Billings candidate suggests only wealthy should hold office, vote

This is not Robert Saunders. This is a character named Joffrey Baratheon from a television series called "Game of Thrones."

The campaign of a GOP candidate in Billings is in damage control mode after he suggested, on an internet discussion board, that holding office and voting might be better off limited to those who are wealthy.

“The Founding Fathers believed (rightly) that the people with the most to lose would be the least likely to screw up,” wrote 27-year-old legislative candidate Robert Saunders, who comes from a wealthy Billings family. Those without money, he went on, “are unsafe custodians” of public funds.

When members of congress are very wealthy, he explains, it shows “they are at least good at something,” (unlike the rest of us poors I guess).

Saunders  says it’s no different than Corporations. Only a shareholder of a company can vote, Rob Saunders writes, hinting that perhaps there should be an asset test for voters. He says someone without personal wealth, like Bernie Sanders could be “catastrophic” and cause a result similar to what happened under the Russian Revolution that ousted the last of the Russian czars. “Our form of government was designed so that only those with a stake in the country’s future could vote,” Saunders said. “That’s why I think it’s a good thing that our leadership is relatively wealthy.”

Here’s a screenshot.

His opponent is the popular Rep. Jessica Karjala.  Voters put her in the seat that Saunders is running for in 2012.  When Rep Karjala pointed out Saunders’ insane writings as she visited with voters, Saunders then (you guessed it) had an attorney sent Karjala a cease and desist letter, threatening to sue her for defamation.  You can read the letter here. 

That’s the new trend among right-wingers. If you say or do something stupid and your opponent points it out, threaten to sue them. Art Wittich is trying to sue a man for writing a letter to the editor informing people of his corruption trial. Donald Trump has frequently used lawsuits to try to silence those who are critical of him. Greg Gianforte had his lawyer send a threatening letter television stations to try to get them not to run an ad pointing out his lawsuit to block the public from a local fishing hole.

Robert Saunders, 27, is a GOP candidate for legislature

This is Robert Saunders, age 27, a GOP candidate for legislature

The voters have a right to know about Saunders publicly-posted writings, and Rep. Karjala has the right to tell them about what he’s written–and the implications of his publicly posted-views. For example, she pointed out that according to Saunders’s theory, many Veterans aren’t qualified to vote because they aren’t wealthy. According to his writings, that seems accurate.

Now, after an original report about the cease and desist letter in the Last Best News in which he did not respond to requests for comment, Saunders is doing some furious backpedaling. He now says he won’t really bring a lawsuit, and he now agrees that everyone should be allowed to vote, even the non-wealthy.  He’s also refusing to admit he wrote the post, the Last Best News reported. Saunders is saying, ridiculously, that he would not “either confirm or deny his authorship.” He’s also claiming that whether he wrote it or not is a “completely separate issue.”

“I’m not currently addressing that issue,” he said, “and I could.” He said he would release a statement later.”

The bio of the Quora account of the individual that made the post in question states that it is written by a Robert Saunders who lives in Billings, Montana and attended Patrick Henry College. It cites knowledge of Chinese.

Robert Saunders’ campaign website says he lives in Billings, Montana, attended Patrick Henry College, and took classes in Chinese. Screenshots below.





More on this guy from:

Washington Post


Hamm on Wry

Raw Story



23 Comments on "Billings candidate suggests only wealthy should hold office, vote"

  1. I think the quote in the second paragraph should read “least likely to screw-up.”

  2. Equating money with brains, or elevating money above brains is not only weird, it is just plain wrong. If only wealthy people could run a government, there’s nothing to stop them from taking every cent away from people who would rather do other things than have a big asset list — like, maybe, spending time with their children while they are young, caring for aged relatives who won’t be around too much longer, reading, inventing, teaching, healing, challenging ourselves with how close to a survival line by hunting & gathering for a few years we could get, writing a book or a blog, meditating, even giving up a job if elected to a public office. Young Rob Saunders is still wet behind the ears.

  3. Thank you, Carol Stahl!

  4. I hope Montana voters are much smarter than the incredibly immature Mr. Saunders. He would fit right in the TSS (Trump Sociopathic Society).

  5. Let’s add this to the multitude of reasons why Jessica Karjala deserves a second term. On one hand, we have a whiny kid; on the other, a dedicated, intelligent, compassionate, accomplished woman who, by all counts, cares deeply for the fine people of Montana.

  6. representative Karjala is a rising star. I think Republicans are targeting this race because they are afraid she will be a committee chair or A member of the budget subcommittee for human services

  7. Here’s an interesting article on Patrick Henry College, Robert Saunders alma mater, titled “Sexual Assault at Patrick Henry College, God’s Harvard”:

    • very disturbing to know that institutions like this still exist. It makes Catholic School seem like a holiday. Also very disturbing to know that Montana’s far right wing nut candidates including Gianforte and Saunders would love to see this farce of education a public policy. As responsible citizens of Montana, we cannot continue to allow this state to be destroyed by the tea baggers, misogynists, and racists barely disguised as charismatic christians cultists.

  8. a little fascist in the making…

    • V.P. Henry Wallace in 1944 warned that the American Fascist Movement would someday rise. By suggesting that money and power should be put ahead of human beings in our Democracy it appears that Robert Saunders is in fact part of the new American Fascist Movement (also known as today’s Alt-Right). “If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.” -V.P. Henry A. Wallace

  9. Amazing. I know an intelligent, well-educated, conservative, middle-aged man in Virginia who thinks only property owners should be eligible to vote. Now, I read of an intelligent, well-educated, conservative, young man in Montana who is as equally shallow. Truly amazing. Too bad we cannot vaccinate our children to prevent the spread of this disease.

  10. I am a conservative, and I live near Detroit. I am a Pat Buchanan type conservative and this idiot shouldn’t hold public office. Thanks for reporting.

  11. linked in… used your photo of him. I don’t get alot of traffic. So, relax. Good reporting!

  12. Interesting, 24 credits in Mandarin Chinese means nothing. Other than he can maybe say hi and bye in Mandarin Chinese! lol

  13. The Founding Fathers provided many aspects of the Constitution that with time and a maturing sense of justice we have corrected. Black people now vote. Women now vote. 18 year-olds who can die for their country in time of war can vote. The problem Constitutional originalists rarely take up with is that, using the amending process included in the US Constitution, later generations have changed it to reflect the needs and values of the nation’s people. It is an inconvenient truth that Republicans participated in those changes and now they either have to endorse or repudiate this pup.

  14. Hey, this KID too young to run for office and vote, only 30 and above? How about that ‘junior’?

  15. Please take the word REPUBLICAN out of this arrogant little brat’s political affiliation. It’s a hot embarrassment to true republicans and he needs Time Out with a spanking. Really… used your mommy and daddy’s work history to float your little boat? Crash and burn !

    • Sorry, SherryLynn. You may be one of the many whose party has left you behind, asserting that you are the REAL Republicans. I have some good friends in your camp. That mule is out of the barn, I’m afraid, and kickin’ its heels down the highway! As painful as it is, Trump represents the head of the Republican Party and the Tea Party wingdings are a huge part of it here in Montana, along with militia and white supremacists. My Republican mother is no doubt rolling in her grave. Thanks for having the decency to be disgusted.

  16. A classic case of the failure of homeschooling. He doesn’t even understand what defamation is. On the other hand, I suspect he is about to learn the meaning of the “Streisand Effect.”

  17. I’m beginning to feel like my Boomer Generation failed in our parenting skills as we see more and more of these new “conservatives” espousing the new idea of “smaller government”-small enough to fit in women’s wombs yet with all the power concentrated in the top 1%. All you pee-ons shut up and get back to work and just be grateful for the golden riches being showered on you by our Tinkle-Down, uh, I mean Trickle Down economy.

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