Gay and Chic, Savvy and Dirty, and now Exposed

David Sirota, a national radio host and pundit who used to work on Governor Schweitzer’s campaigns, has written a deliciously intriguing column about a new development in an otherwise dormant Montana controversy–the Mike Taylor ad.

In 2002, the Mike Taylor ad was all the rage in Montana politics.  Max Baucus was up for re-election, and the Montana Democratic Party ran an effective and nasty ad against Baucus’s opponent, Mike Taylor, that pretty much finished him off.  They’d unearthed video of Taylor from his days as a 1970s Denver hairdresser. It was from an infomercial in which Taylor had a male client in the salon chair, and was talking to the camera about the value of face cream. He rubbed the cream into the guy’s temples while he was discussing the importance of moisturizing.

Taylor was also dressed like a slightly less masculine version of Jon Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.  At one point on the video, he reaches his hand down into the pubic vicinity of the guy sitting in the chair, and this action is accentuated (in the campaign ad) with a slow zoom and a tricky cropping of the video.

To make matters worse for Taylor, he had spent the campaign season dressed up as Teddy Roosevelt, with a lumberjack shirt and boots, and wire-rimmed spectacles to go with his toothy grin and push-broom mustache, talking about the all of his big game trophies and other tough-guy accomplishments.  This effort to market himself as a Montana Archetype was quickly deflated by the hairdresser ad.

And when the ad hit the airwaves, rather than just laughing it off by saying that everybody (or at least lots of people) dressed and looked funny in the 1970s, stupid Taylor instead gave a press conference at which he broke into tears and accused Baucus of suggesting that he was gay. That was the end of the campaign, but not the controversy.

Some leading Democrats actually complained about the anti-gay overtone of the ad, which was effectuated with a camera trick that turned what was probably an innocent motion of Taylor’s hand into what looked like a crotch-grab. The ad also did a zoom and slomo of Taylor’s hands rubbing the moisturizer into the guy’s temples.  There was little doubt as to what the creators of the ad were implying.

Baucus, as you might guess, was shocked, shocked to discover that such and ad had been made by the Democratic Party and he immediately made it clear he’d had nothing to do with the commercial.  And his statements implied that he did not condone the obvious “gay baiting” employed in it.

Putting aside the gay-baiting, it would actually have been illegal for Baucus to have been involved in the making of the spot in any way, because it would have been an “illegal coordination” between his campaign and the Democratic Party.  These entities may not collaborate on TV ads.  It would be a violation of federal law.

And yet in Businessweek magazine last week, Baucus slipped up in an interview, admitting that his campaign had had a hand in the making and airing of the commercial, and that he himself had received advanced notice of it and even got an opportunity to sign off on it.  His admission was made in the context of describing the talents of his former Chief of Staff, Jim Messina, who is now Obama’s campaign manager and was the subject of the Businessweek article.  Baucus used the Mike Taylor ad as evidence of Messina’s prowess as a political operative, since Messina was his campaign manager when the Taylor ad ran.

Baucus says:

Jim is tough. I’ll never forget when he showed me that ad. We were in Bozeman in a motel. The curtains were drawn. He said, ‘Max, what do you think?’ They were afraid I wasn’t going to like it. I loved it!

Perhaps Baucus had a momentary mental lapse, and forgot that his participation in the enterprise was supposed to be on the hush hush.  Or maybe he just decided that it no longer matters because it was so long ago.  If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for us all to revisit a very famous, if inappropriate,campaign ad.  And as for Mike Taylor, he was a right-wing buffoon who pretty much deserved everything he got, regardless of who was involved or how inappropriate it might have been.

And, as a post-script, I will add that Mike Taylor, and his wife Janna who is a right-wing GOP state senator, recently topped the list of federal farm subsidy recipients in Montana–they’ve pocketed $1,000,000 worth of checks from the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, much of it for simply sitting on their asses.  So Baucus had it partially correct: Mike Taylor is a queen–a welfare queen.


71 Comments on "Gay and Chic, Savvy and Dirty, and now Exposed"

  1. What an idiot. Still, probably not a good idea to be advertising the fact that our Senator is going senile.

  2. Pulling out on Max now? Intrigue awaits! He’s a slug, and has always been a slug. Why now?

    • Pull your head out of your ass, Mark. Ten minutes after this was posted, it was being hailed as evidence on Twitter that Schweitzer will take on Baucus in 2014.

      Or do I need to post how many times you told everyone here that they would vote for Baucus regardless because he’s a DEMOCRAT!?! Go change your diaper, Tokarski. The adults are working here.

    • Jennifer Davies | June 21, 2012 7:16 PM at 7:16 PM |

      Seriously mark where have you been, several Montana progressive blogs have been criticizing Baucus — and it’s not just a recent thing.

    • Like mine, for instance? Like, for six years now? And stop saying “progressive” if you’re including this place and ID. Please! I know progressive, and this ain’t it.

      The party knew in 2002 that Baucus did a dirty deed on Taylor. Ten years later they are complaining. What does that mean? Why can it now be told? How did “Cowgirl” suddenly come to realize that Baucus is a slug and now highlights this newly discovered information? How did it get out? leaked?

      Please, folks. politics is played out behind the scenes,and not in front of the curtain. Baucus is being undermined. As I said, intrigue awaits! Many many party asks depend on him for livelihood.

      • Party “hacks.”

      • Go directly to hell, Mark. You don’t have the trademark on “progressive” and you certainly don’t have the chops to tell someone else not to use the word. Go piss in your own sandbox and leave the discussions here to the adults.

        • If you define the word in terms of ideals, then I do indeed know what the “progressive” means. And those ideals are checked at the door before joining the Democratic Party. The only thing hat matters in the party is winning elections, having power.

          Look at Obama! Take off the blinders. There is objective reality. It exists apart from perceptions.

          • Translated Mark “If you put on your tinfoil hat and just believe everything I spout out of my rectum, you will realise that I am the only one that makes any sense”.

            • Translated for all again: Mark is a Rumor machine, and yes a Piece of crap, who has a closet wardrobe of clown costumes for every occasion.

              He is the Lefts albatross, the Looney Part of our side, as Much as the Teapublicans are the same to the right. Stop feeding it anymore! Ignore it. It wont go away, but you’ll deny him his soapbox, if no one gives a shit what he says.

      • Mark – have cowgirl, Don, or I ever defended Max Baucus? This isn’t a 180. It’s just finally relevant because he’ll be up for election fairly soon. Moreover, you have the admit that in the last four years Max has been even worse than usual. Under Bush his foibles were excused in the name of bi-partisanship. Now he’s actively pulling right against the president. Moreover, now, unlike six or twelve years ago, the Democratic party in Montana has the organization and power to replace him. He used to be the big man in the party; with Schweitzer fully hitting his stride the last four years, Baucus is no longer the unassailable powerhouse he once was.

        • Claiming Baucus is pulling right is nonsense. See:

        • I don’t see where we disagree. he leak to Sirota then ” picked up” here is a message to Baucus to step down, as othe party is pulling out on him.

        • By the way, Pete Talbod or M. Storin … one of the two or both … has defended Baucus at a website … What’s it called … intelligent something or other.

          • Hehe. Baucus didn’t ‘leak’ anything. It was in a very public interview. Sirota made up his narrative ostensibly to attack Messina as a proxy for attacking Obama directly. It’s “Pete Talbot” and he posts at 4 & 20. And the website that makes yours look like a joke, that you pretend doesn’t exist, is Intelligent Discontent. Do you have that yet, Mark? Intelligent Discontent? Yes, Intelligent Discontent. You are reading that correctly, right? Of course you are. That would be Intelligent Discontent.

            Unless you’d rather people read Piece of Mind

            • I did not say that Baucus leaked anything. Why would he leak on himself, oh deep one? In politics, which you presume to understand, candidates do not make direct attacks on a strong opponent. They either leave him alone, as people have Baucus for decades, or, if they perceive weakness, they undermine him. I ran for office as a Democrat in 1996. I saw the way people kowtowed to him, even knowing then that he was a schmuck, but a powerful schmuck. They were afraid of him.

              This comment by Baucus would not have been mentioned at this Democratic Party website unless there was an effort in the Democratic Party to unseat him. If Baucus still had the power he had in 1996, these people would be afraid to cross him.

              Something is up, oh deep one. Say tuned.

              • I did not say that Baucus leaked anything.

                You wrote that very thing. It’s right up there for anyone to see, dipshit.

                Considering that I’m the one who first pointed out to you that this post was a preemptive strike against Baucus, I’ll certainly “say tuned”.

              • I said that this information was fed to Sirota. I did not say that Baucus did it. That would not be sensible. Is it Helen Keller time again, oh wise one?

                • Mark Tokarski:

                  he leak to Sirota then ” picked up”

                  English. Do you speak it? Apparently not.

                • For the truth of your wisdom, we must go to Piece of Mind.

                • Apologies, Mark. I really shouldn’t be dissing Piece of Mind. After all, Piece of Mind is a terrific website for getting truth infusion. Piece of Mind is the best of webspaces.

                • You’ve resorted to ridicule, and you’re not very good at it. Really, if you want to mock my blog, you should go to some of my weaker posts, which are available on inspection.. Lately, I haven’t even been trying much, as we’ve been traveling. I can’t tell you the last time I sat down and did some hard writing. But. Instead you went and found a website with clown images, which is stupid and juvenile.

                  And anyway, your own website … Did you give up,writing? Your football is amateurish, but your zombie stuff was always a kick. Your political posts are jibberish, usually lashing out for some slight. Your sentimental pieces are phony as blackface on a white actor. Overall. I’d rate you a D – upsetting for a straight A philosophy student who never got a scholarship for higher study.

                  Don’t mess with me dude. You’re not up to it. Cupcake.

                  • Actually, Mark, if you understood the web at all, you’d see that was pretty good ridicule. And I’m not mocking your blog. If I wanted to, I’d link to it. I’m mocking you, clown. That, also, is the way things work on the Intertubes …

            • BTW, ID is predictably Democratic, with PW now and then branching out beyond state politics. Because you are a predictable Democratic zombie, you heap high praise on ID. That’s known as confirmation bias, oh deep one.

  3. So does this mean that Baucus and/or his staff could be charged with a federal felony campaign violation? Or has the statute of limitations expired?

    • The story would not have been leaked to Sirota had not the statute expired. One does not have to look far to know the source of this leak. The Montana Party is firing a shot across the bow at Baucus, telling him he’s over. He’s baggage.

    • Oh yeah – and leaking it to Sirota bounces it back here where it can be repeated as something that just “happened” so that “Cowgirl” can “report” on it.

      Man I love politics!

    • No it wasn’t illegal, Dirty but not illegal. Some politics is like that on either side. Talked to a friend of mine whos a political lawyer and he said it would have been impossible to prove in those days. Just like the swift boat Ads against presidential candidate Kerry.

      Infact, he told me an interesting fact. Kerrys race to be the president is not unlike Romneys. Kerry was actually a little too rich for Americans to believe he would help anyone more then the 1%. He charted Romney along the same path. I kinda found that interesting since the guy is a right leaning Independent. Romney Won’t win he told me, and his record will be dismal in lots of state the GOP thought they had in the bag!

  4. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 21, 2012 7:39 PM at 7:39 PM |

    HOLY SHIT! Was Skinflute vacationing in New Haven????
    bhwhahahahahahahahahaa! Could be. Ya never KNOW!

  5. Why is Messina talking out of school? He’s supposed to be smarter than that.

    I remember the ad, but not for the alleged gay bashing. I thought it showed Taylor as a helium filled featherweight, Mr. Silly himself.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 21, 2012 11:41 PM at 11:41 PM |
    • Maybe I’m not as homophobic as the target audience of that ad, but I remember clearly my reaction to it. Taylor had been poncing around for months with his porn-stache, leather vest and big ‘ole hat talking Reaganite crap about government thieves, “welfare queens” and ‘crimnals’. I saw the advert and laughed out loud, finding out that he had defrauded the tax-payers himself. The gay undertone didn’t occur to me until Taylor’s presser incoherently telling the state that he was giving up his campaign because his opponent made him look like less of a man. I actually yelled at the television (my wife can verify) “No! It made you look like the hypocrite thief you are, asshole!”

      I’m not convinced that Messina did “talk out of school”, or rather Baucus since this revelation came from an interview with him. There is absolutely no admission of when Messina showed Baucus the advert or under what circumstances or what Baucus loved about it. Those are important facts to have if one is building the case that Baucus approved the ad before air (Cowgirl), or more stupidly that Messina is anti-gay (Sirota, Brigham, et al). I’m no fan of Baucus and would welcome a challenge from Brian. I’m certainly no fan of Messina. But I do kinda have a jones for honesty (which might explain the previous two opinions.)

      • The only thing this really proves is what a knife-fighter Jim Messina is. I have to hand it to Baucus. While he has no brains, he does have a political instinct for hiring the best enforcers, assassins and operatives. There are a number of big Democrat names that have Max on their resume.
        However, it is kind of obvious, yet not provable, that Max saw the advert before it aired. Informational copy? Sure, that’s not really coordination. And Max loved it because he knew he needed such a gift in order to win.
        I was really disappointed in Taylor when he caved in, but on the other hand, that was without question one of the nastiest political ads ever in Montana politics. But going negative nuclear sure works….extending the career of an embarrassment way, way too long.

    • The ad is not homophobic, it makes Taylor look like a d-bag silly has been from the 70s.

  6. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 22, 2012 9:13 AM at 9:13 AM |

    The really great thing about not being dependent on foreign oil is that you can turn your OWN country into a gian sh*thole too! We don’t need no regulation!

  7. Thirty years from now when that poison bubbles up to the ground water, and poisons all the water east of the divide…. The republicans will say the same thing they always say, “The Corporations lied to us, we never would have done this if we had known.”

    Plausible Deniability Just like the Asbestos mines.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 22, 2012 11:26 PM at 11:26 PM |

      America, one giant Love Canal! Skinflute would approve! (Hard to beleive that someone actually PAYS that dude to write! The rightwing is really hard up for scribblers.)

    • Norma, are you sure it’s republicans who will be making excuses?

      While touring an oil rig in Sidney, MT, Gov. Brian Schweitzer praised the opportunity that new fracking technologies are creating for Montana’s oil deposits. ”Now I tell the kids they don’t have to leave the state of Montana to get a job,” Schweitzer said. He also sought to assure local residents that the hydraulic fluid being used to fracture the subsurface shale formations was perfectly safe.

      • Fracking has been around from almost 30 years Craig. Long before Schweitzer. But What was different about it then is it was something that was drilled straight down not vertical and they used just only water steam, mud and sand in those days at pressures the cement casings could take.The chance of them breaking is not what is is today. Newer technology s are allowing for higher pressures,and greed is sending down the casing… every deadly chemical known to cut short mans survival.

        So nice try at muddying the waters Craig, but even Brian only wants inert things like water and sand. and if that was all they used. Id be for it too.

  8. I remember the ad. I remember the campaign. I remember Mike Taylor was the most annoying candidate I had ever come across in Montana politics at that point in time, in fact I think he still has that title. I remember he never gave me a reason to vote for him, he just trash talked about Max the whole time. I remember thinking the ad was a taste of his own medicine, and that he had it coming, I also remember thinking God this guy is a push over. If all it takes is that little ad to make him pack it up and go home, he was too weak to be a United States Senator from Montana. We need strong people in there, strong leadership, not push overs or puppets.
    I did not vote for Max in 2008 cause I was angry about the bailouts to AIG and Bearstearns and the rest of Wall Street. I think if the man on Mainstreet if he fails and he does not get a bail out then the boys on Wall Street should not either economy be damed. And after the health care deal of 09 I will not vote for Max ever again. I also will not vote for the re election of President Obama either cause of health care, and the economy. I wont vote for Mitt Romney but I sure as hell ain’t voting for Obama.
    I think the number one problem with the Republican party in Montana is brought out by Mike Taylor, either a they have candiates who are weak and can’t take the heat, aka Mike Taylor and Roy Brown. Or they have candidates that are out of their minds and need a bed at Warm Springs aka Wendy Warburton and Jimmy Knox. Basically in Montana at the statewide level the Republicans are crap and continue to be crap. Look at Taylor and look at this years gubernatorial candidate for example, a congressman who has been out of the game for fourteen years and who carries enough baggage to fill a jet airliner. WOW what a ticket.

  9. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 24, 2012 7:12 AM at 7:12 AM |

    They really ARE dumb as dogshit! Hey, I’m not makin’ this stuff up! Pubbies ARE stoopid! I don’t know of a nice way to put it. How do ya cure stoopid?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 24, 2012 7:12 AM at 7:12 AM |

      It would be kinda nice if the press did their jobs, though. That might help. That might be a good place to start.

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 24, 2012 3:17 PM at 3:17 PM |


    The nazis created their own religeeon too! HEY, worked for them. Why not for us?!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 24, 2012 8:14 PM at 8:14 PM |

        The GOP has gone nucking FUTZ! Craig, you’re one of them. What’s WRONG with you???

        • Larry, I have commented here and elsewhere that I don’t belong to any political party. At one time I sent a letter to Bush asking him to resign and was rewarded with a tax audit.

          I have a deal with the GOP, they don’t solicit my advice and, in turn, I don’t bother them with contributions, not will I waste my time defending them.

          So, the question is what’s wrong with you?

          • correction: s/b “nor will I” not “not.”

          • Craig, you can’t blame any of us for believing that you are a Republican. You NEVER admit to a Democrat being better for an office, you are constantly arguing for the Republican Candidates and you act like a Republican. I will freely admit, you don’t (usually) seem to be a complete wingnut, but you also make it clear where your support and idealism lies.

            As far as the attacks on you based solely on the belief that you are a card carrying Republican, that I can’t respond to because there is no responce to that. I have never attacked you because of what I believe your idealogy is. If we have had disagreements (and some of ours have been pretty heated), it has been because of something you wrote, not because I believe you are an “Earthhater”. For what it is worth, I have been called that on more than one occation here.

            • Kenneth, thanks for the clarification.

              As to arguing for candidates, I don’t think I have here or elsewhere argued for “the person.” I have argued against “the person.”

  11. Proof that the health laws are not acting fast enough…. as well as proof it is happening in a Neighborhood near you:

    Bankruptcy forces 89-year-old WWII vet from home

    Read carefully folks cuz this will happen with regular frequency if the Health care Laws are Overturned. And Guess what…. It will be far worse in those areas plagued with continuing Pollution in this state.

  12. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 25, 2012 6:37 PM at 6:37 PM |


    Funniest thing I’ve seen in a loooong time!

  13. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 25, 2012 7:06 PM at 7:06 PM |

    You should NEVER hit a man in a dress, but Schweitzer punches back at the Supremes! And well he should! They’re the best court money can buy! Haven’t we already been down this road before here in Montana???

    • I urge everyone that is the least bit concerned about the corporate takeover of the US Supreme Court to sign this petition. It is about time that we – the living breathing citizens of the US – take back our government from the Corporations.

      And remember –

      The US Supreme Court – the Best law money can buy.

      As an aside, I wonder what would happen if the next time some corporation’s product kills someone, criminal charges are filed against the Corporation… If they are people, they are subject to the criminal justice system just like everyone else.

  14. Another thing I found despicable about Baucus’s actions relating to that Taylor ad: He fired his gay Great Falls staffer the week before it aired. Cleaned his house before the dirt was thrown at his opponent. Disgusting and homophobic.

    • Stay on point and with the story rubcon. Max’s Record prove he doesn’t hate gays so STFU!

      Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
      Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
      Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
      Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

      I just don’t understand why everyone keeps Hyping this lie about Max! And thats what it is a Lie!

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