8th Congressional District race growing contentious over political ads

Mike Gallagher, Tom Nelson photos

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Brown County Republican Party has filed a legal complaint with the Federal Election Commission over a political ad run by Tom Nelson for Wisconsin.

Nelson, a Democrat, is running against Republican Mike Gallagher for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District seat.

The Brown County GOP claims the Nelson campaign violated FEC rules by running an ad “mentioning presidential candidate Donald Trump’s name and expressly advocating the defeat of Donald Trump in the general election.”

Click here to view the full complaint (docx)

The GOP takes issue with the end of the ad, which started running on Oct. 21 in the Green Bay market, in which Nelson says, “I approve this message because Donald Trump is dangerous and we can’t let him become president.”

The complaint alleges that because the ad advocates for the defeat of Trump, it requires certain disclaimers and a required expense report.

Also, the GOP claims Nelson “may have coordinated with the Hillary for America campaign.”

The ad started running Oct. 21 in the Green Bay market.

Brown County GOP Chairwoman, Marian Krumberger released this statement:

“It’s disappointing that Tom Nelson and his operatives have broken the law in an attempt to defeat Marine Veteran Mike Gallagher. At the very minimum, voters deserve to trust that the representatives they elect follow our laws, and it is our job to hold them accountable. Tom Nelson should immediately take down his illegal ad and demonstrate that no one, including a career politician, is above the law.”

Nelson, meanwhile, is calling on the Gallagher campaign to pull a television ad. The Nelson campaign claims the ad in question contains “doctored video” that would lead voters to believe Nelson criticized Gallagher’s military service.

According to Nelson, his comments had nothing to do with Gallagher’s military service and everything to do with his support of Republican Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump.

Nelson said, “I think that there has been, a lot of reasons especially in the last three weeks and going back the last couple of months, reasons why he should do what Congressman Reid Ribble has done and done for the last year.  Stand up, do the right thing and take a stand against the presidential nominee of his party.”

Gallagher, who served as a captain in the U.S. Marines Corps, and deployed twice to Iraq isn’t backing down.  Standing by the ad he said, “I’ve ignored a lot of what he’s said.  His whole campaign has been built on attacking me, but there’s some lines that I don’t think should be crossed.  And while Tom Nelson has spent his entire life in politics, some of us actually spent that time fighting for our country and I think Tom should honor that.”