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 crooksandliars.com. 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.