It’s a tale as old as Ft. Benton: wealthy out-of-stater shows up, buys ups some land, slaps on a hat, and calls himself a rancher. Yet somehow, Matt Rosendale thought he could pull one over on Montanans.
During his quest for the GOP nomination for Senate, Matt Rosendale has re-branded himself a rancher. But a news story from Talking Points Memo shows that Rosendale thinks branding is a PR exercise rather than cauterizing flesh.
Talking Points Memo does a deep dive into Rosendale’s shallow ranching history. The entire story is worth a read, but the documentation of Rosendale’s lack of ranching speaks for itself.
According to Talking Points Memo:
Rosendale hasn’t registered ownership of any livestock since 2011 — and before then it was limited to a few horses. It appears that he’s never owned any cattle. He similarly received a registered livestock brand when he bought his $2.2 million ranch in 2002, but let that lapse when it expired in 2011, and it doesn’t appear that he ever used it.
Just because I dip my french fries in ranch dressing doesn’t make me a rancher.
Rosendale could easily dispute these claims. All Montanans know a rancher has cattle. Rosendale could simply provide a picture of his cattle. But rather than do that, Rosendale trots out his campaign manager for a nice folksy quote:
“Your ridiculous questions make it pretty clear that you’ve never been to Matt’s ranch in Glendive and you don’t know a cow from a cantaloupe,” Rosendale campaign manager Kendall Cotton told TPM in an email.
It would seem Mr. Cotton might have never been to Matt’s ranch himself, cause if he had he’d probably be able to show evidence that Matt has cattle.
There’s an old saying on the internet, “pics or it didn’t happen.” It would seem Rosendale could clarify all of this with some pictures of his cattle. His “cattle” don’t appear to be camera shy. He shot a tv ad in front of a barn with some cows earlier this month. Who’s cows were those? Who’s barn was that?
Those questions would be ridiculous to ask a real rancher, but for a real estate developer who’s ranching credentials might list Hidden Valley Ranch, the one my parents sent my dog to, and Paws Up on his resume, they seem pretty fair to me.