Two former Montana Growth Network board members say they left group because it “redirected its course.”
The course that group is currently on–making statewide headlines as a dark money group that raised 70 percent of its funds from only five donors.
These five donors basically bought themselves a Supreme Court seat. The dark money group spent exponentially more on Supreme Court seat for TEA Partier Laurie McKinnon than the candidate herself raised and bought a flood of attack mailers to defeat the Medicaid expansion in the last legislative session. They sent out attack mailers into GOP districts attacking anyone they thought might not automatically vote to keep millions out of Montana’s economy and turn away federal funds that would have paid 100% of the health care benefits for the working poor-people who make $8/hour or less.
As Michael Beckel for the Center for Public Integrity reported in a story that Lee Newspapers ran statewide, McKinnon raised only $42,000 for her own campaign, but Montana Growth Network, ran by disgraced Sen. Jason Priest (R-TEA Red Lodge) and Rep. Ed Walker (R-TEA Exxon Mobil), spent over $690,000 on the race and the attack mailers.
Jason Priest is not running for re-election as he faces charges for parter and family member assault, although it is not known what involvement he still has in the dark money movement. His trial is set for August 12. Ed Walker is running the legislative campaign effort for the Montana GOP.