Attack ad sent out via Robocall - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Attack ad sent out via Robocall

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SANDPOINT, Idaho -

Sharon Burdick of Sandpoint stands in her front yard next to her "Shelby for Mayor" sign and can't believe what she's hearing. She listens to a recording of a political ad attacking the man she hopes will be the next mayor of Sandpoint. 

"He changed our zoning plan to allow high density, low income housing, proven to ruin towns by drawing in undesirable elements from the outside that turns towns into crime ridden trash heaps," the voice behind the attack ad says.

Burdick is taken back by the subtle racism as the ad continues, relating low income housing to the protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. It's nothing more than ignorance, she tells KHQ. 

The ad doesn't stop at racist remarks, it continues towards homophobia as it attacks mayoral candidate Shelby Rognstad's sexuality. 

"Our town needs a leader and protector, not a feminized male," the voice goes on to pronounced "Shelby" in an exaggerated falsetto. 

Shelby Rognstad tells KHQ the ad is incredibly offensive. He, as well as Burdick are surprised this king of "dirty politics" have found a place in the quiet town of Sandpoint. 

"It's a bit heartbreaking," says Rognstad. "I think it gives Sandpoint a bit of a black eye." 

Rognstad's main opponent in the mayoral race is Mose Dunkel. In a brief phone interview as he made his way out of town to a prior engagement he told KHQ he nor his campaign had anything to do with the ad and were just as disgusted with its message. 

"If it's a supporter of mine, I don't want that kind of support," says Dunkel. 

The organization that paid for the ad "Sandpoint United Against Shelby" is currently being investigated by both the city of Sandpoint and Rognstad's campaign. Rognstad says the group is in violation with Idaho's Sunshine law which requires any entity looking to influence politics register and be open to the public. He says the group never register and even a quick search by KHQ revealed no proof that the organization ever existed. 

"This has definitely been discouraging for my campaign and for Mose as well," says Rognstad. 

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