Bishop fights criminal allegations with new ad

"I approve this message because I'm proud of my service to this district, and for Randy Altschuler to say I'm a criminal just shows he'll do anything to get elected," he says.

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It comes in response to an ad released by Altschuler's campaign that accuses Bishop of "running a dishonest campaign" to "cover up a scandal — a big one." The scandal in question is one previously reported by Politico, that Bishop's campaign solicited campaign donations from a constituent who Bishop had helped using his congressional connections — and the law prohibits solicitation of campaign contributions if tied to such congressional help.

It's not clear, however, whether Altschuler ever overtly called Bishop "a criminal," though his campaign has called for an ethics investigation into the situation.

Bishop's ad is of the style usually reserved for when politicians want to make a personal connection to voters — it features the lawmaker himself, speaking straight to the camera, and imploring voters to go with their gut on the issue.

"You know me," Bishop says.

According to the last poll released by Bishop's campaign, the incumbent remains comfortably in the lead over Altschuler, but the 14-point lead he boasted in that poll is likely due more to the fact that it came from his campaign than any truth to a double-digit lead for the Democrat.

Bishop may be in the lead, but probably not by that much. Altschuler came within hundreds of votes of the Democrat in 2010, and redistricting has left the partisan makeup of the district largely the same, and it's likely to remain a toss-up till the end — unless the scandal begins to dampen his advantage in the district, as the ad seems to indicate is a concern of Bishop's.

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