The Verdict Is In: Judge Fagg’s Senate Run Clouded by His Own Unethical Behavior, Sad Rollout

Helena – Russell Fagg has been plagued with ethics issues from the moment he started “exploring” a run for Senate back in June.
But the last couple weeks, with reports ranging from ethics complaints to Fagg trying to convince a reporter not to report on his low campaign event turnout, have been particularly rough. Take a look.
On his ethics issues:
Billings Gazette: “Federal Elections Commission to review complaint GOP candidate ran a campaign as a judge”
Politico: The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a FEC complaint against Republican Judge Russell Fagg, arguing that his exploration of a campaign has exceeded the legal limits.”
Billings Gazette: “If we cannot trust what he says while he's in a job that has a strict canon of ethics and rules, what is going to make Fagg more trustworthy when and if he moves from the bench to the U.S. Senate?”
Logicosity: “[W]ithout spending a single penny, another public servant is running afoul of longstanding traditions and the law itself.”

MT Cowgirl: “Mr. Fagg has made a mockery of judicial ethics by running a shadow campaign for Senate from the bench.”

Missoula Current: “The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a federal complaint against Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg, alleging he violated federal campaign finance laws…”
Montana Post: “Mr. Fagg has managed to make it clear already that he’s not someone who can be trusted to tell the truth to Montanans, much less represent them in Washington.”

MT Cowgirl: “You see, despite raising money, giving campaign speeches, marching in parades, and sitting down for interviews with top political reporters, Judge Fagg continues to claim he is just exploring a run for Senate. If he’s “exploring” a run for Senate, I am exploring being a blogger.”

Western Word: “Some Republicans I know hope Fagg runs his campaign better than he did when planning his announcement.”

Which leads us to…his sad turnout:
Bozeman Daily Chronicle:  “Under a shaded tree away from the courthouse steps, Fagg asked the Chronicle to gently phrase that not many people came out to his event. ‘I would ask you just not to emphasize the crowd, because, to me, it’s the fact that I was here, giving people the opportunity to be here,’ he said.”
Daily Kos: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new entry in the Poorly Staged Campaign Kickoff Hall of Fame! Republican Russell Fagg, who recently stepped down as a state judge to run for Senate, formally launched his campaign on Tuesday … in front of a crowd of eight people in the city of Bozeman. But here's what makes this story extra-awesome: Fagg then begged reporter Freddy Monares from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle to downplay how pathetic the event was.”

Flathead Memo: “That response tells voters that Fagg prefers to cover up his mistakes instead of fessing up to them, and underscores the Democrats’ charge that his ethics are an issue. At this point, I’m going to assume his poorly attended stunt on the courthouse steps was an early campaign blunder that won’t be repeated. But in addition to improving his advance operation, I recommend that he stop politicizing the courts by holding partisan political events on the courthouse steps or lawn.”



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