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Candidates take aim at government in campaign ads

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Apr 17 2014 01:11:04 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2014 06:27:00 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Montana voters are looking over a crowed race for the U.S. House, where one candidate is raking in most of the money.

Republican Ryan Zinke is out-fundraising the other candidates. Now they're trying to make up for what they don't have in cash, with strong political ads.

Republican Matt Rosendale released a new ad this week that's gaining national attention.

He uses a gun to shoot down a drone in the commercial. But he's not the only one to take aim -- literally -- at federal policy.

In 2010, now-U.S. Senator for West Virginia Joe Manchin took out his gun for a campaign ad. The Conservative Democrat fired at the Cap and Trade Bill.

In 2012, Republican Ron Gould ran for the U.S. House District 4 in Arizona. He fired at a draft of the Affordable Care Act.  The same year, an ad supporting Libertarian Dan Cox, who was running for Montana's Senate seat, showed a man firing at a security camera. That ad was to make a point about legislation that would allow the government to conduct surveillance on federal land.

This year Matt Rosendale isn't the only one with a gun.

Republican Will Brooke, running for U.S. House District 6 in Alabama, took out his handgun and rifle to shoot at the Affordable Care Act. But his ad, titled 'Let's Do Some Damage,' doesn't stop with a gun. Brooke puts the bill through a wood chipper too.

Critics of ads like these say the candidate are taking it too far, some even calling them childish. Supporters say they're just making a strong point, using the gun, to get the point across.

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For some a strong campaign ad is what it will take to get any point across.

On the Republican side for the U.S. House race, Ryan Zinke raised $907,000 and has $423,000 in the bank.

Rosendale is the next closest fund-raiser. He reports total receipts of $641,000 with $221,000 left to spend. $500,000 is his personal money.

Corey Stapleton's pulled in $373,000.

Drew Turiano has raised just $6,800.

As for Democrats, John Lewis reports raising almost $695,000 with over a half million left to spend.

Other candidates including Democrat John Driscoll, Libertarian Mike Fellows, as well as Shawn Paul White Wolf filed to run but have no current fund-raising reports on the federal election commission webpage.