U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon, who is running as a Republican for office in Arizona to defeat incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, is making waves with his provocative, bold TV campaign spots. The left-leaning big tech companies don’t like them, however, and so both Yahoo and Facebook have pushed back, with Yahoo fully censoring one. While broadcast TV is generally required by law to run political ads (FCC rules state that if a station allows state and local political candidates to run ads, it must accept them from all candidates), big tech is not. Yahoo refused to run an ad of his reportedly because it includes the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon.”
Stephen Puetz, one of Lamon’s campaign staffers, told the Arizona Sun Times the ads are making a difference in getting Lamon’s name known, since polls show his support is increasing. Lamon is running against Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in the Republican primary, who has considerable name recognition, while another candidate, Blake Masters, is making significant ground due to funding from his boss, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.
Puetz said what makes Lamon stand out from the pack is “he’s willing to work harder than anyone,” which is a reflection of his background and upbringing. He grew up as a “humble farm boy” in Alabama and served as an Army Airborne Officer. He became a Fortune 500 executive and founded a solar energy company in Arizona, DEPCOM Power, which became the sixth largest solar contractor in the country. He sold it in 2021.
On the campaign trail, Puetz said Lamon puts in 1,000 to 1,500 miles per week on his truck, driving around the state speaking to Arizonans. He has made border security a key issue, and was endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council. Other endorsements include the Arizona Conference of Police & Sheriffs, the Arizona Police Association, the National Association of Police Associations, and CPAC.
Yahoo said in its response rejecting Lamon’s ad that it was “overly inflammatory and offensive.” The company said if “Let’s Go Brandon” was excluded from the ad, they would run it, but Lamon refused. The clever ad, which was accompanied by photos primarily of the border, President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, said, “If you are p***** off at the direction of our country, let’s go. If you’re ready to secure the border and stop the invasion, let’s go. You want to keep corrupt politicians from rigging elections, let’s go. Let’s take the fight to Joe Biden and show him We the People put America first. The time is now,” A group of people chant “Let’s go Brandon” at the end.
Lamon released a video on Twitter addressing the censorship, stating, “Once again, the Big Tech Oligarchs are interfering in elections and censoring conservatives. Time to end this madness. #LetsGoBrandon” Facebook almost blocked his ads, delaying approval for awhile.
🚨RIDICULOUS: Yahoo is refusing to run my Let's Go Brandon ad on their platforms due to content that is considered “inflammatory” or “offensive.” Once again, the Big Tech Oligarchs are interfering in elections and censoring conservatives. Time to end this madness. #LetsGoBrandon pic.twitter.com/NIRaA7ma8I
— Jim Lamon (@jim_lamon) January 13, 2022
His Super Bowl ad also stirred up controversy due to guns. It featured Lamon on a Wild West set, taking on “the D.C. Gang.” Actors play “Old Joe” as Joe Biden, “Shifty Kelly” as Kelly, and “Crazyface Pelosi” as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-12-Calif.). Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd make appearances. Lamon shoots at the three Democrats, knocking their guns and knives out of their hands (without injuring them), forcing them to flee.
His message for Easter reminded people that God is in control. “We must never forget, even in our darkest days, almighty God is in charge. He has a plan. With faith, he will show us the way.” Other provocative ads include “Mad as Hell” and “Line in the Sand,” where he declares, “If you mess with a rattlesnake, you’ll regret it.”
Lamon was one of Arizona’s 11 Republican electors who chose former President Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden in a sort of alternative slate in December 2020. The Democrat-controlled January 6 House committee subpoenaed two of Arizona’s electors, Nancy Cottle and Loraine Pellegrino of the Arizona Federation of Republican Women, on January 28 along with 12 other Republican electors from six other states.
Up until recently, Brnovich held a significant lead in the polls, but the race began tightening in the last couple of months. Political pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights dismissed Lamon in February as desperate, “with his 5 percent in the polling to zero.”
But that has all changed, and Puetz believes the ads combined with Lamon’s relentless campaigning across the state are key factors. A HighGround survey from early April showed him neck and neck with Brnovich at 10 percent each, and Masters trailing at 6 percent. A Data Orbital poll also from early April showed Lamon surging with 26 percent, Brnovich at 20 percent, and Masters at 10 percent. A survey in late April from the Trafalgar Group put Lamon at 24 percent, Brnovich at 23 percent, and Masters at 19 percent. Another poll in late April from McLaughlin & Associates, provided to The Sun Times from the campaign, showed him at 25%, Brnovich at 22%, and Masters at 16%. Lamon’s own internal poll conducted in early April showed him at 32 percent, Brnovich at 20 percent, and Masters lagging with 9 percent.There are two other candidates in the primary who have been unable to get traction, Major General Michael McGuire and Arizona corporation commissioner Justin Olson.
Unlike Masters, who directs much of his attacks in campaign ads at Brnovich, Lamon has kept his ads focused on Kelly’s policies, calling him a “bald-faced liar” in one campaign spot. According to FEC filings, Lamon is spending over a million a month on the campaign.
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