GUEST POST: How Democrats Will Win the US House Race in November

[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.



31 Comments on "GUEST POST: How Democrats Will Win the US House Race in November"

  1. It’s an intriguing pitch, but Daines’ war chest is immense. In any event, we should really stop nominating sacrificial lambs in this race, like we have every two years for that last decade and more. It’s time we tried something different. I think the focus on constitutional values may be just the thing to grab independents.

  2. Nice piece Mr. Stutz!.

    My ballot was placed in the mailbox yesterday with a vote for you my friend.

    May that be just the vote you need to surprise the hell out of some folks on Tuesday.

  3. Rob Stutz seems like a great guy. It is a fact that you can’t be elected without raising money, but putting that aside, seems like a good person. I’m voting for Kim Gillan because she’s the best shot we have to beat Daines, according to the polls. Nonetheless, I hope we see more from Mr. Stutz in the future.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Havre Voter. I raise money — of course campaigns need money! — and I spend it wisely. I just raise and spend it differently than we have in past US House campaigns. Rather than squandering a bunch of money in the primary, I show Dems that I run an efficient campaign, the type of campaign we will need to run for the general. There is a donate button on, if you would like to help me raise money.

  5. The poll last year and the one this year BOTH show Gillan and Wilmer LOSING to Steve Daines.

    The polls have NEVER showed Rob Stutz losing to Steve Daines.

    • I have seen plenty of polls showing a hypothetical matchup between Franke Wilmer/Daines, Diane Smith/Daines and Gillan/Daines. None of those polls even mentioned Stutz. Care to link the poll you are referring to? Please show us a legitimate poll showing Rob Stutz winning against Daines.


        Poll shows Stutz with 42% against his primary opponents. And Stutz has been consistent in his criticism of Daines and the Tea Party’s faulty constitutional arguments. He’ll fight for MT Values, for the people and not for the PAC’s.

        Show me another candidate who is viable who has taken, just like Schweitzer and Tester when they ran for federal office, zero PAC dollars.

        • A thoroughly unscientific web poll from a conservative Montana website? Really? Are you fucking kidding me? Don’t get me wrong; I like Jack the blogger a lot … but it’s a blog, you moron. That is not a poll.

          • Your consistent name-calling drowns out your drivel. You’d sound smarter if you didn’t reply. You are clearly persuadable only by the election day poll.

            Stutz’s campaign had been remarkably efficient — though he has raised 10’s of thousands less than his opponents combined, he has managed to put out TV, have the best website and has been at meetings across the state. All of this without paid staff or over-priced DC consultants.

            If one of the party insiders wins and goes down in flames in November, it will not prove that Stutz was a better choice, but it will prove that party insiders need to take a different approach.

            • You are clearly persuadable only by the election day poll.

              Since you seem to miss the incredibly obvious, that’s the only poll that matters. And yes, you are being a moron. That isn’t “drivel”. It’s an rather accurate observation.

        • Perhaps you need to read the reason for the poll: “Thanks to all who participated! This was not a scientific poll; it was done for grins, giggles, and to see who could encourage their grassroots supporters to vote!”

          Stutz does seem more organized on social media than the other candidates. Perhaps the results of the poll reinforce that – but I seriously doubt they reflect real world voting.

    • Anonymous, the reason there isn’t a poll showing Rob loosing to Daines is because he is not a serous candidate and the pollsters don’t want to waste there time.

      • Mr. Stutz is a serious candidate, and by opting to run his campaign without special interests dictating his every move, he is ahead of the sweeping changes we will see in the way of campaign finance reform. It’s important to keep your minds open as you get older, guys – takes conscious effort.

  6. Also I’ll add that if the only thing we have to bash Daines with is that he is a successful business man then it is going to be an uphill battle to November.

    • And by successful business man you mean: Someone who went on a junket with Baucus and grew his business with government help. This is the most hilarious thing about Daines: More Jobs, Less Government is his slogan and yet he got his job though the government.

      • No, he didn’t. Daines’ business history is far more insidious than that. You’d best brush up on the history of Right Now Technologies and its owner(s) before writing anything else stupid.

      • Jimmy McMillan | June 2, 2012 6:33 PM at 6:33 PM |

        So the government basically lifting a trade barrier that shouldn’t have been there in the first place is somehow the government helping ? Also don’t get me wrong I’m just liberal as everyone else hear but I mean come on. Plus Stutz isn’t liberal enough to beat Daines. Dave Strohmaier all the way!

      • haha dude bendarrow get your message right. I’m as liberal as the next guy, but seriously we need to be consistent if we are going to beat the republicans. The “junket” you speak of was when Baucus lowered a trade barrier with China and Daines’s business used deregulation for their gain. Lowering a trade barrier sounds like less government to me. And it also sounds like it created more jobs through Daines’s montana business.

        I for one hope we liberals can figure out how to combat Daines’s message of no jobs, less government better than Rob Stutz’s weak effort of desperation or else Daines will be the inevitable nominee…

        • For the record, it wasn’t “Daines’ business”. It was never Daines’ business.

        • “RightNow is an example of a homegrown Montana company that has done very, very well,” Baucus said. “That’s what this trip is about — creating more good-paying jobs for Montanans.”

          And Daines is quoted as well for the juicy bone Baucus passed to him.

          And Daines will be the “inevitable nominee” of the Repugs, so that language alone (along with your positive description of Daines) make me a bit suspicious of your “liberal” credentials. That’s right, Tucker and Jimmie as Daines apologists and Kailey as an unwitting (in all senses) co-conspirator.

          I’m in the Anybody-but-Daines boat and I know Stutz is the most viable alternative.

          • Jimmy McMillan | June 2, 2012 8:25 PM at 8:25 PM |

            phhht you gotta be kidding me! I’m insulted to think that you would label me as a “Daines apologists”. I am simply pointing out that Stutz is not as serous a candidate as Dave Strohmaier, so this must mean then by your logic that anyone who supports Strohmaier is a ” Daines apologists” ? Really ? Wow, Rob is right you are a moron bendarrow.

          • Neither Stutz nor Strohmaier are viable candidates in this race. I hate to burst your bubble, but neither stand an icycles chance in hell of winning the primary. If you are silly enough to believe that either will win, you have no grasp of reality.

            Stutz is a really nice guy with great intentions but he is an unknown, with little to no political experience, running a campaign that is hopelessly underfinanced (even if it is for idealistic reasons I even agree with), and is running against experienced, well financed candidates with far more to offer.

            Strohmaier is the Missoula Darling candidate and an obvious puritopian. While I really enjoyed his ad on marraige equality and think he was bold to run it, he does not represent the majority of Democrats – especially those that are moderate. His offputting demeinor when answering questions – especially about puritopian issues – have and will alienate those of us in the middle. Even my mother (a militant Democrat from the Kennedy era) found him distasteful. He may be a great guy (my impression of him when I met him notwithstanding), but he can’t win the primary and he certainly can’t win the general against Daines.

            Make no mistake – whoever wins the primary will be facing a long, ugly battle against Daines the money Daines will garner from the Republican Establishment. They will have to be honest, up front, well financed and able to reach not only the Democrat purists but the moderates of both sides. Daines is a trainwreck waiting to happen but he is a well known, establishment Republican trainwreck. It worked for Do nothing Rehberg for the better part of decade.

            • Kenneth I agree with you. Viability is what I’m looking for in a democratic candidate. Stutz doesn’t deliver, and neither does Strohmaier, but also neither does Franke or Gillan. Every Democrat seems to be compromising their morals just to sell themselves as a moderate and I’m sick of it. I want a candidate who is liberal and is proud of it, but also a person who knows how to message and win. I’m just frustrated man it seems like the dems don’t deliver on good quality candidates when they need it most.

              • First, a REPRESENTATIVE is suppose to represent the people of the district or state they are elected in. While partisan politics plays into that, in what way do you see Franke, Gillan, Stutz, Strohmaier, or Smith “compromising thier morals” or more importantly, failing to have the ability to represent the people that elect them? This is a meme that people repeat often without in any way explaining and I am tired of hearing it.

                In my reply, I made it clear why I did not think Strohmaier would represent either myself or the majority of Montanans. He comes across as a puritopian and it is my opinion that he would vote that way rather represent the majority opinion of the people who elect him.

                Though you claim that the other candidates are the same, you have failed to explain why.

          • Let me help you out a little before your ignorance hurts everyone in the ‘anyone but Daines’ camp. Only about a a quarter of Right Now’s contracts are government. The company was not started in Bozeman, nor is Bozeman it’s only location. Steve Daines did not start the company, nor was he it’s owner. He sure as hell didn’t “get his job” because of the government as you claimed. Right Now’s former owner, and Daines’ good friend, donated over half the money needed to build the Creationist museum in Glendive. One has to wonder if Daines shares those radical evangelical views. (Actually he does, when business convenient, of course.)

            Now, instead of acting like an idiot, there are two things you’d best get used to. 1) Acknowledging the reality of who Daines is and what his business experience is, is in no way shape or form a “positive description” of Daines. If you think it is, then you’ve already conceded the fight. 2) Displaying ignorance of the above, or worse, lying about it, is a surefire way to get the Democratic candidate’s ass handed to them in November – especially if it’s Stutz.

  7. And by successful business man you mean: Someone who went on a junket with Baucus to become a professional outsourcer of Montana and U.S. jobs.

  8. Democrats have always done poorly against Congressman Rehberg because many democrats have supported the Congressman. When you look at Rehberg’s vote to expand medicare and the S-Chip program. Rehberg’s vote to double the budget of the Department of Education and all the pork projects he brought back to Montana, you can see why Democrats never had a chance, in those elections. One one hand Rehberg talks about getting government out of our lives, but his other hand is increasing the size and scope of government. Will 2012 be another lopsided vote in the race for US House? Did I forget about Rehberg’s vote to increase taxes on cigs and giving the FDA the power to regulate those cig companies.

  9. It’s relevant, because if Danies is the nominee, then the US House race will continue to lopsided, in favor of Republicans. How many Democrats will vote for Daines as they voted for Rehberg.

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