GOP Senate candidate uses actor to 'recreate' death threats in new ad


Wisconsin Republican Leah Vukmir has a new ad of a threatening voicemail she received. Except she didn't — it's a dramatization.

Wisconsin state Sen. Leah Vukmir, the candidate endorsed by the state GOP to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, is out with an ad that stoops to a new low.

"I know where you live and I'm going to come for you," says a voice on an answering machine. "You're going to die, and I'm going to be the one who does it."

There's just one small issue with the recording: it isn't real.

Instead, the Associated Press reports, Vukmir's campaign spokesman Mattias Gugel "said the voicemail in the ad was representative of multiple threats Vukmir had received, not any one in particular." Vukmir says she and other Wisconsin Republicans received threats during their crusade to curtail collective bargaining in 2011, including some posted to Craigslist.

But the ad certainly suggests that the recording is real.

"Ever have someone threaten your life for something you believe in? I have," says Vukmir, sitting at a darkened kitchen table with a gun resting next to her. "When Scott Walker and I beat the union bosses, cut billions in taxes and defunded Planned Parenthood, the left couldn’t take it."

Vukmir then vows to work with Trump to carry out the same extremist agenda.

"With President Trump, we can do the same in Washington," she says. "Standing on principle takes guts, I know what it takes."

Vukmir, who will face off against primary candidate Kevin Nicholson in August, is not a stranger to sleazy campaign tactics.

In May, she put out a press release claiming Baldwin, who was skeptical of Trump's CIA director nominee Gina Haspel, wanted to give terrorists "hugs and safe spaces." The press release depicted Vukmir and Haspel facing down Baldwin and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, above the words, "TEAM AMERICA vs. TEAM TERRORISTS."

Lawmakers, like all people, deserve to be safe from violence and those who would threaten to do them harm. But to dramatize threats and use them in campaign ads to attack "the left" is a cheap and inappropriate way to try to score points.