Two Top Ravalli County Officials Condemn Latest Myers Vs Langton Radio Ad ‘This Campaign Has Plumbed the Depths Of Hell’
The top two elected officials in Ravalli County, County Attorney Bill Fulbright, and Sheriff Chris Hoffman, have both condemned the latest radio ad produced in the Robert Myers versus Jeffrey Langton for District Judge campaign.
Both officials contacted KGVO News after hearing the ad and expressed their opinions on the tenor and the content of the ad, voiced by a woman who said Judge Langton was responsible for her then 11 year-old child being impregnated by a man with whom Judge Langton placed in his custody.
Following is the transcript of that conversation with Fulbright and Hoffman.
FULBRIGHT ; "This is really a disappointing place we're at right now. I'm disappointed that victims are being dragged out into the public. These are people we've worked very hard on behalf of. We know who they are, of course, and to drag them back out in public in the name of a judicial race is just extremely disappointing. The fact that the biological mother of the victim is doing this is even more distressing to us."
HOFFMAN; "The facts of this case are public information from start to finish. One of the facts that doesn't come out i that ad is that the suspect was actually a family member as well, in fact, her grandfather.The only person who could have stepped up and protected these children is the person whose voice is on that ad. What that means to me and to my office, is that it left us and the county attorney's office, and the courts to step up in the aftermath of the mess that was made to protect those victims. Just so that I'm clear, this campaign has plumbed the depths of hell to come up with something like this."
Fulbright was asked if county officials had any first amendment right to ask the candidate to pull that specific ad.
FULBRIGHT; "I don't think we have the ability to go to a candidate and ask them to pull a particular ad. There are mechanisms in the state for that, if we can review for any criminal conduct or that sort of thing, and I'm not alleging a crime here. It is a very, very terrible situation, and then you twist it to the point where what you're presenting isn't even close to truthful.The ad makes a statement about how these children were taken away by the judge and given to this person. In fact, that person, it's no secret, was the grandparent with who the mother in this ad had left these children for months, prior to the grandparents applying for guardianship. In the process of that guardianship which the mother opposed.
That's where the mom could have raised things about his past history. There was no Child Protective Services involvement because they don't get involved in a guardianship between private individuals. There's no Sheriff's Department involvement, there's no County Attorney's involvement. That's between two people arguing in front of a judge as to who should be the guardian of a child. So, what's really distasteful is to have the very person who should have spoken up in that guardianship proceeding, saying 'I know some history here that you need to know,Judge. It's painful but I know it'. For her to now say somehow the judge ripped the children from her very grasp and placed them with this person."
HOFFMAN; "I think it's important to say that regardless of the outcome of the race, this ad and the ads that have preceded it shock the conscience, and I don't think either myself or Bill (Fulbright) are taking sides in this matter. What it comes down to is the difference between right and wrong, and this ad in particular but all of the ads have been over the top. Traditionally, the Bitterroot has not responded to this kind of campaign strategy. We all understand that campaigns are campaigns, but this campaign is unhinged."