In a Montana GOP “e-brief” email to party faithful, Republican State Party Chair Will Deschamps came out swinging against Republican legislators who endorsed a democrat over Bozeman crackpot PSC candidate Roger Koopman. Earlier this month, Koopman had threatened party leaders that if leadership did not crack down on the Republicans who endorsed his opponent “Republican blood will flow in the streets.”
Koopman was referring to an ad in the Bozeman Chronicle quoting a GOP legislator. Rep. Jesse O’Hara said Koopman was “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.” Several other prominent Republican legislators have also endorsed democrat John Vincent for PSC.
Chairman Deschamps says he wants to “discourage that behavior in strong terms.” He ”endorses Koopman wholeheartedly” and writes that “[w]ithout exception, every single Republican nominee in Montana is a better choice for the good of our state than any Democrat nominee.”
Presumably he is including the Nazi candidate on the GOP ticket from Butte and the Republican congressional candidate with KKK ties. Deschamps ends the email with a statement he claims is the “11th commandment” of Ronald Reagan, a man the Montana GOP supposedly reveres: ”thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”
As the Bozeman Chronicle pointed out when GOP Director Bowen Greenwood made the same gaffe, it was actually California Republican Party chairman Gaylord Parkinson who said that.
Deschamps’ entire email can be read below:
As Chair of the Montana State Republican Party and a previous legislative candidate, I have been involved in a lot of elections. They have ups and downs, they have times when I have either rejoiced or regretted. Fortunately, it’s been more rejoicing than regretting.
When you’ve been through as much as I have, though, you develop a long-term perspective about the inter-personal conflicts that happen in politics. They seem small, compared to the ideals that we’re working for. The ideas last longer than the personality conflicts ever could.
Lately, there has been some controversy about a few Republicans supporting a Democrat candidate in the election for Public Service Commission. I want to discourage that kind of behavior in strong terms.
There is a distinction between primary elections and general elections. Having a robust and vigorous debate in our primaries only strengthens our party and that is the proper forum for such discourse. But once the primary is over and our voters have nominated our candidates, we need to all rally behind them to achieve success in November.
Let me be perfectly clear: Any Republican who is publicly endorsing a Democrat is doing something that I consider to be wrong. Without exception, every single Republican nominee in Montana is a better choice for the good of our state than any Democrat nominee.
Roger Koopman is our Republican candidate. Speaking as the Chairman of the party, I endorse him wholeheartedly. If the members of the party want a chair who would ever consider any vote for a Democrat, well, they will have the chance to elect one next June. For now, you have me. And I say, vote Republican. Period.
I understand that, in the rough and tumble of elections, some of us get angry at others. Heck, I’ve struggled with that too. But the good of our state is more important than any one interpersonal squabble.
Let’s not forget that, in working to end Democrat policies of the past four years, we are working for the good of our country. When one of us has trouble getting along with another, that isn’t the main issue. If nothing else, the squabble will end when we die. But the country will go on long past that. And electing the Republican candidate is what we do to try and do right by our country and state.
So I say to all Republicans, if we disagree with each other, let’s ratchet back the rhetoric. If the infighting works to keep taxes high and regulations higher, is it really worth it?
Ronald Reagan made a famous joke: The 11th commandment is, “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” Republicans ought to live by that.
We are in the right, let’s have faith in our candidates. We can move forward as one single party with many ideas, many diverse concerns, but always with the thought that we will do what is best for the Montana citizens, now and into the future.
Montana Republican Party
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