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Monday, October 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

AdWatch: Crapo touts help for Idaho vet

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s latest campaign commercial features an Idaho veteran, Dan Pugmire of Caldwell, and talks about how Crapo’s office helped him get needed care from the Veterans Administration. “This comes from a plain-spoken Idahoan, obviously not a script written by a PR firm,” said BSU professor emeritus Jim Weatherby. “It’s an example of the senator’s constituent service, which should be an important part of any member of Congress’s office operations.”

Weatherby said the ad likely is effective, “particularly when so much of the news these days in politics is so negative.”

Here’s a look at the ad, which is running statewide, including in the Spokane broadcast TV market:


“My name is Dan Pugmire. I’m from Caldwell, Idaho and I served in the United States Air Force. Mike Crapo loves his veterans, and he steps out of his box to help us. Way out of his box, ‘cause he had to to help me. I was not getting anywhere with the healthcare system. I was struggling. I couldn’t get no help or no relief. Sen. Mike Crapo, he stepped up and helped me. Within 7 days Mike Crapo had my surgery done for me. Thank you, Mike Crapo. Thank you very much.”


Asked what Crapo did to get Pugmire his surgery, Crapo’s campaign spokeswoman, Sarah Nelson, said, “The senator’s office is generally precluded from sharing specifics regarding the concerns that constituents bring to his office, but because Dan appeared in a campaign ad for the senator, we have been authorized to release some details regarding his case.”

Pugmire went to the Boise VA in February for treatment for a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, called Barrett’s Esophagus, which if left untreated can lead to a potentially fatal cancer of the esophagus, Nelson said. But doctors opted for more tests before ordering surgery; by May, Pugmire was unable to eat, was losing weight, and was continuing to vomit. His wife, June, contacted Crapo’s Boise office for help in prompting the VA to move ahead with surgery to relieve Pugmire’s condition. “As occasionally happens, once the VA learned that the Pugmires had reached out to Sen. Crapo’s office, the surgery was scheduled and performed within a week,” Nelson said. “The surgery cleaned out his esophagus and then tied it where it goes into his stomach.”

Pugmire is recovering well, Nelson reported, and has been putting on weight. He has been receiving follow-up care and is being tested regularly for cancer.

WATCH ONLINE: The ad can be seen online here.

This is Crapo’s third campaign TV commercial; it replaces an earlier spot that featured a lumber mill owner, and one before that focusing on Crapo’s concern about the national debt.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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