A Bozeman TEA Party candidate for public service commission is threatening that “Republican blood will flow in the streets” if party leaders don’t stop rank-and-file Republicans from speaking out against him.
In an email circulated by Roger Koopman this week to GOP party leaders, Koopman expressed his outrage that three Republican legislators have endorsed John Vincent, Koompan’s democratic opponent for PSC. Koopman writes:
I would like to call upon the executive board to take immediate action to stop any further hemoraging[sic], by publicly censuring Jesse O’Hara. Otherwise, we have not seen the end of this. It will not end until Republican blood is flowing in the streets. I can assure you I will certainly not tolerate any more of this. Not for a minuite. [sic]
Koopman is referring to quotes from Rep. Jesse O’Hara (R-Great Falls) that appeared in a flier supporting his opponent. The flyer is entitled “The Real Roger Koopman! Quotes from Repulbican State Rep. Jesse O’Hara, Great Falls.” It includes the following quotes:
“I would have to rank Koopman as one of the most ineffective and divisive people I have ever been around.”
“In one of our committee meetings we had to restrain him from beating up one of the people testifying.”
“If people want a commissioner who will keep things stirred up so that nobody works together, and everybody is often fighting, and things are in chaos, Roger Koopman is your man.”
Jesse O’Hara, Gary MacLaren, and Walt McNutt have all publicly endorsed John Vincent for PSC. Another prominent Republican, Bob Brown has given Vincent money. And word on the street is that both Alan Olson and Harry Klock — the chairs of the Senate and House energy committees that oversee the PSC — have privately told Republicans that they’ll be voting for Vincent because Koopman is, according to one of them, “another Brad Molnar, only worse.”
This is not the first time Koopman has declared war on the Republican establishment. He’s a former legislator who was the Derek Skees of his day.
In an opinion piece entitled “Is the conservative mandate derailed before leaving the station?”, Koopman expressed outrage over the lack of leadership bones thrown to the GOP’s hard-right ideologues. Koopman believed that the TEA Party delivered the GOP a “a powerful conservative mandate” in the November elections and owed the TEA Party some payback. In the past, Koopman has put out a conservative purity test for state legislators. He’s also had a half dozen PACs operating in past cycles to support primary challenges against Republican candidates who don’t meet his hard right standards.
Koopman’s entire email to Bowen Greenwood, the Executive Director of the state Republican Party, can be read below. The ad Koopman mentions is the above flyer:
From: Roger Koopman <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 7:10 PM
Subject: O’Hara attacks Republican for PSC
To: Bowen Greenwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I would appreciate you forwarding this character assassination Vincent (by Rep. Jesse O’Hara) to the state board. Needless to say, O’Hara’s statement about me wanting to “beat up” a committee witness is an absurd, boldfaced lie. I never even got angry as a legislator, let alone threaten violence! He might as well have said I had sprouted three heads with horns, and had fathered 50 illegitimate kids in southeast Asia….
Bowen, this is getting WAYYYYYY out of hand in a big hurry. Vincent has another ad schedued in the dailies for Wednesday. This treachery threatens to tear our entire party apart.
I would like to call upon the executive board to take immediate action to stop any further hemoraging[sic], by publicly censuring Jesse O’Hara. Otherwise, we have not seen the end of this. It will not end until Republican blood is flowing in the streets. I can assure you I will certainly not tolerate any more of this. Not for a minuite[sic]. I am being defamed, and both my political and professional/business life destroyed.
The state party needs to step in. And long term, we need to establish some poilicies[sic] and official sanctions for this kind of despicable behavior. In the meantime, everything must be done to stop this from continuing.
Please pass this email along, together with the infamous Vincent-O’Hara ad. I hope there is no further hesitancy in taking firm action. Thank you.