Senate Candidate will be chosen next week

With the announcement that John Walsh has departed the Senate race, the Democratic party is planning a date TBD next week as the nominating convention for Walsh’s replacement. The “central committee” will decide the matter. This group is composed of 175 or so party officers such as county chairs and vice chairs, all members of the executive board, presidents of each chartered Democratic organization, and the elected positions of Lt. Gov, Clerk of the Supreme Court, and Public Service Commissioner. They will descend upon Helena and convene at a TBD location and time probably in the next week to choose a replacement candidate.

Lots of rumors so far as to who will show up to make their case to the delegates, but so far only three candidates have actually said publicly that they will try for the nomination: Dirk Adams, Franke Wilmer and Dave Wanzenried. Two of them, Wilmer and Wanzenried, have excellent legislative careers and Dirk Adams was one of the few who stepped up to run in the primary.

Brian Schweitzer sent his regrets today; Nancy Keenan, widely speculated as the leading replacement candidate, is on record saying that she is not interested. Monica Lindeen also declined as has Denise Juneau.

One name not recently discussed in any great length, but which bears consideration or at least musing because he is one of only two people who could start out in the lead against Daines, is Steve Bullock. He’s 20 points more popular than Daines and even if he lost he’d still be employed.  But alas Bullock poured water on this idea today.  He’s not in the mix.

Many tips have come in today to my tip line about other names, and there has been rampant twitter speculation about many others. These include John Bohlinger, Linda McCulloch, Carl Borgquist (Bozeman), Ed Smith (Helena), Pam Bucy (Helena) Amanda Curtis (Butte), Mike Phillips (Bozeman), former Schweitzer staffers Dan Villa (Anaconda) and Eric Stern (Helena), Carol Williams (Missoula), Anna Whiting Sorrell (St. Ignatius), Diane Smith (Whitefish), Jacquie Helt (Helena), Elizabeth Best (Great Falls), Casey Schreiner (Great Falls), Kim Abbott (Helena), and Mike Cooney (Helena).

This as you can see is a wide open contest, and the convention promises to be a unique day in Montana political history. So stay tuned and enjoy the theater.  Let me know what you’re hearing about who is running in the comments.





34 Comments on "Senate Candidate will be chosen next week"

  1. Although those outside of the legal profession have probably never heard of her, Elizabeth Best is a truly remarkable woman. Ask any lawyer you know. They’ll know of her. Smart, tough, fearless, and a person of impeccable integrity. I know she’s a longshot, but she is the Elizabeth Warren of Montana. I guarantee it.

    I also like most all of the people mentioned in the list.

    Again, did I mention that I would call Elizabeth Best the Elizabeth Warren of Montana! Because she is. She would be perfect except for the fact that most people have never heard of her.

  2. Anna Sorrell?? Cowgirl you must be kidding. She just about ran a state agency into the ground and then did the same ting with a federal agency and left under a cloud and is under investigation. Ask anyone at DPHHS what they think about her. Pick five people at random and ask them. You are guaranteed a uniform response.

  3. Larry people have heard of Elizabeth Best – she ran for Supreme Court–a statewide race. That certainly gives her more name recognition than some of the legislative names mentioned.

    • Beth great citizen, but I bet GOP ‘Dark Money’ would accuse her of all kinds of bogus sh………t, and can
      only guess what the Tribune would do………..

  4. Amanda Curtis?! Hooray!!!

  5. The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    • Exactly! I for one believe the Dems need to turn over more reins to the Young Democrats pronto. I love Lewis fighting for his spot in the legislature and would take any of the Women here for senate, Plus Elizabeth Best… Though I would prefer Amanda Curtis over all. We all know Franke and Amanda both have name recognition in Montana…. something we need.

      If our party would just hammer on Steve Daines votes alone plus his endorsments, almost all of them have benefited the 1%. We could still win this.

      Just found out Yesterday that the John Birch society gives Daines a lifetime position vote of 80%. Apparently they love his war on women, shutting down the Govt, and hating on Minorities.

  6. Amanda Curtis #mtsen #mtpol If there is a candidate from the Montana Democratic Party, all of the funds, the campaign staff, and the support of 1000s of working people, teachers, health care providers and Montanans who want Medicaid Expansion then we should commit those resources to send Amanda Curtis to Washington DC.

    How exciting would it be for young people, women, and Montanans to get to consider Amanda Curtis? She is able to express outrage when it is needed against the folks who would stifle the dreams of young people, those not allowing women to plan for their families, those who don’t really care about the health of women in their lives, and uncles, aunts, grandpas, and grandmas on Social Security who want to be there to help young Montanans .

    Here’s a couple of links. for Amanda Curtis, of Butte. She expresses the outrage and the excitement on her Facebook posts from her time in the legislature.

    Amanda Curtis on non-profit, nonpartisan, “educational” materials for each & every policy maker.

    The debate on the floor of the legislature removing an old bad law making it illegal to be gay.

  7. I’d say Karl Rove has already decided for us who our senator will be, using dark money to flood the airwaves and social media and strong-arming the state’s newspapers, all on Daines’ behalf. Just look how Rove’s boiler-room right-wing investigative unit turned up an obscure document from Walsh’s past, fed it to the New York Times, and destroyed the opposition… shades of the work of Nixon’s plumbers, except this time the NYT is an unindicted co-conspirator. Brilliant!
    If the Democrats are to have any chance on this short notice, they’ll need a zinger of a candidate plus their own team of plumbers working to turn up something devastating in Daines’ past, which I don’t see happening.

  8. I’d heard two men from War College did the disclusure of the Thesis. But maybe it’s much more interesting than that.
    Do tell more, with source and links!
    There’s low hanging fruit that’s easy to pick.
    Check out what JUST IN TIME software does! Duh!
    Quick sell to lots of recent PG client relationships.
    I really do not get it!
    To me, Nancy Keenan is #1 most likely to win
    AND Become one our few (Metcalf for sure) great Senators
    I ask for some comment on the concept of
    conaidering Keenan.

    Plugger Bob

  9. What about money? Did all that money donated to Walsh just go down a rabbit hole? Is any of it available to his replacement?

    I personally favor Amanda Curtis, who is brilliant. But she’s a school teacher. Does she have any money? Not much.

    Does she have time to attract money? Maybe.

    • Right about the Walsh funds, and every penny needs to be put to next candidate. And how
      about that ‘Max’ guy? HE NEEDS TO PUT ALL HIS DOUGH for the effort, since he could
      have easily STAYED the course for just one more year, kept the Senate seat, THEN bow out
      to play in China for Corporate friends.

  10. I think Franke Wilmer (Bozeman) should be getting more consideration, and would probably be the best choice.

    Although I’d be a little hesitant to pull her off a competitive SD race, she is an articulate, smart progressive woman who is one of the few left with the experience and poise to make it a serious race. She’s also one of the few left other than Bohlinger/Adams who’ve run a statewide campaign within the last 1-2 cycles. Also, she’s probably more well known in the Bozeman/Butte area than Daines, meaning she could peel away some votes that he’d consider his “base.”

    Franke is the same age as most people going to the polls, and can clearly and succinctly take on Daines. If the delegates are making smart decisions about who would be best positioned to still have a shot and also have the needed attributes and ability to put forth progressive values to the voters as well as has the experience to run a statewide campaign, I think she’s the best chance.

  11. Sadly, the facts are: (1) anyone listed in Cowgirl’s post is better than Steve Daines; and (2) whoever is picked is going to lose. Whoever is picked is going to get 40% of the base vote, and that isn’t going to be good enough UNLESS someone starts funneling some money to the Libertarian candidate to split the angry white crackpot vote.

  12. Ahem, people: Plagiarism is a sign of a weak intellect and a lack of integrity. These are the qualifications for high office in your party, I realize, but please don’t sit here and tell us that plagiarism is not a big deal.

    It’s a big deal. Period.

    • My bet is Walsh didn’t even know he plagiarized. More importantly, why wasn’t the plagiarism caught by a War College staffer in 2007. My guess, it was never read. Plagiarism is easy to recognize in a paper. So then some repug doing the dirty work finds it. It does show Walsh’s intellect, though. He should have had a better answer.

      • Oh, it was read alright. It was a glowing portrayal of Bush II’s “Bush Doctrine” on foreign policy; just what one would expect the folks at the Army War College to look favorably upon. More likely is that the plagiarism that has been ASSERTED is not of the garden variety failure to cite or give rightful credit to others for the words/ideas contained in one’s writing. Rather, if it has any truth to it, it may be of another type of plagiarism in which a person has another person do a legitimate paper which he then submits as his own work. As in inappropriate use of Command Influence to have an eager-to-please subordinate do the research and writing and then submit it as one’s own work. And that, if proved, brings another whole set of sanctions to the table. But, politics is not a court of law, and mere suggestion––much less assertion––is enough to treat the subject of the smear as guilty and derail their campaign. If innocence is later established, there will be no one to “blame”, except perhaps the NYT for publishing an unfounded political flaming. And that’ll get an “oops”.

    • I’ve looked at the thesis in question, and, while a little thin for a Master’s Thesis at 14 pages, there are 96 footnotes attributing his sources. I’m not certain that plagiarism alllegations will sustain scrutiny. But, they have done what they were intended to. When the Army War College comes out with its findings it will probably receive no coverage, absent Walsh himself pushing for it. The NYT should also have the integrity to make a point of covering the AWC findings on the plagiarism allegations, and to issue a public apology if it turns out that they flamed somebody without evidence.

  13. Given odds of a victory are slim, perhaps consideration should go to building name recognition for a future race. Give priority to candidates who have a shot at unseating Zinke in 2016.

    • There needs to be some ‘DEEP’ research on Zinke’s activities in the service. I’m tired of Dems lying on
      the floor in the fetal position!@ Get some ba…….ls.

      • Of course, you mean things that he might be guilty of that people in your party are not guilty of.

        Good luck on that one.

    • Yes- that would be the most strategic thing, we need to make sure Zinke is a one-termer.

      • Incumbency is strategically not in your favor. Emphatically not. Look at Max Sieben Baucus….you know, the “courage” speech where he was running on all four cylinders?

  14. Amanda Curtis! She’ll get Labor’s support, that’s another 50 boots on the ground, she’s young, passionate, and people are READY FOR HILLARY and want to elect a woman! I think it will fire up the base. Especially with those that were “meh” about Walsh, now that the nation’s eyes are on this race because of the Walsh “scandal” let’s put someone in that people will get excited about now that they are paying attention!! My two cents…

    • EGG SACKLY, dj! See any headlines about Pee Wee Daines recently? ME NEITHER! Walsh did the state a favor! This is exciting! This is tremendous! This is REALITY TV POLITICS! What do the Pubes have to do to make the news? Dipshit Daines has now conceded that the earth is FIVE thousand years old instead of four?! bwhwhwhahahahahahaa!

      This is actually probably the best thing that could have happened to the state! Now, all the Dems have to do, IF they have the nuts, is shine the LIGHT on that little cockroach asshole Dianes and his butt buddy Giantfart, the great DINO saur museum creator! Look, how ’bout a commercial with Jack Horner saying something like, “Hi, I’m Jack Horner, the world famous dinosaur scientist. The world is NOT four thousand years old!” And then, mr. Giantfart, saying, Hi,I’m outta stater dude mr.Giantfart, creator of Rightwing Now Technologies, and butt buddy and benefactor to Pee Wee Daines, and I say the that Jesus RODE a dinosaur”! Go see my creation museum that God and I blessed Montana with”!

      Like it? Me too! But will the Dims have the nuts. Will the Dims have the nuts. THAT is the question! I seriously doubt it. The Pat quitter wms. wing of the party will say that that is too harsh. Paddy thinks he can win with his soporific editorials on Sally Mockery lost DO report channel! Good luck with THAT, Paddy! I say, LET’S HAVE SOME WITH THESE PATHETIC CHRISOFASCIST ASSHOLES!

      Let’s send a fighter this time, folks. I don’t give a God DAMNED which one it is, as long as they’ll enter the f*cking ring with confidence and attitude! Make Pee Wee and his butt buddy Giantfart PISS their pants! That’s all I ask. Now, if you folks on the list can’t do that, get out now and let someone ELSE take over. I suspect that Adams is ready for some fun!

      p.s Ever fought a guy that just sits there and grins like hell at you? Very, very unnerving! Let’s do it! Laff at the christofascist dinks! I do daily!

    • *Some* people are ready for Hillary. Only some.

  15. Awareandnotstupid | August 11, 2014 12:14 AM at 12:14 AM |

    You all can’t figure out who leaked the story to the NYT and did Walsh in? It’s yet’ ol’ pal Gov. Scheister. He knew all along that Walsh had the plagiarism Skelton in the closet. He’s mad as hell that things didn’t work out for him so he dropped the mother of all bombs!. He’s a vindictive fellow, and he was going to make sure Walsh got the boots just to even the score with Tester, Baucus and Messina? He’s a spoiled bully and if he can’t have the big prize he’s gonna’ make sure nobody else on the D side gets it either.

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