The onslaught of political advertising has created a stir over the past couple weeks. From out-of-state, special interest purchases to bad actors, people are getting a taste of what the 2018 election cycle will look like in North Dakota. The latest issue to raise eyebrows is what some are considering an attempt to have it both ways when it comes to protesters. The advertisement in question is Kelly Armstrong’s.
In his first advertisement, Kelly Armstrong touts his policy stances. One claim, in particular, has caught the attention of viewers. Using imagery that depicts protesters in masks as a clear call back to the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, a female narrator says, “Kelly made sure law enforcement has the tools they need to crack down on out-of-state protesters.”
Viewers who have reached out have said two things about this 10-second section of the ad. One was the questionable choice in imagery. Two was the fact that Armstrong’s law firm, Reichert Armstrong Law, actually defended a very high-profile out-of-state protester of DAPL, Shailene Woodley.
According to his legislative profile, Kelly Armstrong is a partner at Reichert Armstrong Law. The founder of the law firm is Alexander F. Reichert. He represented the actress in Morton County court. Woodley eventually plead guilty to disorderly conduct. She was arguably the highest profile protester who resides in Los Angeles, California, not North Dakota.
People are saying they don’t have an issue with an attorney defending a high-profile client and making money from the work. What they have taken issue with is the perceived hypocrisy of Armstrong’s ad. His firm was making money defending these out-of-state protesters and now when he is trying to shore up votes in a contested race, he is sounding tough on the topic.
The NDGOP nomination is up in the air. It will be decided this weekend in Grand Forks. Armstrong started running this ad a few weeks ago and is scheduled to have it on air through the convention. If he wins the nomination, he’ll be challenged in the primary from Campbell who has been up on t.v. for months.