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

Believe it or not, this still is from a commercial for a construction company, not a campaign advertisement.
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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