Rumors From Australia, About Schweitzer, Tester and Baucus

What to make  of all the gossip?  The good news, at least, is that gossip is no longer just for blogs, but is now a mainstream media pursuit in Montana.   The latest dish is about Tester and Baucus, supposedly sticking knives in Schweitzer and forcing him to drop out of the US Senate race.

Or at least that’s the allegation raised in this week’s Great Falls Tribune piece by John Adams.  It’s an interesting idea, but not entirely substantiated by anything I’ve read so far.  “Unnamed operatives” and “anonymous sources,” long shunned by the Montana press (admirably so), were cited by an Australian tabloid as claiming that Schweitzer was done in by the two senators.  This story, in turn, was the basis of a story by the Tribune.

It’s easy to believe that Tester and Baucus didn’t want Schweitzer around.  That much is common sense.   Schweitzer always had a way of sucking the air out of the room when the three of them were together and often one-upped them, looking good at their expense by ridiculing the US Senate as an institution, and its work product (deserved ridicule, by the way).  That was always Schweitzer’s favorite pastime.

And the three men fought for column space on issues in Montana.  A good example is the North Fork of the Flathead, a wild ecological spot which Schweitzer brought protection with a treaty with British Columbia, a move that caused the Montana press corp to laud Schweitzer and chide Baucus, who had worked on the issue in the Senate for many years but was never quite able to nail it down.

But it seems far fetched that they would take concrete steps to stymie him.   Even if you believe that Schweitzer wanted to become Senator (a questionable proposition, his exploratory activities notwithstanding), what, precisely, might Tester and Baucus, or the people that work for them, have done to “sink” Schweitzer, as the Tribune posits?

Did they try to discourage Harry Reid and Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, and their fundraising apparatus known as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign, from supporting Schweitzer? Was Obama, perhaps via Baucus acolyte Jim Messina, involved?  Obama has a mixed opinion of Schweitzer, who not only remained neutral in the 2008 Montana presidential primary but also was a critic (from the left) of Obamacare, and also failed to toe the party line with the administration on resource issues like wolves, bison, the Keystone pipeline and so on.

Did any or all of these folks plant the questionable story in the newspaper a few weeks ago, about “dark money” groups that are connected to a former aide of Schweitzer’s who once worked in Washington?  The Baucus team almost certainly had opposition research on Schweitzer, and for a good reason: Baucus always stood a chance of being challenged by Schweitzer in a primary.  There is no chance that Baucus did not have a dossier on Schweitzer.


80 Comments on "Rumors From Australia, About Schweitzer, Tester and Baucus"

  1. Its total BS and its a shame the story has had the Legs to move this far.

  2. Matthew Koehler | July 22, 2013 8:19 AM at 8:19 AM |

    See also:

    Why Tester stuck his shiv in Schweitzer’s back
    By James Conner, Flathead Memo

  3. The groups, (CFSA and ASP) did in fact exist, did use a shared box with Schweitzer’s JOBS campaign PAC, did have money from not just Schweitzer’s leftovers but Democratic Governors’ Assn, money which has been twice-laundered so far — just ask the ONE woman at the Trister Ross law firm that keeps the books.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tester camp is involved. After all, JT has that constitutional amendment going, on the other hand, the entire CFSA affair exposes a network of high-dollar national professionals and their links to Montana operatives, specifically M+R. If THAT came out, then dark-money hater Tester is going to look pretty hypocritical.
    Which is precisely what the CFSA exposure did to Schweitzer. There’s no way he could have hidden from what he so loudly said, and what he quietly did.

  4. Dave, to the extent that those dark money sources are tied to political appointments or other governor political actions taken, comparison of Schweitzer to Blagojevich becomes clearer.

    • …and as to Cowgirl’s speculation of Baucus having a Schweitzer dossier, don’t forget that Baucus didn’t willingly end his effort for re-election. He was pushed out. Having that dossier find its way into the stream of consciousness that points an accusing finger at fellow Dem Schweitzer is just life and a bit of physics– every action has an equal and opposite reaction. “Riding high in April and shot down in May.”

      • Baucus pushed himself out, with his tongue and lips. Like the comments in Libby he hadn’t read Obamacare, then his “train wreck” remarks?

  5. Montanans are clearly ready for some new names in the coming primaries: good thing most of the talent is on the D side of the pool while the earth haters jostle for the deep end.

  6. Schweitzer’s explanation that he had no desire to be in DC rings true to me.

    DC is toxic — since 2009 especially.

    Anyone who loves Montana and has been to DC in the last while gets this immediately.

      • Cory booker will win his seat making it exactly six seats the GOP would have to make up…. so it isn’t gonna happen.

        Secondly today on the biggest news channel in the country univision didn’t get any satisfactory answers from a GOP Senator Sessions the Immigration bill was gonna pass, he didn’t apologize for calling the hispanic mutts, and dogs they are the gop are in real trouble here….

        ‘ When asked if they have ever voted Republican for any federal, state or local election, 49% of Latino voters said they had voted Republican at some point in the past. That means about half of all Latinos are possible Republican voters if the party supports issues important to the Latino community. However, they will never achieve the 30% mark again if they continue to be perceived as an anti-immigrant party by Latino voters. When asked how they would respond if Republicans block the comprehensive immigration reform bill, 50% of Latinos said it would make them less likely to vote Republican ever again, including 40% of Latinos who had previously voted Republican. When hearing the quotes from House Republicans who appear to set on blocking immigration reform, large percentages of Latinos think the anti-immigrant quotes speak for “many Republicans in Congress” including 70% of Latino evangelicals who agree, 64% of high-income earners, 62% of college graduates, and notably, 55% of Latinos who have previously voted Republican, think “there are many Republicans in Congress” who hold such anti-immigrant views.”

        They cant win without people of color period.

        But a new analysis from the firm Latino Decisions finds that there are a handful of Republicans who could feel compelled to pass some kind of reform.

        In all, there are 44 seats held by House Republicans with a large Latino population that could have an effect on their re-election chances in 2014. We’ve plotted them all on this map, by Congressional district:
        There are 24 Republicans in “Tier 1” and “Tier 2,” the tiers that are most likely to flip based on Latino Decisions’ analysis. Latino Decisions based their analysis on where the 2010 Latino voting age population either exceeds or approaches the 2012 margin of victory, as well as seats won by the opposition party’s presidential candidate. “Tier 3” Republicans are safer, and usually won their districts by double digits in 2012.

        The different “tiers” are determined by a combination of the incumbent’s margin of victory in 2012 and the district’s Latino population. If the Republican incumbent were ousted in the 24 “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” districts, that would be enough to swing the balance of the House of Representatives in the 2014 election.

        “There are signs that Republicans could face significant backlash if immigration reform is tabled this year. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, voters in seven toss-up Republican-held districts would be much less likely to vote for their representative if the House fails to pass some kind of immigration reform bill. ”

  7. Your all being played…. Looking for reasons why Schweitzer wouldn’t allow you to draft him…. remember you wanted him to run, no one has ever asked him. Trying to force something he seem interested from the start.

    People in my own party amaze me sometimes!

    Larry your right though we do have a deep bench.

  8. Trying to force something on him, he seemed uninterested with from the start.

  9. I wouldn’t trust Max as far as I could through him-he only cares about one thing- himself–if you’ve ever written a letter to him you know what im talking about-you get nothing at all in response —and then months later a barely relevant form letter dismissing your opinion

  10. Oops!! Throw not through

  11. When it’s the mean old Republicans, Cowgirl says it’s dark money. When it’s the good ol’ Democrats, it’s “dark money” in quotes. Apparently it’s just a rumor when it gets Democrats elected.

  12. All these guys have strong narcissistic tendencies. Obviously, you need some of that to run for public office. But Tester has at his core an ingenuousness that most of us can identify with. Baucus is is the middle somewhere, but Schweitzer is not afflicted with even a shadow of modesty or self-doubt. Valuing control and image to the exclusion of everything else is entertaining, but governing is not campaigning. Please, big-headed showboats who order people about are not what we need going into the future.

    • So, that means Native is running for Senate, right? And even if MTNE somehow wins without acting like a steam calliope, there’s 99 others.

    • Ingenuousness? I can’t think of a single U.S. Senator to whom that word would apply, even remotely.

      • in·gen·u·ous (n-jny-s)
        1. Lacking in cunning, guile, or worldliness; artless.
        2. Openly straightforward or frank; candid. See Synonyms at naive.
        3. Obsolete Ingenious.

        So Tester is naive and “most of us” can identify? But yeah, James is pretty close to the mark.

  13. By the way Cowgirl Business insider is owned in New York not Australia. Owned by Doubleclick which is now owned by google.

    The online financial paper hasn’t been around very long 2009, and their illustrious chief is Henry Blodget, a Yale graduate who previously worked on Wall Street before being censured and barred from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    So Yeah it still smells pretty fishy.

  14. Hey, how about that exciting rally in Helena where Amanda Curtis committed political suicide today?

    • Pretty much career ending for her to be supportive of expanded useless, ineffectual gun control. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Baucus decides to run after all?

    • Seriously? She’s brave. And she didn’t commit political suicide; she’s giving Baucus a face-saving opportunity to play the conscience trump card that will seal his legacy as a hero as he exits DC. This is Montana, fer Pete’s sakes! This is a strong, logical, moral stand that will ensure Montana schoolkids learn about history’s finest: Mike Mansfield, Jeanette Rankin, Tim Babcock, and Max Baucus. I say, do it, Max. Do it for Montana.

    • The point is being missed by WAY too many. Guns are ending up in the hands of the insane or in the hands of career criminals. All we want is a way to stem the flow of illegal guns. The knee-jerk anger is misplaced, on the Capital steps Amanda said she would be the first one to stand up for your second amendment rights and against ANY form of government gun grab.
      Do you folks really want to arm the insane? Do you love death and killing of the innocent? Do you covet murder? Because that is how it looks to me. I have had a concealed weapons permit for over twenty years, I have had many background checks and my rights are intact! If you are frightened by the idea of being on a list I have some news for you, if you have a hunting license you are on a list of gun owners, if you are in the NRA you are on a list of gun owners, if you have legally purchased a gun you are on a list of gun owners. And guess what no one is coming for your guns. If you think that “they” are coming for your guns you might be a bit too paranoid, and being afraid all the time is no way to live. I pray for you all. I pray God gives you peace in your hearts so you will not live a life of fear and anger.

      • Very well said, Kevin.

      • Kevin, Exaggerate much?

        • Thats your comeback? Thats all you can say to Kevin, that devoid of facts for a comeback? what a pathetic answer.

          Go On and believe the lies the NRA and republicans tell you. They are the ones selling guns to the insane, finding ways to give back weapons rights to the professional criminal. they do it to promote your fear…. meanwhile you scare the kids so much in your family with the insane propaganda you have swallowed hook, line, and sinker they decide to take their lives… thinking the world cannot help them. And Jerks like you because you are scared, you leave a gun out with live ammo nearby…. you’re afraid of black helicopters… you facilitate these kids finding a gun…. and in that 5 minute decision to take their lives, you have supplied the weapon they kill themselves with.

          Congratulations Mr Anderson you are an accessory to murder, and closer to that movie drone of matrix…That you fancy enough to steal the name from.

          • An accessory to murder? Sheesh. Norma, outright exaggerations and inflammatory comments don’t help the cause. I did not write anything for or against background checks. I posted three words and you turned that into a crazy comment about black helicopters and murder. I think you made my point. Lets have real conversations not angry rhetoric.

          • But just to be clear, including the Matrix in this conversation was uncalled for.

            • Montana has been in the top 5 percent for suicides for the last 30 years, Fact! 85% of firearms used in suicide in Montana come from the victims home, Fact also.

              So what does this mean, the family homes most paranoid about Government take over, crap said since the country was born,where someone leaves a gun out for self defense, are the homes most likely to have been the facilitator of self inflicted murder.

              whether you like it or not your Paranoia is killing your family at a far higher rate.
              This might not be the answer you want, but it is the answer you deserve, because its true!

              • Please point to a post where I express my paranoia that the gov is going to take my guns. Or maybe point to a post where I say I am against background checks. My only point was accusing a person of coveting murder because they do not agree on universal background checks is an exaggeration and not helpful. You seem to be the one with the tinfoil hat. And please stop projecting your republican hatred on me. Your willingness to attack people the moment they seem to stray from your approved liberal doctrine is no better then the teabaggers on the far right. What’s next Norma, litmus test for party purity?

                • I am no Republican Mr. Anderson. your the one who thinks people like Kevin Exaggerate facts when they don’t fit your profile…. unwilling to even look at states for suicide.

                  So tell me, you do not think careless gun culture in this state for the last 30 years has nothing to do with the state being the 5th most likely place a person will kill himself with a gun??? Really?

                  • Saying a person that does not agree with universal background checks covets murder is not a fact, it’s exaggerated rhetoric. It’s no different than a pro-life advocate saying democrats like killing babies. And again, I have not stated any opinion on background checks, shown any unwillingness to accept suicide statistics, nor eluded to any paranoia toward the government. So what profile are you speaking of? By your logic you must believe that both Max and Schweitzer covet murder, and we both know that is absurd.

                    • “And again, I have not stated any opinion on background checks, ”

                      So why don’t you do so? What is at play in Kevin’s comment is the logical law of the excluded middle. What you call hyperbole (exaggeration) is logically sound. Either you are in favor of universal background checks and denial of firearm purchase by the mentally unstable, or you favor those people being allowed to buy guns regardless of what reservations or rationalizations you may have. It is that simple. Rather than a lame accusation leveled at Kevin, perhaps you’d like to answer the question at hand. So, which is it?

                    • Rob, your question is unanswerable until “metally unstable” is defined in a useable way to be applied to firearm possession transfers. As you well know presently form 4473 question 11f says, “Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetant to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?” According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Volume 2, “committed to a mental institution” is defined as: “Committed to a mental institution. A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.”

                      Now, what do you and Kevin have in mind to go beyond that would not conflict with HIPPA privacy? Then, how would it be administered in gift and private sales? I assume you know that the track record on checking 11f answers is very poor under the current system.

                    • I dunno. How ’bout actually checking the answers to 11f, which the current system does not allow for? We might actually agree on this point, Craig.

      • Kevin, when a politician generalizes without specifics, the devil is always in the details. Many people fill the vacuum with the worst of what they have come to expect from politicians. Now remove the emotional plea from the argument. Specifically, what measures does your wife support and just how will they interdict the current tragic history of gun violence?

        As to my comment about her statement being career ending, Obama had a very poor showing in 2012 in Montana. People just don’t trust him. His calls for gun control just raises the hackles when his proposed measures will have no discernible effect while adding to the burdens of law abiding citizens. Also, Montana has something like 120 firearm businesses per 100,000 people. It’s big business here especially west of the divide.

        • Craig every democrat according to you would lose an election if they ordered the wrong vinaigrette for their salad..

          You said bullock would lose, Tester also, you picked Romney over Obama even though the polls you cited were highly suspect.

          I realize you are not a parrot but you sure cry cracker a lot.

          • Norma, you have quite an itch. Try some salve. I did not pick Bullock as I don’t believe I even opined as to the likely winner. As to Tester, I did pick him to win even though I noted some polls had him trailing. As James Conner noted in his take down piece of Tester’s skulduggery against Schweitzer, Tester’s win was twice dependent on a 3rd part drawing votes away from his challenger. As to Romney and Obama, Romney took Montana by a wide margin. After all this is about Montana and how voters are likely to lean given their perceptions of the choices.

          • I think harsh realistic rhetoric is needed to lull people out of continuing to closed their eyes to the dangers presented in any rural area.

      • I’m praying too Kevin. For a James Knox post.

  15. Turner, were you born an idiot, or did you need a degree?
    Can the race-baiting, please, or maybe direct it at Al Sharpton.
    The only useful, effective gun control is perforating the intended target, donchaknow. “Gun control” as posited by gun-haters is founded in ignorance and doomed to fail as policy. Part of the reason Nanny Bloomberg is still wasting his money on this garbage — he truly has no clue how wrongheaded he is.

    • The head of the NRA is an overt racist — remember his remarks about how wrong it was of the North the fight against slavery — and all you go-along guys must buy into the racism. Why else would you still be members of or sympathizers with the group?

      For someone of your moral caliber to accuse me of ignorance is pathetic.

    • Uh Dave Turner was a college professor….. and you have crap for a education. The only pathetic asshole is you!

      • College professor? Not just a degree but a DOCTORATE? Wow, I’m impressed. But I sure feel sorry for his students.
        But please, Turner, explain to me how owning firearms and wanting to retain the right to do so is racist. What is your basis for making such a vast generalization?

        • So now you’re inferring like Craig, are you guys talented enough to do any other word dance than the Propaganda of talking out both sides of your Mouth…. Just saying, whoever taught you needs their diploma revoked

  16. Norma sweetie, your complaint is with Cowgirl who wrote,

    The Baucus team almost certainly had opposition research on Schweitzer, and for a good reason: Baucus always stood a chance of being challenged by Schweitzer in a primary. There is no chance that Baucus did not have a dossier on Schweitzer.”

  17. Craig I can give her a pass she does not screw up often, you and Dave on the other hand…. Screw up on a daily basis… amazingly! “Here is a straw, suck it up and move along.”

    • Norma sweetie, are you saying Cowgirl “screwed up” by printing the truth about Baucus having a dossier on Schweitzer, or by not knowing what CG was talking about and just making it up? Seems odd it would be the latter given CG’s Dem party connections.

      • You keep putting words in my mouth I never said Craig, so now you’re a liar as well as a horrible story teller that can only provide a script the GOP and big corporations provide.

        Good thing you can at least read or you would be even more useless a mockingbird, another senseless voice for the American taliban… then you already have proven yourself to be!

        • “You keep putting words in my mouth I never said” This seems to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  18. Craig infers.


    Deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.
    to guess; speculate; surmise.
    to hint; imply; suggest.

    More common phrase for Republicans like craig: To throw shit and hope that it sticks.

    • Use the straw and run along Craig!

    • Norma, here are your words once again, “Craig I can give her a pass she does not screw up often.” Now are you giving her a pass because she didn’t screw up, or because you saw a screw up with this post????? Giving someone a pass for not screwing up would be odd even for you.

      Again I ask you, are you saying Cowgirl “screwed up” by printing the truth about Baucus having a dossier on Schweitzer, or by not knowing what CG was talking about and just making it up?

  19. If you cannot read that the source is not from Australia….. I dont know what else to say. You cannot expand my comments past what I said and completely lie or attach completely different meanings… well You can because you just did……but that definitely proves you to be a Lying cuss, and just a step above what Mark use to do before he got banned.

    “Purposely lying about what a person said is considered Libel” That is what you are doing now?

    Do you know how piss poor a job you are doing at reinventing my words? I mean really, this is the best you can do?

    Anyone who is reasonable in thought and comprehension, can see you just started making shit up right now, talking out the side of you mouth, inferring something other than what I have already said. give it a rest craigo, and suck on that straw!

  20. One thing lost in this tangential mud slinging is CG’s calling the exposure of the two Schweitzer DGA political action committees as “questionable.” No, the PAC’s filed federal papers, public documents, and the address of record are on public documents — that’s not questionable at all. There’s no question the entities, and their monies, existed and/or exist.

  21. Rob,
    I have no problem with universal background checks, I think the gun show loop hole needs to be closed, I have no fear of the government coming for my guns nor do I think gun laws intended to help curb gun violence are an infringement on my 2nd amendment rights. But I do not support a comprehensive list of the mentally ill. There are many different levels of mental illness. Having a mental illness is not something that shows up on a background check (nor should it be) unless you have been committed to Warm Springs. So I completely disagree with the notion that “Either you are in favor of universal background checks and denial of firearm purchase by the mentally unstable, or you favor those people being allowed to buy guns” They do not automatically go hand in hand so I am not sure how you can treat them as if one is implicitly connected to the other. This is not an either or discussion, there is plenty of grey area. Looking at gun policy through a black and white lens does not help get to a real discussion about gun control. It simply adds to the background noise and in many cases can be damaging to the cause. For example, following your logic means that you believe both Max and Schweitzer “favor those people (mentally unstable) being allowed to buy guns.” That type of exaggerated rhetoric DOES NOT help, it only leads to people drawing lines in the stand, making grandiose accusations and eventually gridlock. I would have liked to see the rally in Helena show support for background checks and support increased funding for organizations and programs that help people deal with their mental illness before it gets to a point that they pick up a gun. So I do not disagree with the rally intentions, I disagreed with Kevin implying that people who may not feel the same about gun control are coveting murder or love to see the death of innocent people, or Norma implying that anybody who has a different opinion on gun control is killing their family, supplying weapons for kids to commit suicide or that their parents political beliefs/paranoia are a major factor when a child decides to kill himself.

  22. Universal background checks are just a convenient meme for back-side registration. If I buy a gun from my neighbor that hasn’t been in the system since he bought it in 1953, then all of a sudden it’s on fresh paper at the dealer, ready for the next horrible event (not prevented by UBC) to “justify” confiscating all 4473’s for entry into a database of both guns, and gun owners.
    Just imagine the data mining possible then.
    Not interested in going there, thanks.

  23. Getting back to the original topic in this posting….:)

    Sure, Brian was entertaining to watch when he was in office, but he was all about Brian. The Senate enjoys a modicum of respect because it’s purportedly made up of people who generally are known for approaching issues after considering all sides/perspectives, and who are endowed with a general level of respect for those who disagreed with them.

    That’s not Brian – he blasted without hesitation those who disagreed with him and he had no problem destroying the careers of those who went a step further and voiced their disagreement with Brian in a public forum.

    “Ready, fire, aim” shouldn’t be the standard approach to issues that Montana needs in its next Senator. Eventually, Brian would have engaged in trench warfare and alienated his peers -those he would ultimately need in his camp to be an effective Senator.

    Perhaps he’d have beaten his GOP opponent but we need more than just someone who can get in the door. Montana needs someone who can be an effective Senator, and Brian’s not that person.

    • Schweitzer will have far more impact as a presidential candidate in the Democratic primary than he would have as a US Senator: stay tuned.

      • That is what he is waiting for …. a Clinton bow out. If that should happen ( and probably not) Brian wins the chance to run for President. Why muck that up for a senate seat?

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