The Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes To…

Essmann Embarrasses Montana

….State Senator Jeff Essmann (R-Billings)

Essmann Embarrasses Montana

Very unfortunate incident in Billings two days ago.

Like most Republicans, Jeff Essmann, State Senator from Billings, religiously professes to be concerned about jobs, taxes, spending and the economy–unless, heaven forbid, it would require him to be supportive of a Democratic governor.  This week Schweitzer began a series of TV commercials aimed at recruiting businesses into Montana, by advertising Montana’s excellent tax structure, business climate and workforce, and our enviable budget surplus, all of which rank among the nation’s best.

Reporting on the Schweitzer’s unveiling of the promotion campaign, the Billings Gazette quoted Essmann responding to Schweitzer’s efforts:

“Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, who has encouraged the state to recruit businesses, called Schweitzer a “shameless self promoter” for appearing in the ads.”

Later in the article, Essmann is quoted as saying that Schweitzer

“blew a billion dollar surplus” and has “grown government”.

Strangely, Denny Rehberg and Newt Gingrich have both been in the press lately saying the opposite, praising Schweitzer for his fiscal restraint and keeping government as small as possible. So it’s not clear what Essmann is talking about.

But far more troubling than the standard Republican-state-legislator-lies is the fact that a senator from Montana’s largest city has decided to deal with the Governor’s effort to recruit business by insulting him and ridiculing him an lying about him.  And it should be noted that Essman’s quotes have now appeared in papers and business trade journals around America, in articles that were intended to promote the state. That’s Jeff Essman’s pitch to businessman around America. “Don’t listen to Schweitzer when he tells you what a strong business climate we have in Montana.  He’s a shameless self promoter.”

Good job. The local Chamber of Commerce should swiftly and immediately tell Mr. Essmann to shut his mouth, and retract his comments in the interest of state business development.


24 Comments on "The Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes To…"

  1. That’s a big no-no. Its like criticizing a President when he’s overseas. This guy should apologize, in short order.

  2. I sure thought it was the House Taxation Committee that sets the revenue estimate in HJ2. The Governor proposes a budget, then once House Tax determine how much money there is going to be, it goes to Appropriations to determine just how it gets spent. The increase in spending in the Governor’s initial proposed budget was more than cut in half by the Legislature. So just who should get the credit for reigning in spending?

    This governor got incredibly lucky with the approximate $150 million of extra income from Otter Creek, Fed funds for teachers and a few other unanticipated revenue streams. Without those, the State might not be in the financial shape it currently is.

    I’ve been in meetings where public utilities have stated that given equal conditions for building wind farms, they would choose Wyoming over Montana due to a more favorable business environment. It doesn’t take a lot of research to see that the Montana business environment has lead to far more coal production in Wyoming and far more oil production in North Dakota.

    Keep up the good work, Governor. Montana is headed towards a service economy of gardeners and pool boys servicing the wealthy out-of-staters that can afford to live here and not worry about making a decent wage.

  3. Mike you should probably pick one story and stick with it. Are you saying that since you were on the taxation committee that you deserve personal credit for our great tax structure and surplus…or are you saying that our tax structure is horrible and the surplus was all a lucky break?

    • I don’t believe I said either of those. But of the two things you are trying to attach to me, the second would be closer than the first. I wouldn’t call our tax structure “horrible” as you put it – but it seems there might be some room for improvement. I’ll let you decide if the extra unexpected revenue the State received was luck or not.

  4. Nice work, Mr. Essmann. Another repug so eager for the Democrats to fail that he’ll stand in the way of promoting our state to new business. When the ad campaign fails to draw much interest in locating in Montana, he can say it was because of Schweitzer’s “self promotion” and “lies” about the state budget.

  5. Ok, question to you…

    Was there a large surplus for the 2005 Legislative session? A surplus that would have been created by the policies of the previous administration/legislatures?

    Does the State of Montana currently employ significantly more workers than it did under the two previous GOP administrations?

    Is Senator Essmann the first and/or only person to refer to the Governor as a “shameless self promoter” or something similar??

    While you may not agree with Essmann’s attitude or presentation of the facts… I don’t think you can dispute that they are indeed facts.

    • I assume you can count, so that would be “questions”.

      1) Yes. 1a) And you just assume this is a good thing. Was the government doing it’s function? No, not really. That’s been pointed out by the legislature, and the courts. It’s easy for the government to take our money (yours, mine and everyone else’s) and hoard it. What’s surprising is that you think that’s actually a good thing.

      2) Yes. Growing and profitable enterprises often do employ more people. Most people, not insane, see that as a good thing. Get to the point. Or is it that you don’t have one?

      3) No, he’s not. You need to follow the Lie Monkey more (that would be Roger Koopman. Are you Roger Koopman? You’re certainly stupid enough to be.)

      Facts. You don’t understand them. Perhaps you should leave that to the adults in the room.

  6. The discussion about the surplus is neither here nor there, though the size of the surplus did grow several fold under Schweitzer.

    Under no circumstances should a state senator use such an occasion to belittle the Governor. This is an effort to recruit businesses to the state by showcasing the favorable fiscal situation.

  7. I don’t believe for a moment that the governor was in fact promoting jobs. He might have said something to that effect for a moment but since he’s been in office he’s done exactly the opposite. I know, I’m a small business owner and I’ve suffered since he took office enough so that it caused me to change careers…..

    “blew a billion dollar surplus” and has “grown government”. is in fact a fact. but hey, wouldn’t want to confuse the situation here with facts. facts are overrated right?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | October 22, 2010 9:10 PM at 9:10 PM |

      Oh GOD, nosehairs! I really must call bullshit before Wulfgar takes your ass apart for you! Look, dude, you spouted, and now you’re ’bout to be OUTED! What, pray tell, was you “small bidnes”, and just HOW did Schweitzer affect it? Buh bye, loser. Better chose a different handle next time, nosehairs, ’cause you REALLY are a moron, dude! If ANYthing the Governor of Montana did affected your “small bidness” and put you out of bidness, you were a LOSER to begin with! So, your turn, loser. Put up or shut up!……or at least get a different handle to hide your stupdity! I await breathlessly your response, nosehairs!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | October 22, 2010 9:29 PM at 9:29 PM |

        p.s. And, nosehairs, you’re fond of calling others cowards on this forum, especially those who post anonymously. Well, dude, name’s right there at the top, bucko! Now, YOUR turn! What was your small bidness and HOW did Schweitzer affect it? Oopsie! Is that you tail I see running off in the distance???? Kinda sad, like this Essman dude himself!

  8. Montana Democratic hypocrite of the week award should go to the person(s) known as “Montana Cowgirl” who preach and prattle and get all indignant about perceived misogyny but exhibit the same lack of standards in reverse when talking about machismo. Your attack this week on Roy Brown was disgusting.

  9. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | October 23, 2010 8:47 AM at 8:47 AM |

    Hey, the chic’s macha, dude! What you got against a chic with cojones? It’s a Latin thing, Tokarski. Ever heard of Punto de honor, or Pundonor in ingles? In other words, you mess with me, I MESS with you! Oily Roy and his fellow rightwing nutjobs are big into portrayind Dems as touchy-feely wussies and themselves as four-wheelin’, gun-totin’, timber-cuttin’, minin’ HE men! Well, he just got a taste of Pundonor! REVENGE! And it worked quite well. I doubt Oil Roy will be questioning the manhood of any Dem any time soon!

  10. This guy looks more like a Hippo-crite.

  11. Remember it was under Schweitzer’s command when the elderly antique dealers in Whitefish had their business raided in Gestapo-type fashion because they had some old (inoperable…I saw them) gambing tables and the like. That’s being business friendly? Our governor did nothing until the cameras were turned on. Then and only then did he say something. The most dangerous three feet in Montana is between a camera lens and Brian Schweitzer.

    One of Schweitzer’s people need to tell him that business people look at how a state and local government treats the smallest business owner should they decide to move a business. The current administration does not treat the lowliest business owner with any respect. It just adds more regulation on them. If they don’t comply, the state litigates.

    What happened to the billion dollars in the bank Schweitzer was bragging about in 2007? Now we are down to one fourth of that and have an expected shortage up to 500 million by the end of next year. Business people look at these things.

    It’s a shame Schweitzer just doens’t get it. His run is done. Watching Schweitzer trying to groom Will Hammerquist to be his lapdog while Will was in Helena made me ill to my stomach and Will ate it up as if he were the annointed one. Sorry Will, but you hitched your wagon to the wrong person. I wish you would man-up and be your own man. All you learned was how to use the government to hurt people.

    Schweitzer’s claim that government’s job is to “educate, medicate, and incarcerate is not true. All I have witnessed is his various agencies “administrate, regulate and litigate”. Just this last week he huffed about taking the legislature to the Supreme Court to hear a matter that could easily be negotiated. Schweitzer is such a disappointment. His appearance on ads is sickening and detracts from what this state truly stands for. I hate to admit it, but Essman was right. Schweitzer is dangerous to civil liberties. Rancher, in deed! He’s all hat and no cattle. Beware if you cross him because he will dispatch his minions after you. He can because he can not because of any right. He is power hungry. Two years and a couple of months and we can kiss that cowboy goodbye. It can not happen soon enough.

    • If only I had a nickel for every time a Republican wrote in to this blog to say “I used to be a Democrat but…”

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | October 25, 2010 9:01 AM at 9:01 AM |

      Hyperbolate, flatulate, reguritate, and hyperVENTilate! Wow, Oncealiar, you got every little Pubbie talking point down pat! Great job! You hate Scwheitzer. We get that. But hyperventilating simply makes yoiu look like a weak, whimp, whiner! It’s YOU who needs to man up, little fella! This is politics! To play the victim is silly. Hey, you’re an admitted Pubbie! Must the gubmint really bale your ass out for YOUR bad business decisions? BTW, just WHAT is your small bidness, dude? And HOW did Schweitzer negatively AFFECT it? You’re a pathetic sap.

      But I must know, WHO and WHAT “minions” are you TALKING about? And PUHHHLEASE, enlighten us! What DOES “the state stand for”? Oh, and Stillaliar, just WHO are the small business Pubbie governors that you so admire? Judy mars and the garbage business she married into? Marky Ratco who spent ALL his time employed by state gubmint? (Until Enron??) Who? Who WERE these marvelous governors that shine compared to Schweitzer, a guy who really IS a savvy businessman? Inquiring minds wanna know. The endless Pubbie lies just ain’t true because you morons keep repeating the same old Pubbie talking points! Don’t you guys EVER come up with anything fresh? Actually, the most DANGERSOUS three feet is between a Pubbie and his talking point!

  12. Onceademocrat, I fully respect your wish not to vote for Schweitzer when he doesn’t run for Governor again, and I will give it all due consideration.

  13. I cut this out of a newspaper article earlier this week: … Montana is relatively low on the totem pole when it comes to state and local tax burden, and is rated by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan conservative group, as having a very good tax climate for business.
    I had wondered for some time how our tax structure impacted business. The answer would seem to be not that much. Anyway, maybe regulations or something else has an impact on why businesses are hesitant to come to Montana, if, in fact, they are. But according to the article I lifted this sentence from, the Republicans saying our taxes are the culprit doesn’t seem to hold much water.
    That said, I think they are losing credibility with the no party guys by saying one thing and doing another. I heard people commenting at coffee this morning about the Reps taking the health care plan from the state but deciding that the public shouldn’t get that option. At this rate it won’t take some voters long to decide how to vote in the next election.

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