Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Fine Jurist

Judge Richard Cebull, the federal judge in Billings who was “strongly recommended” by Max Baucus and Conrad Burns in 2002, was busted yesterday for sending a racist email to his friends.

The email contained a joke about Obama, the implication of which is that Obama’s mother got knocked up with the future president after attending a party at which many black men were present. These attendees were such animals, the punchline goes, that Obama’s mother tells her son “just consider yourself lucky you don’t bark.”

The peachiest part of this story is Cebull’s bungled but hilarious response when questioned by a reporter. Cebull says yes,

“the e-mail is racist, but I didn’t send it as racist….I did not forward it because of the racist nature of it. Although it is racist, I’m not that way, never have been.”

And the creepiest part of the story is the original email from Cebull, which he sent when he sent along the racist joke to his trailer park acquaintances.

“Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.”

“Touching” is not how most people would describe the joke, unless perhaps you are a judge who also moonlights for the KKK on nights and weekends.

And, as is often the case in these situations, Richard Cebull (perhaps he goes by “Dick”) did not apologize for sending the email. Rather, he more narrowly apologized “to anyone that was offended.”

Rick Hill Adopts Montana Democratic Party Mission Statement

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Rick Hill recently announced that his campaign vision will be: “Moving Montana Forward.”  If that sounds familiar, that’s because it has been the slogan of the Montana Democratic Party for many years.

Rick Hill sent an email out to supporters announcing “Moving Montana Forward” as his vision statement. He put out a video with that title and theme.  A visit to Rick Hill’s website also greets visitors with the words.

You’d think a man of Hill’s stature would be less clueless.  Lifting the the Democratic Party’s exact messages is not going to help him win a GOP primary nomination–especially in a primary where the attacks aimed at Hill come mostly from the right.

From 2004-2008, Moving Montana Forward was the official mission statement and slogan of the Montana Democratic Party.   The Democrats included this message in everything they put out–including a bazillion pieces mail, radio spots, and television ads.   “Moving Montana Forward” was the theme of the 2011 Democratic Party Convention.  The largest and most organized local county Democratic central committees use the mission statement on their websites–including the local dems in Hill’s own turf.

ANALYSIS: What’s Behind Rick Hill’s Burning Pants

Republican Rick Hill is trying to tell folks in Eastern Montana that he’s a “Montana native” – despite being born, raised and schooled out-of-state.  The deception was attempted at a Lincoln Day Dinner where Hill and the other GOP candidates spoke last week.  

There are two ways to explain Hill’s behavior here.  First, Hill could be lying because he thinks that’s the only way he stands a chance against Bullock.

Governor Schweitzer hit on this recently – pointing to one of the many reasons why Bullock is a stronger candidate  than the GOPers:

“They’re just going to have a real tough time beating Bullock.  Not only is he a great guy, he’s got a young and beautiful family . . . been a spectacular attorney general.  He’s born and bred in Montana.  A lot of these cats that are running right now, they’re born someplace else, they’re interlopers. They just show up, they say, ‘It’s a small state, maybe I can go be governor of it.’…Bullock has got deep roots, he’s a smart guy.  If you’ve got a $100 in your pocket, you ought to bet on Bullock.  Bullock’s going to win this race.”

The only other explanation is that dishonesty and deception is so deeply ingrained in Hill’s imbecilic nature that he just can’t help himself. After all, neither Jim Lynch nor Ken Miller lied about their out-of-state roots in the Sidney Herald article reporting on their appearance.  Nor is this the first time Rick Hill has been caught trying to hide the truth about his past.

He tried to scrub from his Wikipedia page the fact that he left his wife and young kids for a mermaid/cocktail waitress. When his family showed up to beg him to come home he laughed in their faces.  He described this behavior in an email to Republicans assingle parenthood.”  If Rick Hill will lie about his own background, no one should be surprised when he lies about jobs, schools and revenue.

Today’s Must Read Political Blog Post

Roberts speaking to those under him in his multi-level marketing companyToday’s must read political blog post is up at The Flathead Memo.  James Conner reports that the man running to replace Derek Skees for Whitefish’s only Legislative seat “may prove to be equally colorful.”  You’ll want to read it now.

There are a couple of additional items you’ll want to know about Dr. Rollan Roberts II. Much of the credit for uncovering this information goes to Ed McGrew of Informed Whitefish, who is a first-rate opposition researcher.

First, Roberts is big into multi-level marketing.  A few of his multi-level marketing companies have already been uncovered, including one that involves algae.   Yet another appears to be going for a Pampered Chef-like approach to arms trading.   Still another sells the “opportunity” to market an immune potion for the rock bottom price of only $129.00 per pint ($1,031.00 per gallon.)

Roberts claims:

No other natural product comes anywhere close to supporting optimal health than AID.  Given the premium, science-backed and clinically-proven ingredients used, AID is priced as low as possible to make it affordable for everyone.

Anyway, it must surely work like magic. However, on another page of the same sight, Roberts says:

Because of the power and nature of AID, neither we, nor any of our Partners, are able to make or imply any claims that it cures, treats, or prevents any illness or disease.

Roberts career as a motivational speaker appears to consist mainly of babblative exhortations to those in the levels under him in his marketing pyramids.  Roberts claims to be such an expert in this field that he served on the board of the Multi-Level Marketing International Association. A list of past and present members of the association board does not include his name, however.

Roberts’ speeches make him sound like Derek Skees on steroids.  Here’s an excerpt from a speech Dr. Rollan Roberts II gave on “freedom.” The entire original Youtube video can be seen here.

Mr. Conner’s post reveals how Roberts profits from the medical debt of others. But since the posting, the website for his medical debt collection company has been taken down.

This isn’t surprising.  Recall that after it was revealed by a letter to the editor in the Billings Gazette that State Senator Jason Priest was in the business of auctioning off medical debt to the highest bidder, Priest took his site down too.  Though of course it’s hard to scrub everything from the internet. Evidence of Roberts’ and Priest’s companies is still out there.   Like Priest, Roberts is also fighting against health care reforms which would help people reduce medical debt.

Perhaps oddest of all is Roberts association with a company that he doesn’t list on his campaign website. Capitol Defense International, LLC does appear in his Office of Political Practices filing, however.  The company seems to be in the business of giving those with big money access to private paramilitary and special forces squads, and survivalist training:

This is not a security detail, these teams are fully capable of carrying out clandestine operations worldwide.

An asterisk warns customers that none of the services are yet licensed.

Finally, as Mr. Conner points out, the “Dr.” Rollan Roberts II doesn’t actually identify the institution that granted him the “doctorate degree is in International Business and Entrepreneurship.” His spelling certainly isn’t indicative of a PhD scholar. [screenshot]

His doctorate degree is in International Business and Entrepreneurship.During this time,he began investing in real esate[sic] achieving great success in a short period of time. He soon began building businessesand[sic] before long, became the CEO of a biotech company and leading public and private companies $100 milion[sic] and $2 billion to strong and profitable growth.Dr. Roberts is currently the founder and CEO of Whitefish, Montana-based 24ravens (www.24ravens.com). He serves or has served on the Board of Directors of the Multi Level Marketing International Assocition[sic]. He is the author of “international best-selling books” on entrepreneurshp[sic] and ledership[sic] titled Born to be Rich, Born to Dream and, Riot: An Assault on Modern Leadership  which have sold over 500,000 copies. He is an FAA-cerified[sic] pilot with “a love and passion” for swimming…

Stay tuned to the Montana Cowgirl Blog for more information about Dr. Rollan Roberts II and other GOP candidates. This stuff is only the beginning.

Rehberg Jokes About Drunken Boating Accidents

Talking Points Memo wrote this week about the poor judgement of Congressman Rehberg, who joked publicly about a drunken boating accident. It’s a bizarre thing to do after Rehberg’s alcohol-related boating incident on Flathead Lake, when neither Rehberg nor any of his staff bothered to designate a sober driver.  The accident sent the Congressman and three others to the hospital and put one of his staffers in a coma.

What You Won’t Read in the Gazette about the Arrested Anti-Choice Activist

The man that the Gazette paints as a hapless local minister arrested for tresspassing is actually the national leader of the hardline anti-choice group called “Personhood USA.”

The Billings Gazette calls Calvin Zastrow, “a Billings resident and minister for the Assemblies of God.”  But, a quick Google search of the man (what an amazing tool, Google) reveals a much different picture.

Cal Zastrow co-founded Personhood USA, the out-of-state group pushing initiatives to ban abortion and some forms of birth control in several states. He is the group’s national leader and spokesperson.   He lists a DC phone number and calls himself “America’s premier trainer” for the anti-choice initiative and petition process.  Zastrow boasts that he works today with Operation Rescue.  The group has been linked to the bombing of women’s clinics, not to mention clinic blockades and invasions, arson, bombing and arson threats, death threats, chemical attacks, stalking, physical violence and gunfire.

It turns out the Billings arrest isn’t his first rodeo.  Zastrow has made a career of getting arrested and openly brags about his various arrests and sentences across the U.S.  (Getting arrested is part of his strategy for getting in the press.  We can see it’s working.)  This isn’t even Zastrow’s first arrest in Billings–he worked up a similar scheme when he visited the state over a decade ago.

Cal Zastrow encourages people to get young people involved in the anti-choice movement, “because they have less to lose by getting arrested.”   He thinks his arrests make him a martyr.  He thinks getting arrested allows him to compare himself to Martin Luther King Jr.

Get this:

Cal’s incarceration for loving his neighbor is in the tradition of men like John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Alan Keyes, and Martin Luther King Jr. His longest jail sentence, of 90 days in the Saginaw County Jail, Michigan, leads Cal to conclude that going to jail isn’t as bad as being dismembered by Planned Parenthood.

Sure, he’s been to Montana before.  Zastrow was the national big-wig brought in to kick off the new, more extreme,  Constitution Party of MT. The MT group broke off from the National Constitution Party for being “too liberal.” Zastrow told the splinter group that the problem isn’t political parties:

Instead, Cal says the problem is “demons from hell manifested as lies,” because a “law that lets women murder unborn children is hell.”

The absolute ban on abortion and some forms of birth control that Zastrow is pushing recently failed in Mississippi. In fact, it’s failed in every state that Zastrow’s group has attempted the ballot initiative.

Among all Montana’s anti-abortion activist groups (Montana Catholic Conference, the Montana Family Foundation, the Eagle Forum, the Concerned Women of America, and the Right To Life of Montana not one is supporting the so-called “Personhood Amendment.”

A Poem for Scotty Sales

This has been making the rounds on email today, author unknown.  I’ve posted it here in its entirety.  –Cowgirl

First, house speaker Scotty Sales,
Libeled Lincoln with his tales,
Sop intended for the right,
They’d stand together in their might

 

Koop and Butcher heard the call,
In echelon they all stood tall,
Poor Eddie barely reached Scott’s knees,
Koop Dog hugged his barren tree.

 

Now united they each chanted,
‘The stimulus must be recanted!’
Certain that their plan would hold,
Each man’s actions grew more bold.

 

Koop began to track his score,
While Butcher bellowed like a boor,
Even Scotty found some fame,
In an illegal poker game.

 

Each with his own distraction,
Missed the rise of a new faction,
They screamed and made a frightful din,
When the house became a log cabin.

 

Realizing that they’d been beat,
Each left town in quick retreat,
Saner heads now held the field,
That our boys had had to yield.

 

Scott returned to Bozeman town,
Where fate again made him a clown,
For there wife Sandy broke the law,
By stealing money from her ma.

 

Seems she felt that it was hers,
To spend on items such as furs,
She stopped and shopped in each new store,
Until dear Alice had no more!

 

Scotty claimed he did not see,
The evidence of perfidy,
Saying, ‘Surely it’s not my fault,
That Sandy raided Alice’s vault.’

 

Why did Scott forsake his wife?
To simply save his public life?
If so, I say with wit most wry,
That the following slogan should apply:

 

‘Vote for Scott and you shall see,

That he’s as honest as Sandy!’

Ravalli County Republicans Confess Budget Incompetence

Ravalli County Commissioner Suzy Foss has written a tell-all opinion piece this week confessing the budget incompetence of the County Commission, all Republicans.

The Ravalli Republicans’ budget failures remind one of the fiasco created by GOP-ers in the Montana Legislature, who ginned up a fake budget crisis to undercut jobs and schools.  You’ll see what I mean when you read how Foss explains it.  She says the Ravalli Republicans:

“floundered our way through the budget process last year. With no guidelines other than “it has always been done this way,” we simply let our staff tell us when to be where and what to do next. Obviously there were big holes in that approach”

It seems the Commissioners were so uncertain about how to do their jobs that the GOP-ers thought it best to focusing on scrutinizing their own internal procedures.  Those of you who spent sleepless nights wondering what Ravalli County elected officials were up to can now rest assured. They were “creating documents” on such matters as taking minutes.  You’ll be pleased to learn that, in order to justify their paychecks, the Republican Commissioners plan to update these documents every year.

Sexism’s Sugar Daddy Says Rehberg’s a Favorite

Foster Friess, the Wall Street billionaire bankrolling Rick Santorum, outraged millions for saying basically that women wouldn’t need contraception if we would just keep our slutty legs closed.

“Back in my days, [women] used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives; the gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Now, this gem of humanity has announced his intent to spend big bucks to support Dennis Rehberg.

The latest (subscription only) edition of The New Republic profiles Friess, an “eccentric Republican billionaire,” and his support for Rick Santorum.  Very notably, Friess  said Denny Rehberg is one of his favorite candidates. The Montana Lowdown has more.

It’s easy to understand why a Santorum sugar daddy would be backing Rehberg, too.  The two have much in common.

Santorum is the Republican Presidential Candidate that said rape victims should suck it up and accept “the gift” God has given to you.” Here’s Rick Santorum on rape:

 I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

Rehberg is the TEA Party Congressman who cosponsored and voted for H.R.358, the “Let Women Die” bill. Shockingly, H.R.358 would force doctors to let women die rather than provide abortion care.  Rehberg also tried more than once last year to completely eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.

Political Quick Hits

Justices Want Supreme Court to Hear Montana Challenge to Citizens United

The Washington Post is reporting that two  justices are suggesting that the Supreme Court reconsider the Citizens United decision. Justice Ginsberg wrote:

“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,’ ”

Of course, the article points out that the Supreme Court will not necessarily hear Montana’s case.  Even if it does, recall that Alito and Roberts were installed by Bush to ensure that corporations take firmer control of this country. Montana’s is the first challenge to Citizens United.

Anti-Women Congressmen Become (Even More) of  a National Joke

This weekend former Saturday Night Live cast member Amy Poehler made a guest appearance on Weekend Update with Seth Meyers for a new segment of “Really!?! With Seth and Amy.” The comedians took on the current war on women raging in Congress, starting with last week’s one-sided congressional committee on birth control that included no women. Here’s the clip:



Rehberg Stunt Backfires

After the fit Rehberg threw over out of state money, it was revealed this weekend that he had actually taken a higher percentage of it.  To be sure, Rehberg has had trouble raising money overall.  People are now starting to pay closer attention to the election.   And, it seems the more one knows about Congressman Dennis Rehberg, the less one wants to support his re-election campaign.  The Tester campaign’s fundraising advantage is certainly due, in part, to national interest in keeping the Senate from further degrading into the circus that the TEA Party Republican-controlled U.S. House has become.