Fake KY senate candidate draws attention campaign finance reform - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fake KY senate candidate draws attention campaign finance reform

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It may be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history. Both Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell are shattering fund-raising records.

But some are not happy about all the cash rolling into the campaigns, and one special interest group is trying to do something about it.

The organization is using an unusual ad campaign to draw attention to its campaign to reform money in politics.

The TV ad begins with what appears to be a political candidate addressing the camera and introducing himself.

"Hi. I'm Gil Fulbright. The people who run my campaign, they've made this commercial. And I'm in it," he intones.

"This campaign is not about me. It's about crafting a version of me that will appeal to you," said Fulbright in the ad.

You may soon see the ad, with its unusual message, airing in Kentucky.

But Fulbright is a fake candidate - created by a Massachusetts-based special interest group called Represent Us.

The group - which says it's non-partisan - is running a phony candidate to draw attention to the money being raised and spent in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

"It's slated to be the most expensive race in the history of U.S. Senate elections. And, number two, the whole national media is paying attention to this race," said Represent Us Director Josh Silver.

Represent Us is pushing an anti-corruption bill designed to regulate contributions by lobbyists and special interest groups to political candidates.

"Satire, humor, works. It's a better way to show people how something is broken and how to fix it," said Silver.

University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton says he likes the campaign's novel approach.

Clayton says concern about the issue of campaign cash is legitimate.

"People are not just going to spend this amount of money and not want something in return," he said.

Ironically, Represent Us is also raising money - $50,000 - to begin airing Gil Fulbright ads and to stage personal appearances beginning at Fancy Farm.

He'll also crash campaign events for both Grimes and McConnell.

"He's going to be talking about how he's going to sell out the people of Kentucky in favor of his big money donors on issues of health care, net neutrality, taxation. You name it, Gil Fulbright will sell you out on it," said Silver.

One commercial ends with a twist on the usual disclaimer: "I'm Gil Fulbright. For the right price, I'll support any message."

One of the founders of 'Represent Us' is Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist who was jailed on corruptions charges; the same corruption he now, apparently, is trying to fight.

To learn about about Represent Us, click here.

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