2014 is going to be a great year for blogging.
The former TEA Party Republican legislator and nullification nutjob from the Flathead who proudly marched in a Memorial day parade wearing the confederate flag says he’s running for the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in Montana.
Skees is also the creator of the 2011 election cycles most…interesting political ad. He lost big to Monica Lindeen for state auditor that year. So we’re likely to see more such hilarity in 2014.
He made national news as a TEA Party nutjob and states-rights fanatic. He believes that the fifty states individually can, should and must override federal law when they please. He admittedly does not recognize the supremacy clause of the US Constitution and believes Abraham Lincoln was the villain and cause of the Civil War, that the Southern States had the right to do what they wanted, including own slaves, without interference from the federal government. Such ideas were explicitly expressed by Skees in an e-mail to a supporter in 2010, which was published in the Flathead Memo at the time but has so far received little coverage from major newspapers in the state (which raises disturbing questions).
Montanans aren’t very fond of right-wing radicals nor people who wear confederate flags. Plus the current PSC is already over-stuffed with angry right wingers like the infamous Roger Koopman, whose early history is chronicled nicely at A Chicken is Not Pillage. So the addition of Skees would leave the PSC even more unbalanced.
What’s also interesting is that Mr. Skees is implicated in the American Tradition Partnership illegal coordination scandal. Montana’s top election regulator says he’s launching an investigation into candidates ATP helped to elect in 2010, and the results of the investigation could become public at any time. Skees could be on the list of candidates who will be investigated because documents linked to Mr. Skees were uncovered in a brilliant work of national investigative journalism PBS did last year. In a full-hour exposé of Montana politics and the secretive right-wing group, PBS’s show Frontline revealed the secret stash of incriminating documents which was found in a meth house, showing extensive communications between several GOP legislative candidates and the ATP, and showing that the ATP was even preparing campaign material for them, such as this letter.
The democratic candidate for the seat is state Rep. Galen Hollenbaugh (D-Helena). Hollenbaugh has been in the state legislature since 2006 and the voters have returned him to office in each election since then. He’s vice-chair of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation.
Skees, thankfully, was a one-termer. He also ran unsuccessfully for state auditor in 2011. Skees also promotes his “classes” on the propaganda book “The 5000 Year Leap”, written by racist W. Cleon Skousen. Skees says all legislators should use the book’s principles to decide how to vote.