[Note: The following is a guest post by Rob Stutz who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Montana's congressional seat. If you're interested in writing a guest post, email me on the tipline. --Cowgirl]
Steve Daines has reason to be concerned.
Brian Schweitzer won his Governor’s elections without taking PAC money. Jon Tester won his US Senate election by standing up for Montana values, including the values in our Constitution. My campaign for Montana’s lone US House seat is based on the strategies of the successful Schweitzer and Tester campaigns.
I don’t take PAC money. I don’t sign pledges for special interest groups. I stand up for Montana values and our Constitution. This is what Montanans want. This is what works. Schweitzer won, Tester won, and the Montana Constitution was reaffirmed in 2010.
My campaign has less money, but let’s be honest: Daines will have more money no matter who Democrats nominate for the US House race. Daines wants to buy this election. He is running a politics-as-usual campaign, squeezing every last dime from PACs and his rich friends. Montanans are tired of it and, given the choice with an open US House seat, will choose a different approach.
The predictable approach has not worked for Democrats in the US House race. Pat Williams last won 18 years ago. The kids born that year are voting for the first time this year. If Democrats run a predictable race against a predictable candidate the results are likely to be predictable.
I offer voters the choice to take a different approach. Historically, Montanans like having that choice. Rankin and Mansfield come to mind, neither having held elected office before we sent them to Congress. Too long ago? Schweitzer, Bullock, and Juneau come to mind as current statewide elected officials who never previously held elected office. Voters know when politics-as-usual isn’t working. Offer them a clear choice – no to the PACs, no to the pledges, yes to the people – and they will try the different approach.
Montanans want a candidate who puts people first. I show them. If it doesn’t breathe, I don’t take its money. I don’t pledge away the independence needed to cut through the gridlock in Congress. I champion the values in the Montana Constitution – privacy, public education, clean and healthful environment, equality of opportunity, open government, hunting and fishing heritage, American Indian heritage, and more. I listen when Montanans speak by voting on the Constitution and on citizens initiatives. Across the political spectrum, this is the message that the people of Montana want to hear and are ready to support.
It is better going into the November campaign to know that message, not money, is our strength. Turn the message up loud, fire up the grassroots, expose Daines for the wannabe career politician that he is – my “Trouble with the Truth” series is a good place to start – and give voters a clear choice.
That is how Democrats will win the US House Race in November. And, that is why Steve Daines has reason to be concerned that Stutz for Congress keeps chugging along, picking up momentum heading into the June 5 primary.