Right wing blaming anonymous blogs for GOP’s problems
Kudos to GOP senators President Jim Peterson and Senator Bruce Tutvedt, for thumbing their noses at their neanderthal GOP compatriots in the Senate and supporting (and actually carrying) Steve Bullock’s bill, SB 375, to reform campaign finance. Peterson and Tutdvedt held leadership posts once in the GOP, but were bounced by the new ruling right-wing junta.
Bullock’s bill imposes a very simple requirement, something you would think everybody could agree on: it requires campaign funding sources to be disclosed. If there is an ad on TV or radio, or a glossy mailer that arrives at a voters house, or a yard sign or leaflet, Montana law has always required that the voter be able to inquire as to who, exactly, is paying for the mass-produced item.
But the Supreme Court struck aspects of our law down (in Citizens United) and so Bullock and Peterson are trying to rewrite the statute to meet with the Supreme Court’s idiotic conclusion of law. At another time, Bullock was actually arguing the case in the Supreme Court.
Art Wittich, Jason Priest and others are leading the right-wing charge against the bill.
Hilariously, one of the GOP’s main arguments against this bill is….ready for this…..that Democrats are winning elections because of anonymous blogs, and this bill does nothing to regulate them. From the Helena IR today, reporting on Priest’s floor testimony on the bill:
State Sen. Jason Priest of Red Lodge warned fellow Republicans that the measure won’t affect anonymous blogs, a venue he argued where Democrats hold an advantage.
Priest went on to say that the democratic party uses blogs to “motivate voters,” presumably in a way that the GOP blogs fail to do. “Vote for this bill, and keep on losing elections,” Priest warned his fellow party members.
This same point is being made today, in a series of tweets, by party operative and former state GOP communications director Chris Shipp.
The bigger conflict, as we all know, is between conservative and moderate Republicans. Moderates are furious that right-wing groups, acting as a conservative Mujahideen, took it upon themselves to enforce conservative purity in recent elections. In 2010 and 2012 they spent big money to oust GOP moderate candidates in state legislative primaries. This division is a giant disaster for the GOP and has fractured the party possibly beyond repair. So it makes sense that they are blaming their problems on an anonymous blog. That’s what the GOP does best–blame someone else when it fucks up.
For the record, this blog is my own free speech, done on my uncompensated free time, and with the help of many tipsters who let me know about juicy stuff taking place in Montana politics. Mostly it is about googling, emailing and writing, things that many Republicans seem to struggle with as if these tasks require some advanced degree in science.
I get a few thousand readers on a good day (although I did get 14,000 on a single day last month!). It is true that this blog has become influential, but only because it prints facts and opinion that state newspapers, and in some cases democrats in general, choose not to bother putting out there. And don’t forget other blogs such as Flathead Memo, From Eternity to Here, Intelligent Discontent and the many of the blogs listed on the right of your screen on this page, who also do the same, important type of work.
More to the point, Jason Priest and other Tea Partiers should try to take this occasion to become more introverted and ponder an important question: why are typical Republican thinkers and writers in Montana incapable of producing a blog worth reading?