Monthly Archives: September 2010

How in the Hell: MT Repub Has Week’s Worst Political Ad

Eighteen months ago the country was despondent over the worst President in history, a Republican, not to mention 16 years of a Republican Congress.  Now the geniuses in the White House have done such a splendid job that if you are running for office this fall and you are a Republican, all you have to do is say the word “Obama” in conjunction with your opponent, and you will do no worse than a dead heat in the polling, and will probably win your race.

Even in Montana’s state legislature it seems the national climate has poisoned the debate.  For example, career politician, oil man and out-of-stater Roy Brown is up on TV with a new ad (see below), in which he smiles and says that he has been going door-to-door and that voters are telling him they are concerned about “out of control spending” and “taxes.”

The national climate gives him an opportunity to say this and get away with it.  In reality, Roy is a compulsive liar.

First of all, Montana is the only state in America with a surplus.  Second of all, despite 25 years of Republican control, it was the Dems who came in and gave voters a tax rebate in 2007, the only significant tax rebate in the state’s history, $100 million back to the tax payers.  Third of all, the state of Montana has gotten rave reviews by every major news outlet in America including Fox and the Wall Street Journal, for keeping spending at a bare-bones minimum, something, incidentally, that Montana Republicans have never been cited for by the same news outlets.  And state editorials have similarly been praising fiscal discipline in Helena.

Finally, there is this unfortunate fact:  Roy lost his own district to Schweitzer by a mega-landslide.  It was 66-32 I believe, with libertarian Stan Jones getting the balance.  That’s right: Roy got roughly 1/3 of his own district’s voters  in his run for governor.  And Roy has represented this area for over a decade.

Not only that, but two big Billings Republicans–Denny Rehberg and state senator Ken Peterson–have been in the press lately saying that Schweitzer has done a great job in keeping spending down and managing state finances.  (You can even watch him say so on this Youtube clip from an October 25, 2009 TEA Party gathering.)

So who, exactly, are these voters Roy mentions in his TV advertisement, the ones supposedly telling him that they are concerned with “spending”?  I think this guy Roy Brown, who has a face shaped like a penis unfortunately, is a compulsive liar. Here’s this week’s worst political ad.

UPDATE: One reason there is so much attention on this race is that it is one of a few chances Dems have to pick up a seat in the Senate.  May be the only chance, anybody know?  Help Kendall Van Dyk with a donation here.

A Hard-Hitting Ad Appears in Whitefish

Here’s an ad from today’s Flathead Beacon, paid for by a community group called the North Valley PAC, exposing some alarming and deeply disturbing aspects of a right-wing candidate named Derek Skees whom I’ve written about before.

Skees is running for the open Whitefish legislative seat being vacated by Mike Jopek. It’s a competitive district and during the last several campaigns, Jopek himself got ruthless amounts of negative media dropped on him by various third party groups, calling him every name under the sun, most of it blatantly false.

And now Republicans are getting a little of their own medicine, except it appears that in this instance what is being said about their candidate is true.

The ad makes three simple claims.  The first claim is that Skees uses racist imagery. It cites the well-known incident last May in which Skees wore a Confederate flag in public–a symbol of racism–to the local Memorial Day parade of all places.

Skees then wrote an e-mail bragging about it, and it got around.  In the e-mail he says, among other things, that 1) he and his family enjoy wearing the confederate flag, 2) Lincoln had no right to meddle in the South’s affairs, 3) yes, slavery was bad, but 4) the South could do, constitutionally, what it wanted, including break away from the United States without interference from the Union [and thus, I presume, continue on with slavery].

Secondly, the ad claims that Skees’ campaign has connections to anti-Semitic activity because the Skees campaign treasurer was one of the major underwriters of a recent conference at which Red Beckman, the notorious anti-Semitic writer, was a headline speaker.

Indeed, Rick Breckenridge, the right-wing nutjub extraordinaire who is listed on Skees’ campaign website as his treasurer (and who was defeated by loyal Cowgirl reader Will Deschamps for the GOP Chair spot a few years back), was a platinum sponsor of the “Liberty Conference 2010.” This conference got on the radar of the Montana Human Rights Network and other national hate-watch groups, not only because of Beckman’s presence but also the presence of two or three other scary figures who dabble in white supremacy or other Far Right endeavors.

As for Beckman, he has written that during the Holocaust, Jews got their comeuppance because they “worship Satan” and are “the evil anti-Christ religion.”  Nice guy.  Also, the mailer doesn’t mention it, but a tipster tells me that there are photos and other proof that Skees was in attendance at the conference.

The third allegation, accompanied by an incriminating photo, is that Skees and his pals run around wearing masks of Guy Fawkes.

This is creepy.  Fawkes is the man who tried to assassinate every member of British Parliament in the 17th century and take over the government, and is now the favorite icon of the Far Right.  Skees has obviously forgotten (or does not care) that a few years ago an armed militia, Project 7, almost pulled off a plot to assassinate dozens of judges and other officials in Whitefish and Kalispell.

This Fawkes business also puts in perspective a police report from Whitefish a few weeks ago, where a frantic woman called the cops because a campaign worker (almost certainly from the Skees campaign) knocked on her door brandishing a side arm.

Skees is a questionable character in other respects.  He teaches a course on The 5000 Year Leap, a wacked-out treatise which to me is veiled white supremacy. He also goes around telling people that God told him to become a state legislator.

If God reads the Flathead Beacon, God will soon be distancing herself from Derek Skees.  As will mortals too.  I’d say from here on out, nobody of any repute will give him money, let alone open the door for him.  And the GOP will have to walk away or risk having to defend whatever Skees does or says. No doubt Skees will pull the old “they’re lying about me!” response, but I don’t see where the wiggle room is. You wear a confederate flag, you live with the consequences. You go to a conference where a guy like Beckman is a headliner, you own it (like Obama owning Jeremiah Wright. Remember that, Derek?).  You show up in a Mask of an anti-government assassin in a place that is especially sensitive to the implications the mask carries with it, you own that too.

Great work on the part of Steve Braun, the organizer of the North Valley group, who is showing that progressives in Montana aren’t afraid to take the gloves off and call a nut a nut.

And send a donation to Will Hammerquist, Skees’ opponent, who has been spending his time not consorting with extremists, but supporting Whitefish’s vital tourist economy and jobs by protecting two of it’s most important assets–Glacier Park and the Flathead River–from pollution from Canadian mining companies.

Racial Stereotyping of Obama Figure in Townsend Display

Racial stereotypes of Obama figure in Townsend, MT.If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does this picture say about those behind the display spotted in front of the Mustang Hotel in Townsend, MT.   Note the visual racial stereotyping of the Obama figure.  (It’s the pumpkin head spray-painted with black on the right.)  Note his broad, toothy smile, reminiscent of racist caricature of African-Americans from the segregationist era. Compare it to the smiling face of  the “Biden” figure on the left. Note that this is what we’re up against.

The Man That Must Defeat One of This Cycle’s Most Fringe Candidates

TEA Party Republican, or as he calls himself “RINO-tarian” Derek Skees is out passing out pamphlets on the 5000 Year Leap, promoting conspiracy theories, and other craziness. Main Street Democrat Will Hammerquist is focusing on the things the rest of us care about.

You don’t have to sit by and let Derek Skees make state laws that affect you. Donate to Will Hammerquist today.

Helena Right-wing Candidate on “Jihad” and the Right to “Bare[sic] Arms”

Really Helena?! This is the woman that you want to let the tell the school board what to teach children? A woman who calls herself “Lady Knight of the Gun” on what is the creepiest Myspace page I’ve ever seen, but can’t spell the right have a gun herself?

Kristi Allen-Gailushas, the infamous Helena candidate for the Montana legislature on the Republican ticket, via her Facebook page.

According to the Queen City News I am a controversial candidate and I made it on to WOOHOO!!! If you stand up for something and get attacked then you are doing something right – – as in standing up to the Helena School District. I also do not like terrorists calling for Jihad against our citizens and country and I will proudly support and defend our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bare[sic] arms!

Kristi Allen Gailushas wants the right to "bare arms."

Kristi Allen-Gailushas is seeking to defeat Mike Menahan for the Montana Legislature.

Leading Helena TEA Partier Has Been Living On Government Dime

Kristi Allen Gailushas doesn't want you to know that she used to be a government employee.Yeah, it turns out that a leading member of the anti-government TEA Party has been living off the taxpayer dime, receiving a paycheck from the Montana Department of Justice from 2002-2004.

Kristi Allen-Gailushas, also a Republican candidate for the Montana State House, self-proclaimed “Lady Knight of the Gun” and crusader against all things government was in fact a government employee, as well as an employee of the media she pretends to despise these days.  According to the Project Vote Smart website, Kristi Allen-Gailushas lists her employment history as follows:

Professional Experience:
Chief Executive Officer/Stay-at-home mom, Gailushas Household, 2003-present
Clerical, Department of Justice/Motor Vehicle Division, 2002-2004
Distribution, Independent Record, 1998-2001

And the screenshot.

Gailushas is seeking to defeat Mike Menahan for the Montana Legislature.  Contributions in this race are limited to $160.

The Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes to….

GOP Hypocrite of the Week Denny Rehberg. Welcome to the club fool.Dennis Rehberg. Not exactly a member of Congress Montana can be proud of.Rehberg is a hypocrite for so many reasons.…Dennis Rehberg, GOP incumbent to the U.S. House, who is pictured here cutting the ribbon this week for a Montana road project near Alzada that is being paid for using with the Recovery Act that Rehberg voted against, calling it “failed spending” and a “boondoggle,” among other things.  (Is he…no…grabbing the ribbon cutting scissors from Conrad Burns?)

Yet Rehberg raced to eastern Montana to take credit for a major project there funded by the Recovery Act, something he has done several times before.  The project will invest around $8.6 million into the highway  and local economy, no thanks to Rehberg.   As a spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party said:

Rehberg showing up at this event is the very definition of a poseur and is akin to lying to the people of Montana.

Hmmm… saying one thing and then doing another? I’m pretty sure there’s a word for that. Oh, yeah. There’s an award for it too. Congrats, Denny Rehberg, you’re the Montana Cowgirl Blog’s GOP Hypocrite of the Week.

Though this is the first time we have given Rehberg an award,  it is just one small example of Congressman Rehberg stomping on the fingers of rural Montana and our small business economy as he continually climbs the ladder to wealth and power, screaming about his own importance all the way.

UPDATE: It gets worse.

To see a list of past award winners, click here.

Billings Candidate Shows Us the Sure Fire Ways to Spot A Right-Wing Nut Ball

James Knox, right-winger from Billings, is that guy. The solo-lawn-chair-protester at a Planned Parenthood.One sure way to spot a right-wing nutter is to examine the inconsistencies which the nut ball will demonstrate when his words and his actions are compared.

For example,  though he is supposedly a champion of the right-winger’s cause, it looks like GOP candidate for the Montana legislature, James Knox (pictured above), can’t be  bothered to get up out of his lawn chair even when the rally cry comes for Oh, ye Christian Soldiers to Rise up to protest a Planned Parenthood.  When God sent you the call did he say Oh Sure Just Remain Seated? This behavior is a known nut ball tell.

The cooler full of snack cakes and Mountain Dew (probably just off camera to Knox’s right) is usually a clear indication that it is a TEA Party variety nutter one has enountered.  Like Kristi Allen-Gailushas, the Helena TEA Partier opposed to teaching kids about nutrition, Republican Candidate for State House James Knox’s persona appears to be that of an individual whose zeal for involving himself in your personal business exceeds only his zeal for the Frito Lay line of products.

Typical of nutters, Mr. Knox is protesting a Billings Planned Parenthood clinic alone, or anyway the only person he can get to join him is his wife.  A politician, though sleazy for doing so, joins in popular protest movements with others so as to win their votes.  A nutter protests whatever he can think up a misspelled sign about, and does so alone, even when it is proven ineffective.  This in spite of the obvious contradiction in opposing women’s bodily autonomy and medical privacy while at the same time being a TEA Partier, those folks who are always ranting about how MY FREEDUMBS ARE BEIN TAKED AWAY.

James Knox’s opponent Pam Ellis needs our help.  Send her a donation here today. It takes less than 5 minutes.

So Weak

After reading Pogie’s post over at Intelligent Discontent on what may be the worst editorial opinion ever, seriously, I ask for your views on whether this might also be a contender.  It is, at any rate, very very weak.

The Helena IR’s managing editor John Doran, making the unusual move of signing the editorial himself, writes:

Mid-term elections are in full swing, with each party united, and the caustic rhetoric isn’t exactly music to voters’ ears as they blast away from both sides of the aisle [emphasis added].

He sites as examples (1) the TEA Party’s hateful rhetoric and (2) the Montana GOP ‘s platform position in favor of imprisoning gay citizens of Montana.

The opinion piece offers no evidence of this kind of rhetoric from the Democratic Party, but that doesn’t stop Mr. Doran.  No, he doesn’t appear to notice the inherent flaw in his arguments when he makes the conclusion that:

the notion of “disagreeing without being disagreeable” is noticeably absent from all things political these days.

His argument suffers from his failure to provide evidence that Democrats are calling for anyone to be imprisoned or joking about others being beaten and left to die on the side of a fence.  We won’t even get into the fact that every other paper in America has already discovered that “united” is the last word one uses to describe the GOP this year.    It also suffers from another omission.

Mr. Doran writes that:

The Helena School District health curriculum debate has been fierce, with accusations of lying, manipulating facts and driving an agenda flying from both opponents and proponents.

But he need only ask any member of the School Board or School District staff from whom are they receiving the death threats  to determine that the threatening violent rhetoric comes squarely from those on one side of the issue, the opponents.

UPDATE: Pogie has a really interesting theory about this editorial.  Go read it.

Right-winger a No-Show at Debate

Derek Skees, Guy Fawkes, and unintentional irony on a couple of levels.

The citizens of House District 4 sat waiting to hear a debate of the issues between GOP Tea Tantrum-er Derek Skees and Democrat Will Hammerquist recently.  Skees never showed.

The views of Derek Skees, TEA Party Republican candidate for House District 4 in the Flathead, perhaps are not thought to stand up in the light of day.

Apparently he believes so himself, which would explain why he failed to show up on Wednesday night at a candidate’s forum in Columbia Falls.

It is a sad day when a candidate seeking public office to represent the views of area voters does not show up to a public forum to discuss his own views, in public, for the benefit of the citizens of the district he hopes to be elected to represent.  Perhaps he is unaware that HD4 goes all the way east on HW 40 to the Blue Moon.   There are plenty of HD4 voters reading the Hungry Horse News as well as the Whitefish Pilot, both of which showed up to report on Skees’ views to readers and voters, who were all instead snubbed.   Citizens made the effort and took the time to come out to listen, waiting for him to show up, and he blew them off.

Skees absence last night demonstrates he does not want to be held accountable on for his zealotry, his positions, or his future votes, if he were elected. Skees’ Democratic opponent Will Hammerquist spoke with citizens face to face on important local issues. Skees was nowhere to be seen. Apparently he doesn’t believe in stepping up to the plate and voicing his views in the light of day.

This is bad.  Smart money says Skees will get  wood-shedded by area GOP incumbents and told to at least feign moderate views before the upcoming Chamber of Commerce debate on September 30.