Renowned TEA Partier Caught Hosting Fundraiser for PSC Spoiler Candidate

Roger Koopman Speaks at a Ron Paul Rally

Caron Coooper, the Independent candidate running for PSC as a spoiler because she was angry about having a democratic primary opponent, was raising money at the home of right wing Republican Nels Swandal in Livingston on a recent evening.  Invite below:Nels Swandal and Caron Cooper

It tells me that she’s no progressive, because it suggests that she’d be happy to see Roger Koopman, the Republican incumbent in the race, be reelected.   Swandal is as right-wing as they come.  He co-sponsored the inane law to pepper our college campuses with guns.  He co-sponsored the bill that would require hungry seniors to be drug tested before they could get help to buy food (HB 200, 2015).  He voted against women’s medical privacy (HB 479, 2015), and even against the bipartisan HELP Act (SB405, 2015).  And like most conservatives, Swandal is also known for his hypocrisy on the family values front.  He has expressed  racist views and was a major supporter of Laurie McKinnon the right-wing Supreme Court Justice (his support led to his being cited for a Judicial Code of Ethics violations.)
When members of Koopman’s own party made public their views that Koopman is a terrible PSC commissioner, he said “Republican blood will be flowing in the streets” if members of his own party don’t stop endorsing his opponent.  He’s an ALEC member. He told a crowd of Bozeman school children that the earth is 4,000-6,000 years old. He is incompetent and uninformed. He proudly carries the first confederate flag in local parades. He wants the PSC to–get this–fight against net neutrality.
Koopman 2
If you seriously are considering voting for a spoiler candidate like Cooper, go read up on Koopman’s nutty antics–and take a good hard look in the mirror.
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34 Comments on "Renowned TEA Partier Caught Hosting Fundraiser for PSC Spoiler Candidate"

  1. Oh god how I wish folks would just ask me before they blast out such rot. The target audience was PEO members (a womens’ educational association), with others added and an open announcement because we had nothing to hide.

    I am running as an Independent. I have support from Ds, Rs, Is, Gs, and Ls. It’s that simple. Please get used to it.

    The two-party system is freaking out. Because they’re threatened by a viable, popular, qualified third-party candidate.

  2. If Swandal supports you- I’m pretty sure I don’t. Sorry…

  3. Why is there no mention of PEO in the invitation post? It seems to me that there is only mention of the same people who hosted a Laurie McKinnon fundraiser. There is only mention of the wife and law partner of a radical right-wing Republican: Swandal. You may complain about the two-party system Caron, but if you don’t understand the difference between Republicans like Duane Ankney and Republicans like Nels Swandal I am left wondering what qualifies you to lecture the two-party system.

    • Republicans like Ankney,Brown,Buttrey,Connell,Llew Jones?
      The MT R Party has moderators not many “leaders”!
      Caron might not be a “leader” but leads way on non-partisan view of PSC problems/ fixes.
      But now Sandal and hard, hard right + moderates may or may not, feel publicly challenged to turn out to vote against Caron.
      Unintended consequences not necessarily of Caron!
      Just saying.

      • I think the hard right votes are going to come out anyway to vote for Gianforte. If she gets more than 15% of the vote I will be shocked.

  4. wait- is caron cooper (above)denying that swandal held a fundraiser for her? ms cooper please clarify. what part of this article is untrue?

  5. Cionservationist for Cooper | August 18, 2016 3:58 PM at 3:58 PM |

    As suggested by MT Cowgirl, I took a look in the mirror and a second letter reaffirmed my support for Caron Cooper. She is by far the best qualified candidate for the PSC. Of equal importance, she is respected by people of all political persuasions. Like it or not, Montanans embrace a variety of political views. It’s refreshing to see someone who can garner support from conservatives and liberals alike. Don’t we need to see more of that?

  6. Again Montana Cowgirl attacks Caron Cooper by going after her associations, not by looking at her qualifications or policy positions. We live in a small community here in Livingston: it’s the kind of place you have to learn to get along with people of all political persuasions. I too detest Swandal’s politics, but Cooper’s are dead on. We don’t have the luxury of those who live in larger cities where you can choose to associate only with people who agree with you. Here’s the challenge, Cowgirl: give Cooper a serious look instead running of these hit jobs that have nothing to do with her qualifications or proposals.

  7. That is actually the American flag, not the “stars and bars” Confederate flag as mentioned. Look at the way he is dressed in the picture too, clearly colonial period and not civil war. Regardless of how you feel about Koopman, an ounce of decency and truth would be appreciated. Typical substandard post.

  8. I am befuddled by MtCowgirl’s poor reporting on Caron Cooper, as she ordinarily writes with esteem. Guilt by association isn’t reporting at all, but hearsay and tabloid crap. Readers ought to look at my article on Cooper from a couple of years ago — way before she ever considered running for PSC — in Mt Quarterly, as it may introduce Cooper’s actual background. I reviewed her resume and was invariably impressed. She has more experience in energy than the entire PSC combined. Further, Ms. Peacock’s appraisal of small town politik are true. The Swandals, while not aligned with many of our political thinking (certainly not Cooper’s), are good people who are actually trying to reach across the aisle. Cooper, I assure you, is not a spoiler, nor a Tea Partier. Far from it. She is an intellect and for real, and we need her experience. I hope MtCowgirl follows up with a piece that actually scrutinizes her experience and resume, not the low hanging fruit of Cooper’s small town associations.

  9. Any polling on how the ‘split’ is? Speculation? Can’t have KOOPMAN in there any longer, he’s killing renewable energy development and him in costume as a founding father laughable…

  10. This is the second tirade post in as many weeks. Nels Swandal, a “radical Tea Party Republican?” Kristen Juras, unqualified because she represented an unpopular client? This is a blog, so I guess hyperbole is allowed. But I have read this for information. Some more posts like this, and I (a radical, card-carrying ACLU member who never voted for a Republican) will likely unsubscribe.

  11. MT Cowgirl you need to check out your target a little closer before you use that six shooter again. I’m afraid you would be the sort of hunter that would mistake a yellow tent for a bear given your misguided attack on Caron Cooper. What the recent fundraiser shows is that Caron appeals to both sides of the isle with her strait forward approach and candidacy as an independent. I’ve known Caron for many years and have seen how effectively she has helped the people and organizations in Livingston through the nonprofit thrift store she runs which has given over $250,000 back to the community especially the most vulnerable in the community. She works to help kids, the battered women’s shelter, those in poverty, women, and the list goes on. When I think of someone who can get things done, Caron is always one of the top of the list. When I think of environmentally conscious people, I think of Caron. When I think of very smart people with a background in energy economics, who want to serve the people of the state of Montana rather than monied donors the only one even on the list is Caron Cooper.
    While my politics are often at odds with Nels Swandal I like him, consider him a friend and a good human being, and his wife Debra is wonderful, caring, kind, and would do anything to help a friend. In other words, Cowgirl, in Livingston having the Swandals support goes a long way regardless of which side of the isle one is on. Also, it shows their integrity that they are willing to step outside of the party to support someone they believe to be the best candidate for the job.
    Neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidates for the PSC hold a candle to Caron’s qualifications for this position or to her integrity in choosing to run as an independent and not accept corporate money when the position regularily deals with those corporate donors. The Democratic candidate does not have a good track record on energy issues. Northwestern Energy lobbyists are significant donors to his campaign, can he really be trusted? Politically, he is good on some issues but the PSC isn’t the right place for him.

    Is Caron Cooper a Republican spoiler you ask? No, she is the candidate that every Democrat and quite a few Republicans should be voting for. She is the candidate that will seek to protect the environment that Is integral to Montanans sense of place and key in its economy. Caron is the candidate that will serve the people of Montana rather than the corporations that do business here.

    Cowgirl, time to do your homework on this candidate before you go off half-cocked again.

  12. Does anybody proofread these posts before they are published? Such sloppy writing undermines your message.

  13. I can’t believe that the Swandals are helping Caron Cooper to defeat Roger Koopman, that makes no sense at all. They are doing it to defeat the Dem candidate, end of story.

    • The premise of the post (read the first paragraph) is that the Swandals are helping Caron Cooper to elect, not defeat, Roger Koopman by “splitting the vote”.

      Which makes absolutely no sense. All this would seem to do would be to split the Republican vote, which would help the Democratic candidate, Pat Noonan, would it not?

  14. I agree with you, Laura Bray, 100%. Caron has given back to this community more than any other business that I know of. She now desires to help an even bigger area, our beautiful state. You rock, Caron, and it is my hope that at least in Montana, we can see through the bs put out by organized political parties, and vote for the person who is most qualified, not only by education, but also by actions. Caron, when they put this stuff out, they must be worried! When given lemons, make lemonade!

  15. I don’t understand why Cooper balked at the Democratic primary race? Bad advice? Everything is perpetually a bummer in Livingston, this thrift store owner is just the latest debacle in a town with many. She can’t win.

    • Drunks for Denny | August 19, 2016 9:44 PM at 9:44 PM |

      I agree with this comment. For a town that should have so much going for it, given its location, Livingston is pathetic. I call it “Melstone, with slightly more water”.

    • How about you write a book that makes it to three stars on good reads before you make those judgements about other people and places, Mark?

      “the book is so poorly written that I’m embarrassed to read it”

  16. Cowgirl, the flag Mr. Koopman is pictured carrying is the Betsy Ross Flag, not the “First Confederate flag” as you stated.
    This is libel.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross_flag

  17. What a disappointing, poorly written blog. It is rooted in a willful ignorance of Americans’ growing interest in third party, Independent candidates as alternatives to party politics and the special interest money that funds them. Cooper is running independent of Party platforms and funds because that is the only way she sees to represent Montana energy consumers. With a degree in Political Science, I’m not naïve about how third parties affect election outcomes, but am able to choose to support the most qualified, ethical candidate with the strongest track record of having a measurable, positive impact on their community.

    The author, and many commenters, on this piece seem unfamiliar with the civility of Montanans who work together for the good of their community without name calling and political rancor. While I know Nels Swandal only casually, I have known his wife Deb for over a decade; as board members of a nonprofit serving children, supporting a wide range of community groups, and she’s been my caring post-op nurse. While our baseline political beliefs are probably diametrically opposed, how many times did politics come up? Not once – in Livingston, we’re too busy working to make a difference and help each other out.

    It’s plain sad that Montanans, known for our independent spirit, are trapped in the assumption that the only PSC options are party politicians who don’t represent consumers’ interests; both Cooper’s opponents, Noonan and Koopman, have taken funds from Northwest Energy in previous elections. And doubly sad that talking about issues, qualifications, and our energy future holds little interest, whereas divisive vilification and hyperbole is deemed newsworthy and opinions are treated as fact. We can do better.

  18. Caron Cooper is highly qualified, experienced and running to win. Mt.Cowgirl, you really need to interview Ms.Cooper. You got this one dead wrong.

  19. Valid point about an interview for Ms. Cooper, and how her impact on the race and how will she insure KOOPMAN banished!?

  20. What a stupid column, Cowgirl. Seems like you’re just sucking up to the Cowboys who think they are entitled to the realm because of name, status and affiliation. Energy policy, which is the domain of the PSC, is Caron’s wheelhouse. Yes, her opponent has more political experience, hence columns like this defaming a candidate with better qualifications for the job. Her opponent should stay in healthcare where he does have expertise.

    • LivelyLiz might you have some estimates and/or guesstimates
      of % of District who might now think they will vote for Noonan. Koopman.
      Cooper.
      Might someone else?
      Want to get beyond adjectives
      and into consequences?

  21. Perhaps its time to have no party affiliation for PSC as with judges.

  22. Best idea yet Sue Frazier.

  23. Yep, there’s a spoiler in the race. How do we persuade Pat Noonan to take a deep breath, look at the votes he will be taking away from the vastly more qualified candidate (who declared before Noonan) and throw his support to Caron. I’d guess that while the “Party At All Costs” old Democrats would howl, Pat would ultimately gain a reputation for integrity were he to take the bold step backward and cease this spoiler role he’s taken on.

  24. Yes of yes Margarita!
    Add another very large size gain for Montana,
    for Voters will recognize real change possible,
    if momentum for Caron Cooper, brings more people to Vote for Gail Gutsche for District Four PSC Commissioner. Thus displacing the me too cronyism of Bob Lake, by previous PSC Commission Member Gail Gutsche, who almost defeated Lake last PSC Election. Cooper and Gutsche might even lead Travis, on occasion.
    Current Montana PSC has been obviously harmful to Montana!

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