No Love

In an email to supporters on September 9th, in which he talked about “starting to feel the chill of fall in the air” and questioned “Where did summer go?,” former Congressman Rick Hill said “In the coming weeks you’ll see my campaign name a running mate.” The entire email is posted below the fold.

That was over ten weeks ago.

Where’s the Lt. Gov?  What’s the problem?

Cowgirl tipsters say that Hill’s having trouble getting someone to agree to be his #2.  Word on the street is that Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund met with former Congressman Hill and rumor has it turned him down.  The gossip also says Hill supposedly had similar conversations with many state legislators, including: Sens. Jon Sonju and Bruce Tutvedt, Speaker Mike Milburn and Rep. Scott Reichner.

There could be several reasons why he’s running into problems.   It’s possible that Congressman Rehberg and his team, who are lined up behind another candidate, stopping potential candidates from signing on.  It could also be that no one wants to jump on with a candidate with a sordid history of political scandals and high unfavorability ratings.  The lack of an LG could mean that the party establishment and state legislators beginning to agree that this guy is unelectable, or that they know of another scandal about to drop that the rest of us don’t know about.

Regardless, it’s clear Hill wishes he had someone–anyone by now.

Rick Hill’s Email:

Taking the next steps

Where did summer go?  School’s in full swing, football’s taken over the weekends, and we’re starting to feel the chill of fall in the air.  September has always been a transition month, and in politics it’s traditionally been a month when the campaigning begins in earnest.

Though I’ve been on the road full time for months now, we’re in the process of ramping up our campaign and expanding our effort.  In the coming weeks you’ll see my campaign name a running mate, bring on additional campaign staff, and roll out new policy proposals to address all the problems we’ve identified and studied in the past few months.

I’m stepping up my effort—will you do the same?

This month, I’m asking all my supporters to do something that symbolizes our goal of victory in November 2012.  I’m asking you to contribute $20.12.

I know these type of emails usually ask for contributions in round-numbers, but this ask isn’t just for a contribution of money.  Your contribution of $20.12 also represents your commitment to seeing a Republican elected governor in Montana next year.  We haven’t had a Republican governor in Helena in nearly eight years, and look at the results: higher taxes, a huge expansion in government, high unemployment, and failing schools.  We simply cannot afford to keep going down this same road.

Fortunately, we couldn’t ask for a better contrast in this race.  I got the Otter Creek project rolling; their guy tried to kill it.  I oversaw a dramatic reduction in bureaucratic costs to employers in Montana; their guy has directly contributed to making our economic climate worse.  As a member of Congress I protected the rights of Montanans; their guy has repeatedly shirked his duty as Attorney General to stand up for Montanans against federal overreach on issues like Obamacare and the NLRB.

We’re going to have many opportunities over the next several months to fully discuss these stark differences.  You can help me start that communication with Montana voters by contributing $20.12 today.

The more I visit with people around Montana, the more energized I get.  We have so much potential for greatness, but for a number of reasons we’ve fallen short.  But these are problems we can fix, and by doing so we’re going to leave a better Montana for our kids.

Thanks in advance,


46 Comments on "No Love"

  1. Ostlund would make agood second banana. He is as phony as Rehberg.

  2. Your tipsters are often right Cowgirl but you need some better sources on this one. Hill has not offered the LT job to anyone yet. Anyone saying they were “offered” the position by Hill is being a bit disingenuous.

    Hill has asked a number of people if they are willing to be part of a group of people who would like to be “considered” for the LT position. As to be expected, a few have said no due to family or career issues but the majority have said yes. He is being heavily lobbied by people pushing their favorite LT recommendation and by individuals seeking the LT position themselves. He has narrowed the field down to a small handfull and is taking his time screening and interviewing them. He adapted to the changing political landscape this fall and adjusted his political strategy accordingly

    He wisely decided this fall to keep his powder dry and to hold back, take his time and wait for the most opportune moment to make the announcement. Bullock is being equally smart and doing the same.

    • Pogo, I’m having a hard time following your logic. You’re saying Hill was offering people a chance to be a part of a group of people who might be considered for the position of Lt. Governor? Did I miss something in Civics class where it was supposed to be a cafeteria style decision? What is the criteria these people have to meet? Is it how much money they can bring to the table? All Cowgirl was saying is that those who were ‘asked’ also said “thanks but no thanks” to such an offer. Seems reasonable to me.

      I wonder if you see the problem in the sentence “He is being heavily lobbied by people pushing their favorite LT recommendation…..” We are not a democracy of lobbyists. This choice should be reflective of the needs of the people of Montana, not the needs of special interest groups. Any governor-candidate who first petitions lobby interests for their opinion is someone who should not govern at all.

      The political landscape hasn’t changed. The people playing it right now are trying to change it. Adjusting his strategy sounds an awful lot like he can be bought.

      “Keep his powder dry”???? Really. Wow. There is no need to explain this hyperbole. I’ll politely just shake my head.

  3. I’m going to have to go with Cowgirl on this one Pogo! The republicans are jumping the sinking “Hill” campaign ship because they know he cannot beat Bullock. The message is clear this election, it all about the economy. Whether you are in Greece, Italy, or Montana, folks are interested in good paying jobs! Hill represents the old guard. Even the republicans can figure this out.

  4. Butte is a democratic town, but its also very Catholic. There is a certain quite aversion to a man who pretends to be so fond of family values while leaving his own family for a cocktail waitress. Its not just the affair–its the hypocrisy. He’s just not likable.

  5. I know of a three legged, one eyed dog named Lucky looking for a job, and I’m in the market too, call me 1-800-kissmya–.

  6. You know there is a story about the Jones brothers, they was rasied up north of Plentywood, One wanted to be a sailor, so he joined the Merchant Marines, the other went into politics, and he rose to be Lt. Governor, do you know what they have in common? They were never heard from ever again. The End.

  7. How about Palin for LG? She’ really ‘helped’ McCain, right? She’d be ‘purrfect’ to get the extremists to
    ‘come over’ and how’s that ‘reality show’ workin’ for her now? As former ‘half-gov’ she’d could offer ‘sage’ advice to Hill, right?

  8. Debs……I will explain it again.

    Cowgirl said “…Hills having trouble getting someone to agree to be his #2” and that Ostland “turned him down” implying Hill made an offer to these people to be his LT. Hill didn’t offer the job to anyone. She is misinformed. Hill asked some people if they would like to be considered. That’s a big difference. Hill has a great list of enthusiastic candidates he is talking to and reviewing. Cowgirl is just trying to twist information a bit to kick up a little dust. Your doing a bit of twisting your self.

    Citizens, legislators, friends and campaign supporters are offering suggestions to Hill and Bullock on who they believe they should pick to be their Lieutenant Governor picks. Smart candidates do not offer anyone a place on their ticket until they have been vetted and given careful consideration. You can’t do a through job of that unless the people being considered give their consent and cooperation. Both Hill and Bullock have a list of potential LT candidates and both are talking to these folks and gathering input about them. Both will announce when they think the time is right. They are both being smart.

    Snowgirl…..There are a lot of good Republicans in this race. So far, all the public opinion polls and fundraising numbers do not support your thesis.

    • So what yu are saying, Pogo, is you are cnfirming that Taylor Brown and Jon Ostlund told Hill that they would prefer not to be “considered”?

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | November 26, 2011 6:11 PM at 6:11 PM |

        taylor brown……BWHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAA! What a freakin’ BUFFOOON! “tell’em TAYLOR sencha”! If there’s a bigger loser in Montana, would someone please be kind enough to point that loser out to me! t. brown went freakin’ BANKRUPT with sen. cornhole burns. Nuff said. The dude has loser written all OVER him.

  9. Cowgirl also has a few facts wrong concerning the names listed.

  10. Declining even to be on the consideration list is much more embarrassing for Hill than declining to actually accept the LG position. Pogo’s defense, therefore, is actually making it worse for Hill.

  11. Yeah, Havre…..then I guess Bullock must really be be hurting too considering all the people who have declined to be considered for his LG. When Missoula Mayor John Engen turns you down you know you have problems.

  12. The proof is in the puddin” Pogo! But I never meant to imply that this race lacked good republicans. A true statesman (woman) always merits respect and gratitude for the very difficult job they attempt.

  13. Good luck to you and your candidate Snowgirl. We can work on finding more common ground after the heat of the Primary is over.

  14. Bullock is never going to pick John Engen or any other Missoula_Helena elected official as his LG. He is already those things himself. You pick someone different than you-especially geography-wise.

  15. He will pick a female from eastern MT.

    • If he picks a female, I hope it’s a woman.

      • Ryan Emmett Morton | November 28, 2011 4:26 PM at 4:26 PM |

        That’s an idiotic and unnecessary comment… breeder.

        • I will vigorously defend RE Morton’s right to embarrass himself by making such a half-assed retort.

          On a more serious note, I’m old school. I try never to write “female” when I mean “woman,” or “male” when I mean “man.” Not everyone agrees. So every now and then when I encounter the likes of “He will pick a female from eastern Montana,” I hit the keyboard and post something instead of choosing the more politic option of gnashing my teeth and lunging for glass of Wild Turkey.

          In my book, writing “female” instead of “woman” when woman was the stronger, more precise, word, is weak writing and demeaning to both men and women.

  16. I was thinking that Steve would be unlikely to pick a woman (he hasn’t asked my opinion obviously) because he is so progressive on women’s issues that this wouldn’t be as necessary as it might be with another candidate. If he did ask me, I’d advise him to pick a man with business experience.


  18. Havre Voter…..”Bullock is never going to pick John Engen or any other Missoula_Helena elected official as his LG. He is already those things himself. You pick someone different than you-especially geography-wise.”

    I agree that there are more geographically strategic areas from which Bullock should pick an LG, Haver Voter. So it kind of makes you wonder about Bullock’s political savy when he unsuccessfully wasted a lot of time courting a Missoula Democrat like Engen, who eventually turned him down, when he should have been talking to people in other areas of the state. Like I said, when Missoula Mayor John Engen turns you down you know you have problems.

    But then Engen isn’t the first to turn Bullock down for the LG position according to my tipsters.

  19. May I just ask one question, just for the hell of it, why do we have a LT. Governor? What does the LT. Governor do? How does a LT. Governor earn his or her keep? And are there not several other states that do not have a LT. Governor? In my opinion the LT. Governor is more of a ceremonial position, basically you cut the ribbons at new fish hatcherys and Wal Mart stores, and you are basically there in case the Governor dies, or gets indicted if it is a Republican or appointed to a federal job if it is a Democrat. Or basically you wait in the wings.

  20. Providing that the Lt. Governor belongs to the governor’s political party, and generally shares the governor’s views, his becoming governor provides political continuity should the elected governor die, resign, or given a constitutional heave-ho for some kind of serious mischief. He earns his keep by staying alive. Meanwhile, he can free-up time for the governor by attending funerals, cutting ribbons, and performing other ceremonial functions.

    Political continuity is why I opposed Schweitzer’s choice of a Republican, John Bohlinger, as his running mate.

    To put it succinctly, a Lt. Governor is intended to an insurance policy for political stability.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | November 29, 2011 9:25 PM at 9:25 PM |

      I just gotta ask. James, what do you find so objectionable about John Bohlinger? I think Bohlinger was a fine pick for Lt. Gov. because he’s a fine man. Hell, I would vote for him for guv if he ran. Schweitzer did an extraordinary thing selecting John. I loved it and still do.

  21. I don’t find anything objectionable about John Bohlinger, the man. He’s a fine fellow. But he’s a Republican. Or at least he was when Schweitzer tapped him as his running mate in 2004. I believe the governor and lt gov should belong to the same political party and generally share the same views.

    I know a lot of people who believe Schweitzer’s choice of Bohlinger was a masterstroke that won the election. I’m still not convinced that it mattered. People voted for Schweitzer. I’m certain he would have won in 2004 with an unashamedly liberal Democrat as his choice for lt gov.

    I don’t think there’s any distance at all between us on Bohlinger’s being a fine man.

  22. To James I have to agree that back in 2004 it would not have mattered who Schweitzer would have chosen as his Lt. Gov, he was going to win for several reasons. Now as far as Bohlinger being a Republican, I would say that given almost 7years in the Schweitzer administration, and given the way that he has been treated by the Republican party, Bohlinger is not a Republican today. He might have been back in 2004 but in 2011 I dont think so. Also the Republican party has gone to the far right since 2004. If you look back men like Bohlinger were at home in the Republican party ten years ago, they were business men who wanted a good business climate. But after 2007 with the Roger Koopman deal and Scott Sales deal, they drove all the moderate, to reasonable conservatives out of the party, and replaced them with ideologes. Several of those type of Republicans lost their seats in the Republican primary of 2008 which had few voters because most people were voting in the Democratic primary that year between Clinton and Obama. Case in point is a woman named Carrol Lambert from Broadus, she voted for the budget deal at the end of the 2007 session and was part of the group that went to the cabin near Helena to craft a deal, and she paid for it with her seat. Even though she is as conservative as they come, she was no longer conservative in the eyes of the Koopman gang. Regardless, I still dont see the need for a LT. Governor. I think it is a waste of taxpayer money, for a do nothing ceremonial position. Granted not all Lt. Governors are do nothing case in point is Bohlinger, he has headed a drought advisory committee, and a St. Mary’s pipeline working group. But still I do not see the need, Colorado does not have a Lt. Governor, and they seem to get by ok. I think we could as well, let the President of the State Senate be the next in line to be governor, my opinion.

  23. Schweitzer apparently has far greater confidence in and support for Bolinger than he does for Steve Bullock.

    Schweitzer was seriously looking at backing Bohlinger to run in the Governor’s race as a Democrat and even conducted a poll earlier this summer measuring Bohlinger running as Democrat against Hill in the General and Bullock in the Primary. It seems Schweitzer has serious doubts about Bullock’s abiltiy to defeat Hill in the 2012 General election.

    This begs the question: what are the ill feelings between Schweitzer and Bullock. Is Schweitzer trying to derail a potential competitor in a future race (US Senate?), doubts Bullock’s strength against Hill or just plain doesn’t like his AG. It didn’t add to the love when Bullock tried to derail Schweitzer’s Otter Creek coal lease deal.

    It will be interesting to see if Schweitzer gives anything more than just token support/love for Bullock in 2012.

  24. Now this begs a question, if Schweitzer is so against Bullock, then why is Bullock just the presumed nominee of the Democratic Party? Look at it the only other Democrat in that race right now is Sen. Larry Jent, and Jent probley does not have a prayer. Wanzenried has droped out, and all others that were interested droped out and Bullock got a star speaking time at the state convention back in September.

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