Emmer did it anyway.

Emmer, running to become Michele Bachmann's successor in the 6th District, stars in this ad for Elk River-based Integrity Exteriors & Remodelers Inc.:



After the Bluestem Prairie blog drew attention to the ad and raised a number of questions about its legalities and appropriateness, Emmer spokesman David FitzSimmons released a statement saying Emmer didn't expect Integrity Exteriors to actually use the footage in an commercial. That, of course, raises the question of what the hell Emmer's camp thought the company would do with it in the first place.

"Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers did a wonderful job on the build out of the Emmer for Congress Campaign Office that we are now leasing in Otsego," said David FitzSimmons's statement says, according to a Politics in Minnesota report. "They asked Tom for a testimonial of the work they did, and he was more than happy to support a local business out of Elk River. It was not Tom's intention for this testimonial to be used in a broadcast capacity or advertisement for the campaign and we have asked Integrity to discontinue its use."

Former Federal Elections Commission general counsel Larry Noble told PIM he thinks the ad "is very problematic."

"There's a strong argument there, that this clearly raises legal issues, and there's a strong argument that this is a campaign commercial," he continued, adding that in his view the spot should be considered an ad for Emmer, with any money spent on it disclosed as a campaign contribution.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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20 comments
jsc5150
jsc5150

@citypages Lo and behold - the video was removed ... This guy - running for Michele Bachmann's Rep seat 6th Dist, MN.

Walter Hudson
Walter Hudson

Why do these campaign laws even exist? Why shouldn't a business be able to run an ad of this nature utilizing its own resources with the consent of all parties involved? Campaign finance law erects a barrier to entry for anyone outside the political class who wants to express themselves in the public sphere. It is a minefield of arbitrary restrictions which serve only to generate drummed up controversies like this, and chill as much speech as it outright forbids.

waltershudson
waltershudson

Drummed up controversy which is easily addressed. Good luck trying to make something out of it.

Brian Steidl
Brian Steidl

I wonder if he hates Catholics like Bachmann did when she belonged to her church prior to failing to become president?

ViaChicago
ViaChicago

This boob might get elected in Minnesota's 6th. It's fairly obvious that that area of our planet has some bizarre phenomena going own. A red skid mark on an otherwise beautifully blue and progressive state. 

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

Its so odd, these Republicans are just babes in the woods, people take advantage of them all the time. They're just innocently making their way through life, doing the best they can and unscrupulous people film them, pay people they shouldn't all kinds of things. Of course you have to wonder what might happen once they're in a position of power. Is it a good idea to elect someone who is so easily hoodwinked?

David Dennison
David Dennison

Randall, he's running for Bachmann's seat. And in THIS district, he'll probably win :(

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

If it wasn't intended for broadcast, then WHY MAKE IT?!

theoko
theoko

If he's trying to replace Michele Bachmann, then illegal campaign activity is actually the proper way to go.

Mike Schardin
Mike Schardin

That is illegal. His campaign should be fined big time and or suspended.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@Walter Hudson Yeah, it should be like the wild wild west...anything goes.  That should do a great job of making political service attainable to the common person.  Do you believe that citizens united made the political process better?  Now you need 5mil just to run for a house seat.  Politicians spend 2/3 of all their time in office fundraising.  Campaign laws should be more strict not less.

rocksolidcompanies
rocksolidcompanies

Yes he will win and that is a very good thing for the community!

ViaChicago
ViaChicago

@keny1 No worries, Keith would never do such a idiotic thing. He's in another galaxy of self awareness and intelligence. This type of commercial is purely a republican thing.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

It would be just as illegal if Keith Ellison did it. But he didn't so your statement is irrelevant... As usual, you show how stupid you are. He fucked up, just admit it and move on.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Winegarden_A @citypages 

While I agree with you, please don't ever use the term 'sex tape' to comment on a Tom Emmer article ever again.

Now I have to bleach my eyes and scrape my brain.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@_Joe_  Damn you!  Somehow that connection had not wormed its way into my brain, until of course you had to...

Just, damn you.

 For a little while.  Then we'll be cool again.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Potato... See, I can say stuff that is irrelevant to the conversation too.

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