Debra Bonogofsky Launches Write-In Campaign to Combat Unethical and Illegal Campaign Tactics
And asks her opponent to publically repudiate illegal campaign tactics that were used on his behalf.
BILLINGS—Debra Bonogofsky, a local small business owner, who recently ran a clean and ethical campaign for House District 57, but lost the Republican Primary by 229 votes, announced a write-in campaign to confront the outright lies, distortions and illegal campaign tactics that her opponent and his supporters leveled at her during the last week of the campaign. Constituents in the district called her after the narrow loss to ask her to not give up.
“Politics shouldn’t be about lies and scare tactics, it is about improving people’s lives.” Bonogofsky said, ”Unfortunately, my opponent, Dan Kennedy, condoned illegal and erroneous mailings and radio ads against me in the last week of the election. I ran a clean campaign on ideas and policy, he ran his with attack ads from special interest groups. People should have a choice in November.”
According to the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices, Dan Kennedy, Bonogofsky’s Republican primary opponent, never signed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices (Form C-3), a code that candidates sign voluntarily to uphold the basic principles of decency, honesty and fair play that every candidate for public office has a moral obligation to observe and uphold. (Form C-3, Montana Code Annotated 13-35-301) One provision directs candidates to publicly repudiate any unethical tactics that groups use on their behalf.
“Dan Kennedy never signed on to conduct a fair campaign and never repudiated the mailings and radio ads that were full of innuendos, distortions and lies. That says to me that his campaign had little substance and that the only way he could think of to win was through scaring people.” Bonogofsky stated. “Right now, I am asking Dan Kennedy to sign the Code of Fair Campaign Practices and repudiate the illegal activities that were conducted on his behalf. If he doesn’t, that tells me he doesn’t think he can win an election without attack ads.”
Illegal mailings were sent in the last week before the election, from groups like Western Tradition Partnership, Montana Citizens for Right to Work and Assembly Action Fund. Today, Bonogofsky filed formal complaints against these groups to the Commissioner of Political Practices, Dennis Unsworth.
“It’s true that extreme groups like Western Tradition Partnership and Montana Conservative Alliance don’t like me very much, but they aren’t who I will represent in Helena.” said Bonogofsky, “I couldn’t care less about what they think of me or about their extremist views. I care about the constituents of House District 57. If Dan Kennedy wants to cater to the extreme right, that is his prerogative. However, it is the voter’s business if Dan Kennedy is pandering to people and organizations who don’t have their best interest in mind and who conduct illegal activities to win elections.”
“A candidate who preys on people’s fears and uses lies is a candidate that doesn’t belong in Helena. I won’t let those groups bully me into staying silent. A write in campaign may be a long-shot but all the voters of HD57, not just primary voters, deserve a choice in November.”