Political Attacks on Stephen Lynch Now Coming from the Sky

An airplane banner smears him as a Montreal hockey fan...

Updated 3:37 p.m.: When candidates make a pledge asking third party groups not to flood television airwaves with advertising on their behalf, flush third parties are often left wondering where to pour the money they’d like to commit to electing (or, more relevantly, defeating) a politician. Thus the most odd form of campaign advertising we’ve seen this side of the 21st century:


Image via Boston Reddit

Yep, as noted by a photo posted on Boston’s Reddit, as well as several people on Twitter, a plane spent Wednesday flying around Boston, trailed by a sign that reads, “Steve Lynch Says: “GO HABS! AND GO CANADIAN DIRTY OIL!” We’re now smearing our politicians by accusing them of rooting for Canadian hockey teams… from the sky.

The sign comes to a horizon near you thanks to billionaire Tom Steyer, his spokesman confirms. Steyer sent Lynch a letter this month telling him that unless he reversed his support for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship oil from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in Texas, Steyer would unleash an “aggressive education campaign”  targeting him as he competes in the primary fight against Rep. Ed Markey. Both Lynch and Markey have committed to a pledge on the model of Elizabeth Warren’s and Scott Brown’s that they won’t permit third-party ads on their behalf. In the Warren-Brown race, PACs tried to circumvent that rule by spending their money on mailers and other non-televised ads.

Both Markey and Lynch have condemned Steyer’s tactics, and already both agree that Steyer’s ads have violated their pledge. But Steyer said last week that he would go ahead with his campaign anyway. Even before the airplane, he’s found creative ways to spend his money. According to The Hill, a D.C. based newspaper:

Steyer’s campaign entails a group of RV trucks with digital billboards that feature a video of Lynch morphing into former President George W. Bush and back again. It highlights Lynch’s anti-abortion-rights position, his vote against Obama’s healthcare reform law and his support for construction of the Keystone pipeline.

The RVs will be driving through the densest Democratic voting precincts in Massachusetts over the next three days, including those with the highest percentage of voter turnout for President Obama in 2012.

Steyer’s public relations team sent out a press release about the plane and its role in their campaign with more details:

Before a matchup with the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens fans said merci to Stephen Lynch with a plane banner flying over TD Garden. Prior to the game, the plane banner also circled Faneuil Hall, City Hall, South Boston and the Prudential Center, as well as the following universities: Emerson College, Northeastern University, MIT and Harvard.

For those who missed the banner today, it will appear across the Boston metropolitan area through Friday, March 29, concluding at TD Garden for the Hawks vs. Celtics game.

Bottle up a rich man’s money and the pressure valves will release in really odd places like, say, the skies over Boston.

This post was updated from an earlier version to reflect Steyer’s role in funding the sign.