A political advertisement that refers to Rep. Bunky Loucks’ 2008 drunken driving arrest began playing on a Casper radio station this week, drawing criticism from the Republican legislator and his Democratic challenger.

The 30-second spot, paid for by a political action committee that targets far-right Republicans, knocks Loucks for supporting ultrasounds for women seeking abortions while opposing legislation that made it a crime to refuse blood alcohol tests.

“Maybe that’s because Bunky has never been pregnant,” a man says in the advertisement. “But he has been arrested for drunk driving and convicted of resisting arrest. Bunky’s votes are all about Bunky.”

Loucks is running for a second term in House District 59, which includes Mills and parts of Casper. His opponent is Mike Gilmore, the Democrat who held the seat before him.

The DUI advertisement, and a second that criticized Loucks for missed votes, began playing Monday on KTWO Radio. They provoked a strong reaction from both candidates.

“I think it’s terrible,” Loucks said Tuesday. “It’s a personal attack, trying to smear me.”

Although the political action committee Citizens for a Better Wyoming bought the advertisement, Loucks suspects Gilmore’s involvement, despite denials from both the group and his opponent.

“I don’t know what to say,” Loucks said. “Mike knows the truth. God knows the truth.”

Gilmore said he only learned of the advertisement Monday after he received an angry phone call. He spoke with someone from the station Tuesday and was told a PAC was behind the radio spots.

The Democrat insisted he didn’t know anything about the advertisements before they began playing. He’d like them stopped but was told that’s not an option, since they were paid for by a third party.

Gilmore worried the negative ads would hurt him by angering voters.

“I was looking for an honest and fair fight,” he said. “And it’s still a fair fight. The truth is, what they said about Bunky is factual. But no way would I ever put that on the radio.”

Gilmore said he learned about Loucks’ DUI arrest through an anonymous letter he received during the 2010 campaign. He never used the information.

“It’s not the way I do politics,” he said. “But there are people out there who I have no control over who thought it needed to get out.”

KTWO General Manager Bob Price confirmed he spoke Tuesday with Gilmore. During the conversation, Gilmore indicated he didn’t agree with the PAC’s approach, Price said.

“We could not edit what the PAC had to say,” Price said. “The PAC is fully within its rights to say what it wanted to say.”

2008 arrest

Casper police arrested Loucks for drunken driving and interference in December 2008 – nearly two years before he won office in a Republican sweep of Natrona County legislative races.

He pleaded guilty to both charges in 2009, but was only convicted of interference. He received a deferred prosecution on the DUI charge, which was dismissed in 2010 after he completed probation, according to Natrona County Circuit Court records.

The advertisement doesn’t mention the DUI charge’s dismissal, and misstates the interference charge as “resisting arrest.”

Citizens for a Better Wyoming intended for the ad to highlight Loucks’ inconsistent voting record, said E. Jayne Mockler, the group’s chairwoman and a former Democratic legislator from Cheyenne. She questioned why Loucks supported legislation that would have required doctors to offer women an unnecessary medical procedure but opposed more intrusive DUI laws.

“If you run as a limited government candidate, we expect you to be consistent,” she said.

Mockler said the PAC was supporting moderate Democrats and Republicans in races against extreme conservatives. During the Republican primary for Senate District 30, it paid for advertisements supporting Sen. Charlie Scott, a moderate, against the more conservative Bob Brechtel. Scott won by a narrow margin.

The group did not coordinate with Gilmore before running the advertisement, Mockler said. She doesn’t expect the advertisements will hurt him, despite the candidate’s own concerns.

“We would like, as we go forward, to show more races where there is a glaring inconsistency,” she said. “You have to defend your record and be accountable for it.”

Loucks complained it was unfair to tie his arrest to his opposition to the DUI bill. He said he opposed the DUI legislation because it allowed authorities to forcibly take body fluids from suspects. He called ultrasounds before abortion information, rather than an intrusion.

After hearing about the advertisements, Loucks began seeking donations to pay for his own spots. They won’t be negative, he said.

Gilmore has his own radio ads that are slated to begin this week. He said in light of the controversy, he changed the tagline at the end.

“I’m Mike Gilmore,” he now says, “and this is the only ad that I’ve approved.”

Contact Joshua Wolfson at 307-266-0582 or at josh.wolfson@trib.com. Visit trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/wolfjammies to read his blog. Follow him on Twitter @joshwolfson.

(26) comments

Sassy
Sassy

E. Jayne Mockler-- you are an evil person. You also have a shaded past-- How about the comment you made while running for Mayor in Cheyenne- supporting the "Colorado River Compact" in 2008..

Remember this

"Future water resources are another need. She said Cheyenne has an opportunity to get access to its share of the Colorado River Compact: Colorado plans to build a pipeline from Green River to the Front Range."

Today this plan is called the "Million Water Project" Most folks in Wyoming are staunchly against this plan.

As usual Jayne you are way behind the curve on this one.. I hear your home town of Jackson calling you...better run

carlover
carlover

"let those who are without sin cast the first stone"

Who is John Galt
Who is John Galt

Let those who drive drunk cast the first vote...against stronger DUI laws!

ken
ken

I have been running political campaigns for over 30 years and can tell you without exception that attack ads do not run without candidate knowledge. He can say he did not approve it but he cannot say he did not know about it. There is no one out there Republican or Democrat who wants to put a liar in the legislature. Mike Glimore is not being honest with the press or the voters.
Ken Ball

Concerned_Citizen
Concerned_Citizen

I also don't want someone who can't follow the law, creating the law.

Sagegreen
Sagegreen

Let's find 90 individuals in this state who have never broken a law and create a legislative body. Can we start with you, Concerned Citizen?

Sassy
Sassy

Thanks Ken

lizbayert
lizbayert

Ken you calling Mike Gilmore a liar is casting the first stone.

Who is John Galt
Who is John Galt

Jayne is "evil"??? Oh pleeeez! Did she drive drunk and put your family at risk? NO...she just told the truth and I didn't think telling the truth was "dirty campaigning." Loucks kept it under the rug last time. Now Natrona County voters have to deicide if drunk driving legislators is what they want representing them.Well?

Sassy
Sassy

Come on John- anyone who intentionally smears someone in public is evil--

So Jayne is a saint??? I think not - She was a crappy legislator without any original thoughts or bills.

She is a Typical Liberal Loser- BTW did she find a real job or still milking the system??


Sagegreen
Sagegreen

Rep. Loucks's DUI is no secret to the people of Mills and Casper. He is very open and honest about it, and honesty is what I am looking for in a representative. You can pick apart anyone's voting record or personal life and mercilessly twist it to suit your own interests. That is indeed dirty campaigning, and I thought we were above that in Wyoming.

Manny
Manny

Isn't the point of the ad that Rep. Loucks votes for his interest, but against the interests of others? Doesn't the ad mention that he voted for unwanted, intrusive medical procedures on pregnant women? The article draws attention to that as well: "...questioned why Loucks supported legislation that would have required doctors to offer women an unnecessary medical procedure but opposed more intrusive DUI laws." I think the point is made -- Rep. Loucks doesn't have a problem with an intrusive government, especially when women are the subject.

Sagegreen
Sagegreen

Let's not make this a male/female thing. Rep. Loucks's vote has nothing to do with gender. Is has to do with providing information to the patient.

Manny
Manny

Not sure I can agree it's not a male/female thing. But can move on to other votes. What about his vote to require some grandparents to submit to monthly drug testing? Seniors on fixed incomes who suddenly have to take on the care of their grandchildren (parents killed in car accident perhaps), can receive a very small subsidy from the state. He voted to require them, and a few other special cases, to take monthly drug tests before receiving their check.

This is critical. The bill did not requiring all welfare recipients to submit -- only a very specific group in the POWERS program, which averages about 350 families per month, and 60-80% are grandparents.

His vote treats the poor grandparent on a fixed and limited budget as a criminal. They are actually doing the right thing -- taking in displaced, extended family children in their care. No probable cause. Their only crime, apparently, is being old and poor and taking in a child that possibly would have become a ward of the state.

He treats them as criminal, but votes to give the DUI suspect who fails a field sobriety test and has clear probable cause -- a pass. Sorry. This is plain wrong!

Diego
Diego

The legislation does not force women to undergo unwanted procedure, it forces the doctors to offer and explain it to the patients.... that is NOT intrusive. While I prefer that our legislators be honest and law-abiding citizens I hardly see fit to blast people with their past. NO one is perfect, and he clearly admitted his mistake and served his punishment.
I like that we have someone who is willing to take these types of hits because they want to protect the rights of ordinary citizens. Otherwise the laws would be railroading us all in to submission. I don't live in his district, but if I did 'Bunky' would have my vote.
Ryan Stepp

Panhead
Panhead

Diego, 'Bunky' did not serve his punishment he got preferental treatment. Read the article "he plead guilty to both charges in 2009 but was only convicted of interferance he recieved a deferred prosecution on the DUI charge, which was dropped in 2010 after he served his probation". That is not what the average person gets when arrested for DUI. It was dropped from his driving record, no fine, he didn't have to pay for high risk insurance for 3 years, his licence was not suspended and he did not have to call into daily reporting every day for random breath and pi$$ tests. He skated plain and simple.

Eric K
Eric K

First, knowing Mike Gilmore, I believe him when he says he was unaware that the ad was going to run. Mike is a Democrat, but very independent minded and I seriously doubt he was involved in this at all. To insinuate that he is a liar without a shred of hard evidence to support the accusation is irresponsible. Second, throw out the FACT of Louckes' arrest and focus only on his legislative record or lack thereof. In two years he has failed to sponsor a single bill. Further, his voting record is often times contradictory with his own stated beliefs. Mike on the other hand has a proven track record of putting his money where his mouth is and advocating for Wyoming contractors, outdoorsmen and the interests of its hard working citizens. But don't take my word for it, or anyone else's for that matter. I encourage any voter to listen to their interviews with the Star Tribune and review their respective legislative records (http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LSOWEB/Default.aspx) before casting a vote.

Eric K. Nelson

brendo
brendo

I am usually opposed to anything in support of a socialtwit. With that said I support both the ultrasound (intrusive? get real) and the DUI bill Bucky opposed. Rep Loucks is lying through his teeth when he says hip opposition is not clouded by his arrest.

Do not vote for Rep Bucky Loucks

blue collar
blue collar

It's a shame that this had to come to this. I know Mike very well & I can tell you with absolute certainty, that he would prefer to stick to the issues. He's a good decent man & just wants to continue the great work he started.....

ken
ken

I am guessing that from all the "Mike is a great guy and does not know anything about this nasty negative crap" that you Libs now have a tanker truck full of Koolaid. This is not how we do things in Wyo, Go back to Colorado or California or Chicago if this is how you want to play & take Mikey with you!

Manny
Manny

Yes, and stop bringing up a legislator's voting record. We don't want to know how they really vote. We want to leave our heads buried in the sand.

blue collar
blue collar

Well Ken this very news paper endorsed Gilmore & Anderson. I suppose Jim Anderson is a "secret liberal" too....Put down the Koolaid Ken! Who are you to criticize anyone when you have been a big failure in your attempts at office!

Sassy
Sassy

Gee Blue-why the hostilities . How many years of "public service" do you have?? I would venture to say - zip - zero- none.

Try walking in someone else shoes who has served the public in a often thank less career.

Remember those who serve- serve everyone

ken
ken

Dear Blue,
I have never run for office. Have another sip pal.

blue collar
blue collar

My mistake Ken. I guess it's easier to sit on the side lines & complain! I will at least admit this. Bunky is probably a decent man & father, however, that doesn't mean he is the best choice. But you, you scum bag, will sit on the side lines like a coward & scream pinko commie without any proof what so ever! JUST SAYIN!!

Brutus
Brutus

I personally know Bunky Loucks as a person not a friend. I wouldn't have him as a friend. I personally have seen him in action out at the bars and I can assure you his arrest was not the first time he was driving while under the influence. He just happened to get caught that time. Also his Womanizing is well known amongst those that truly know him. Ask his wife. He is a bigot and a creep. I am a staunch republican and I am embarrassed to say Bunky is in my Political Party. This guy is dishonest and I'm glad someone came forward to challenge him.

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