Adams Backs Bruce in Unlikely Campaign for MDP Chair

A woman named Louise Bruce has announced that she is running for Chair of the Montana Democratic Party.  The announcement was actually made by one of her backers, the former candidate Dirk Adams, who ran for Senate and lost to Amanda Curtis in the shortened Democratic primary.  Adams has sent an email out, criticizing the current chairman Jim Larson, and announcing his support for Bruce.  He cites her 30 years of organizing and an assortment of other activist work.

Adams’ email (predictably) trashes the “operatives” and “insiders” that he says control the party.  We should remember, however, that Adams has an axe to grind, having convinced himself that “the party” “orchestrated” Amanda Curtis’s nomination, when in fact it was an open election.

We often hear this charge from people who lose primaries, that the fix was in, that the election was rigged in their opponent’s favor by The Party.  It’s silly nonsense.

Beyond that, and more to the point, Larson will likely receive the endorsement of both Nancy Keenan (whom Adams praises in the email), and Steve Bullock.  Which means that Bruce will be a long shot.

Bruce is counting on an unlikely phenomenon, namely, that there will be an insurgent movement within the democratic rank and file at the August convention that will resemble what happened at the GOP convention last month, when the incumbent chair Will Deschamps got ejected from the chairmanship by an angry mob.  I don’t see it happening in our party, however.  Keenan is a new and popular figure in the party and it was Larson who brought her in.


34 Comments on "Adams Backs Bruce in Unlikely Campaign for MDP Chair"

  1. Jim Larson broke the party’s own rules illegally endorse John Lewis. He’s too corrupt, it’s why he’s destroyed MDP. He’s just rotten and can’t be trusted.

    But it’s doubtful the corruption to end as long as Bullock is in charge. Expect 2016 to be another miserable year for candidates crappy enough to be part of their corruption. More of the same!

    • Oh Noooooooooooo………and there goes the quiet of our Neighborhood. One of the most fake Liberals ever in our party, to voice a concern…….Mr. Bob.

      Larson is such old news Bob for scared fake democrats like you. And no where as scary as you L.I.N.O.’s( Liberals in name only) like to profess. Nancy Keenan has Kinda been around awhile, and you would know that, if you were in reality.

      There was nothing wrong with the pick of John Lewis.

      And a guy like you, who lives in a very fragile paper thin glass house himself…. should not throw rocks.

      So what links you wanna show us Bob, RIght wing fringe groups like Media Trackers who is owned by the Koch brothers????

      Isn’t that who you went to to spray propaganda during the last election when you got canned from the Bollinger campaign??

      Did you think we liberals wouldn’t remember all that hate spewed on twitter by you.

  2. My good friend Louise Bruce will make an excellent chairperson. “A woman named Louise Bruce” is an odd way to begin talking about her — as though she’s some obscure figure. Louise is very well known by Montana Democrats and is highly regarded by people of all political stripes.

  3. I have nothing bad to say about Louise Bruce – my only point is that Adams has an axe to grind that the Larson has done a good job.

    • How has Larson done a good job?

      He lost a senate seat Dems have held basically forever. He risked MDP’s tax exempt status with his illegal fraud concerning the endorsement of John Lewis (who was overwhelming rejected by the voters for good reason). Dems underperformed in legislative races during the key first cycle after redistricting. Candidate recruitment in 2016 is a complete disaster, with no viable candidates running against either statewide Republican incumbent running for reelection. There’s no excitement for MDP, it’s just a smaller and smaller group of corrupt stooges plundering the grassroots for profit.

      Jim Larson has been a disaster as MDP Chair. His overwhelming corruption is why fewer and fewer voters identify as Democrats. There needs to be serious reform of the MDP, which begins by throwing out the bums who illegally bossed the 2014 primary. The culture of corruption under Jim Larson needs to end.

      Throw the bum out!

  4. Louise Bruce is a good woman who would make a fine party chair. Conservationists especially should give her serious consideration.

  5. Good morning, Eric. Just a couple of points this am. First, I was the delegate at the August nominating convention who moved to make Amanda’s nomination unanimous. Second, I told several party leaders at the conclusion of the August convention, including the then executive director, that I thought the convention had been run fairly.

    A man named Liberty Valance. No wait, that’s not right. Oh, yes, a man named Dirk Adams

    • Louise Bruce is Probably one of the most amiable/yet Tough Honest people/persons I know. Of all the Dems in the state…I consider her one of the most qualified we have, one of the harder working advocates in our party. one of the best Multitaskers I have ever seen.

      And she listens to the Young Dems we have in the party.

      Finally someone I and Dirk Adams see eye to eye on…. a real person in the party for a change!!!!

    • If you don’t mind my asking, exactly who is “Eric”? Also, please remember that anyone can be anyone on the Intertubes. I like to believe that you are Dirk Adams. But my commitment to that as truth is a weak thing.

    • Dirk, Your move to make Amanda’s nomination unanimous was not lost on us. It demonstrated your commitment to party Solidarity, which we should ALL be committed to. You set a great example for the rest of us to follow.

      Dems can and should disagree, debate and argue but we should not attack each other because that will only weaken the party as a whole. Our differences in the party will ultimately be settled through Democracy and the Democratic process (it’s what we do!). We are the party of Democracy, civility, and individual respect and we can’t afford to lose sight of that. Dems must refrain from attacking each other in order to unite as one after the dust settles and the votes are in. It would serve us well to remember the words of Cesar Chavez – “The people united will never be defeated.”………so fellow Dems please do not attack each other or cling to the negative because at some point we will all need to stand united as one.

      • I agree. Dirk Adams Has has worked very hard to earn the trust of Liberals and it wasn’t lost on me either.

        Democracy is like a garden. either you are tending it by watering or pulling weeds, to produce a bigger harvest for all. Or you’re the the thief who waits until the tender leaves, and steals…

        Honestly there are some people out there, we need to slap a sign on their back with that says “Don’t trust me around gardens”…..

  6. Competition for MDP seats is a good thing, just like primary elections are, and makes for a much more interesting convention. It keeps incumbents from getting complacent and allows them hone their message. New faces should be welcomed, listened to, and then let the delegates decide.

    • In retrospect, after reading a few more comments, the headline “Adams Backs Bruce In Unlikely Campaign For MDP Chair” is disingenuous. Adams should’t be the focus of this campaign and Louise Bruce is still a contender. It’s over two weeks until the convention and things could start getting lively. Democrats should embrace the debate.

  7. Will the time ever come when we don’t have these “party” jumpers ? I thought they only did this sneaky unfair excrement in the halls of Congress.

  8. Larson did not lose that seat. John Walsh threw it away. Or maybe it’s just the leftward lurch of the “Democrats” into Bullshevism.

  9. I just gotta say, though it will likely get me in dutch, RINOs has a ring to it. DINOs is fraught with loaded implication. LINOs sounds like typesetters gone bad. :-)

    My opinion, of course, but Bob Brigham is a Democrat. Very much so. Yeah, he’s loud, rude and obnoxious especially on the Twitters. Hell, he’s more of those things than I am and I’m self aware enough to know that’s impressive. But I truly think that where we, as democrats (notice the small ‘d’) and liberals tie ourselves in knots and become self defeating is when we assume and promote the idea that those are the same thing. They really aren’t. Being liberal and being a big D Democrat aren’t the same things either. In the years I have read, or put up with if you want, Bob Brigham has shown himself to be a strong advocate of democratic principles and rule of law. I don’t agree with him myself about half the time, but he has a voice that needs to be listened to by those who share the Democratic vision. This is my personal take, but I find him to be fairly liberal as well.

    Here we are in a post where it would be advantageous to discuss the merits of Bruce vs. Larson for the party. Still, there are those getting hung up on whether Adams or Brigham should actually be participating in what is a seeming ‘done deal’. Of course they should, without having their motives questioned, histories challenged or affiliations demeaned.

    (Full disclosure for those who require such. I voted for Adams in the primary. I don’t agree that Lewis was an illegal candidate or any threat to the tax exempt status of the party. Lewis and Curtis were so close in voting numbers I have a most difficult time believing any BS about how voters overwhelmingly rejected Lewis without thinking they actually rejected the D party, and it certainly wasn’t overwhelming. The party has a problem, not it’s candidates, and that problem isn’t corruption. That problem is that we’ve forgotten what being a democrat means. We’ve confused it with being ‘liberal’ with liberal defined as making the right choices predestined for us by party leadership. Brigham has a point about Larson when it comes to that very specific mistake.)

    • In my Opinion We have seen a lot of confusion in the last primary election. because the national Dem Party didn’t help here in the senator’s race with Amanda Curtis. Not at all.

      We finally get on track with a good rep for the people and in the last four short months, we couldn’t reach beyond the already faithful Liberals, because of the shortsightedness of the National party. and lastly blame yourselves Liberals, you didn’t go to the polls.

      Lino, Dino, Rino are just pleasant names for party rejects…. Of course, all of them sound like a typing error ;-)

    • I had been a big D Democrat for as long as I could remember. But I really don’t self identify as a Democrat any more. I’m progressive and populist and have integrity, which means there’s no room for me in Jim Larson’s small tent.

      Look at the polling, we’re only a few years away from the time when there will be more people who are former Democrats than current Democrats. Combine the lack of policy results with the overwhelming corruption and this trend makes sense.

      As long as the party bosses are choosing ridiculously corrupt candidates like John Lewis, then there’s no room for anyone with integrity in the process. I mean, John Lewis has failed every single political test in his entire life. Every single one. And Jim Larson’s party took the extraordinary and illegal step of endorsing him anyway. Jim Larson can’t get re-elected after that, not if the party hopes for the votes of progressives with integrity.

      But I don’t have much hope of reform, not while Bullock is in office. Jim Larson will likely get re-elected, because he’ll get rewarded for his bad acts. Maybe there will be reform after the small tent strategy losses a few more cycles. Maybe not. But there’s no point in wasting time in a corruption organization when the popular thing to do is just to join the growing ranks of “former Democrats” and not waste a stamp validating MDP’s corrupt slate.

      So fine, re-elect Jim Larson. Keep the culture of corruption going. Keep losing, and do it with an ever shrinking party grassroots. But don’t expect those of us outside the tent to cry when Dems lose, cause you know what? They have it coming as long as the corruption continues. In fact, the bigger the losses, the sooner the potential for the necessary reform.

      Meanwhile, turnout in 2016 is looking to be almost as low as turnout has been in midterms during the last 25 years. That’s what happens when there’s nobody or nothing on the ballot worth voting for.

      • Larsons not the Party chair Brigham! Nancy Keenan is!!!! WHy do you keep up on this misinformation campaign?????

        Your Opinion is only an opinion, not a fact. and what you see and report is a perspective of your own making, not the truth.

        Produce the links.

        • Nancy Keenan is the Executive Director of the Party. She’s staff. Jim Larson is the MDP Chair that Nancy Keenan reports to. It’s why Jim Larson is at the top of this list, while Keenan is at the bottom:

          Which is pretty par for the course when it comes to the Montana Democratic Party and women as of late. The female elected Vice-Chair of the Party was forced out. Qualified women were passed over for a US senate appointment so that it could go to an unqualified male (the 22nd male in a row, while Montana has never had a female US senator). The senate nomination finally went to a woman, but she was denied the same leg up of incumbency that an unqualified male was given just months earlier. A woman was appointed as Lt Governor (to report to a male governor) and a woman was appointed as party staff (to report to a male party chair). But maybe it’s time trying something other than the old boys club?

          The role of a political party is to be the voice of the membership. The role is to support the candidates chosen by the members in fair and open primaries. But that’s not how it’s been working under Jim Larson. Under his corrupted view of a party, insiders decide the candidates behind closed doors and then fleece the grassroots into donations that ultimately get spent fighting honorable Democratss in the primary. This is a toxic view of the role of the party, it’s no wonder the voters seem so uninterested in going along with it. It needs to be cleaned up. That isn’t the role of Party staff, it’s a change that needs to come from new party leadership.

  10. Yes – a party run by Dirk Adams, Bob Brigham, and Greg Strandberg is exactly what we need. Why hasn’t someone proposed this before!

    • I didn’t suggest that at all, did I? That is precisely the exclusionary defensiveness that I posit plagues the Democrats, however.

      ‘Our voice, not theirs’ is diametrically opposed to the idea of one person, one vote. That might be why the Democratic party loses so recently all the goddamned time. Just suggesting …

      • I didn’t mean to imply that you had this – apologies. Only meant to be snarky. I think it’s good to have multiple people interested in being the chair – I think some of the rhetoric going around reflects more misunderstanding on the part of those claiming a “fix” than evidence of some kind of a conspiracy. But, like you, I don’t oppose multiple voices, and hope that more voices can be ones making good sense.

    • Alright, what do we do well that can be ratcheted up? What do we do that’s frowned upon and how can it be toned down?

      • Nice try, Greg, but you’ll never get a straight answer.

      • It would help if anyone could tell who your question was directed at, Greg.

        • Greg Bushmill said: “a party run by Dirk Adams, Bob Brigham, and Greg Strandberg is exactly what we need.”

          You said: “I didn’t suggest that at all”

          Greg Bushmill said: “I didn’t mean to imply that you had”

          So it appears those three people mentioned are the worst thing for the Montana Democratic Party. I find that odd, considering one was just named to a key position in, what, Yellowstone County?

          So it seems that what we three (I’m not sure exactly why we’re being bunched together) are not good. When I ask what can be ratcheted up, I’m referring to “what we do well.” I guess we do nothing well, however, so there’s nothing that can be improved. That leads to the last part, which is what do we do that’s bad that we can do less of, and I guess that’s everything.

          Well, excuse me for living.

      • …..And ratchet up what????

  11. Dear Cowgirl,
    Dirk Adams may indeed have an axe to grind yet, with phrases like, “We often hear this charge from people who lose primaries, that the fix was in, that the election was rigged in their opponent’s favor by The Party. It’s silly nonsense,” you reveal yourself in your lack of understanding how party politics functions. To wit, from Samual Finer’s (professor emeritus political science Oxford University), History of Government, the definitive read on political entities, he elaborates on the transformation of politics during the industrial age;

    “But it was not until near universal suffrage had emerged that the notables lost their place in the parties where, by and large, the central bodies were now working to their own regional organizations of party members. As these parties grew very large, so they fell into the hands of professional party officials. This, said Roberto Michaels, was the inevitable consequence of all large-scale organizations. The party might well claim and indeed think itself to be democratic, its members might well think that it was they who made policy. In fact, it was nothing of the sort. The party had fallen prey, as all large-scale organizations must, to oligarchy. ‘Who says organization, says oligarchy.’ And the party was, in reality, a ‘following’ behind a small group of party professionals who evolved the party’s policy and then set out to get the mass membership to endorse it.”

    As to Mr. Skinner’s comments about, “the leftward lurch of the “Democrats” into Bullshevism,” perhaps this is the counter balance to the rightward clenching of the “Republicans” into Sphincterism.

    John Marhshall

    • Sorry I upset you so much you couldn’t even spellcheck your own name, John. But the fact remains that the “party” defaulted to an extremist (that reflected the ideals of Montana’s Dem core) who got her hat handed to her.
      Furthermore, the anointment of John Lewis, the “safe” candidate, also carries a message. Even the milktoast version of Democratism doesn’t have much appeal.

      • Dear Mr. Skinner,
        Nobody is upset, just a long work day. Milktoast indeed, when do we get a guy like Trump pumping up the volume in MT just for the shear <—— entertainment of it all.

  12. I, for one, am enamored of John Marshall’s term “Sphincterism.” My new favorite word in the world! Thank you, John! I wish we could all rally around anti-sphincterism, and quit the circular firing squad. Sigh.

  13. P.S. I like Louise Bruce. Very sensible, down to earth. I wish I could be there this weekend to vote for her. She reminds me of the Democrats I used to know, like those who helped write our revised Constitution. They got a LOT done for us, not by checking any “liberal” litmus-test boxes, but by keeping their eyes on the big picture ahead, and working steadily and in good faith with all Montanans toward a better future. THIS is what I wish for our party. Again, sigh.

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