AFP/Koch Brothers Threaten Montana Elected Officials


An ultimatum has been issued. Either Montana legislators do as the Koch Brothers’ minions demand or they will be punished. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports AFP staffer David Herbst threatened legislators while testifying on a proposed minimum wage increase. Herbst told legislators that if they chose to disagree with the Koch Brothers party line then revenge would be exacted and that right quick. This attempt to frighten legislators was immediately rebuked and called out for what it was, a blatant attempt to bully democratically elected officials working on the people’s business.

It is 2017 in Donald Trump’s America and what more could we expect than flagrant threats on citizen legislators from the billionaires who have stolen our government? This outrageous behavior is nothing new from AFP. They threatened Republican legislators at the last legislative session for even considering voting for Medicaid expansion. They spent thousands on radio, mail, and events to attack responsible lawmakers who were listening to their constituents. Many call it the turning point in the 2015 legislature when citizens stood up to these bullies intent on silencing them.

After these meetings and the public outcry against AFP a reasonable agenda was passed with a working majority of Democrats and Republicans working alongside the Governor. These guys never learn, Montanans will not be told what to do by out-of-state billionaires.

You’ll remember Americans for Prosperity as the group that chooses to employ the Chinese rather than Americans.

AFP also has chosen to employ rapists:

And don’t forget the #MillionsofMontanans gaffe:


Back to the issue at hand, the minimum wage. Currently, it is $8.15 an hour in Montana and the proposed bill would have raised it to $10.10 an hour. In no state in America can someone afford a two bedroom apartment while earning minimum wage.

This forces people to work second and third jobs to be able to pay rent, feed their children and possibly even make a car payment. Raising the minimum wage is long overdue. As productivity has increased over the last 40 years wages have not increased and these stagnating wages has led to less income security for Americans.


Ayn Rand would argue differently, but reasonable economists agree, if you increase wages you will see increased spending and economic growth. Regressive tax policies have caused massive income inequality in America while the Koch Brothers and Donald Trump have benefitted to the tune of billions personally and trillions overall extracted from the American economy.

It is past time to fight for a living wage for all Americans.



18 Comments on "AFP/Koch Brothers Threaten Montana Elected Officials"

  1. Thanks to BDC and MC we’re now looking at accessible common ground:
    Legislators bumping MT Min Wage $1.50 an hour!

    And looking where other newspapers may not look. At a damn good graph of post Reagan wages. At AFP.

    I ask how many Koch funded groups are now active in Helena?

    When using the BDC link to view the Koch matter, I filled in Ravalli County adress and got message that there was no Legislator for my address.

    • AFP opened approximately 40 offices in this state. Each office had at least two staffers, and a slew of camera and sound people who walked around following candidates, passing put flyers etc.etc.etc.

  2. Give ’em Hell Cowboy! The ‘Koch’ suckers in the legislature showing their ‘true’ color….

  3. I’m no friend or supporter of anything AFP does or stands for, but to frame this whole issue about telling legislators your organization is going to ‘score’ their vote as part of your annual ‘scorecard’ isn’t anywhere close to being a ‘threat’ as it is being portrayed here.

    For example, I can think of more than a few times where the League of Conservation Voters told members of Congress they will be scoring an upcoming vote.

    There’s lots of reasons to oppose AFP, or even the GOP, but the notion that AFP “threatened legislators” isn’t one of them. Thanks.

    • Matthew, thank you for your voice of reason. There are many organizations that score legislators including the MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Northern Plains Resource Council, NARAL Pro-Choice, MontPIRG, etc. It’s a shame that the first bronc out of the new Cowbow’s chute is hyperbole and a victim card as a saddle dealt from beneath the deck to unit the party faithful rather than a message of hope, vision and shared destiny.

    • Whether the legislators would be scored on their vote on the bill was not germane to the substance of the hearing. Reminding legislators that they would be scored was a breach of decorum, and in that context, crude, offensive, and a threat. Herbst deserved the rebuke from the committee’s chairman. The place for Herbst to talk about scoring was outside the hearing room.

      • Exactly!

        Amanda Curtis nailed it on the head, it was a veiled threat! Something we all saw down here when these koch puppets came to dillon to threaten Jeff Welborn as a legislator. I lead the walkout when they came to complain about our legislator and wouldn’t let him speak in his defense. These people are not above lying to get their way!

  4. Ok, let me ‘splain somthing to you Matty. The “threat” is that during the next election cycle AFP and the Koch suckers will run huge well funded advertizing campaigns against anyone who doesn’t tow the line for those Koch suckers. Got it?

    • Oh, jeez. Thanks so much for edumacating me there “Snuhwolf.” I had no idea. I stand by my opinion that telling politicians you will be scoring an upcoming vote isn’t a ‘threat’ the way it’s being portrayed here.

  5. I was at the hearing in question. I testified in support of the bill. I believe the strongest testimony against the bill was from two young cafe owners, one from Dutton and one from Fairfield. I don’t know what the answer is to the financial challenge facing these young entrepreneurs in their very small communities. However, I do believe if folks have more money in their pockets they can purchase more goods at businesses, stimulating their bottom line, everyone wins. Frankly, if a wage is not a living wage, (a wage enabling one to support his/herself, plus family), society suffers. Something for a country that prides itself as being “exceptional” ought to think about.

  6. We also need to RIP THE LIVING GUTS OUT OF ALEC, a TOXIC, parasitic and terribly persistent menace to Democracy, and also it’s ‘twisted’ cousin, ALC, American Lands Council led by ‘Field Marshal’ Fielder, Sieg T=RUMP!

  7. What kind of country has this become when certain groups can dictate or threaten our democracy? As we speak a despot is being sworn in on a Bible he has never really read or adhered to. What’s the difference now between our country and lets say Iran? Shameful I say…

  8. I’m more interested in the impact of the proposed legislation than someone’s veiled threat to a group of legislators who should be able to take care of themselves. Neither the current minimum wage nor the proposed one is much money. John’s comment above about the impact on the two cafe owners in two small towns concerns me. And I think the cafe owner’s concerns are valid. Chain food establishments can buy at a better price than mom and pop places, plus they exist in larger towns, so these places can deal with wage increases more easily. I think it’s also true that young, inexperienced folks are more likely to be employed at a lower wage, thus allowing them to gain valuable job experience–this was true for me. Like John, I don’t know the answer, but I think an increase in minimum wage comes with some definite costs to society along with the benefits of somewhat more money to those who are employed at that wage.

  9. Just to be clear, I did speak in behalf of the bill and believe that businesses ought to offer workers at least a living wage level. In Montana, I believe it was stated at the hearing by a representative of the Montana Dept. of Labor and Industry that a “living wage”, a wage in which an individual can be self-sufficient is just over $14. in Montana The bill requested $10.10, $4 less.

  10. We need more mandatory minimum incomes and fewer mandatory minimum sentences. The more we encourage the former, the less the need the latter. We have enough wealth being created to ensure every able-bodied person who wants to work has a job. And makes enough to live on. We did it for 70 years and were steadily improving right up until 1980. Since then things have gone to hell. I wonder what changed this trend and how we change it back? ha ha, no I don’t wonder what happened I just wonder how long we are going to keep flogging ourselves so the Boss’s arm don’t get tired.

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