Posted: April 16, 2014 at 7:11 am

GUEST POST: Why I’m Running

[This is a guest post from the second of a series of pieces submitted by the U.S. Senate candidates.  Still to come, a guest post by John Walsh.  The Cowgirl Blog welcomes editorial submissions from candidates in other races and from guest writers, and any other content readers might enjoy. In addition, I'm considering a new policy. Subject to my discretion I will post Republican/conservative opinion pieces as well.]

I am running in the Democrat primary for the Montana U.S. Senate seat because facing and overcoming the current challenges to our nation’s progress on improving the lives of our citizens calls for boldness, courage, and new approaches. I have a rare background that I think makes me the right person at the right time to go to work for Montana and our nation. I know ranching and agriculture, and I know finance. As a Harvard-trained attorney, I know the law. I understand education and technology. My values are Democratic ones, and frankly, I think, American ones, and they include social and economic justice and the desire for a functional, uncorrupted political and governmental system.

Wrongs done to our citizens and wrong-headed policies drove me into the political arena.

For example, the consequences of the banking crisis are still with us and there has been no course correction in regards to the general policies and practices that got us there. My community bank was one of 1000 community banks that paid the consequences while big banks got bailed out by you and then they went on to consolidate their power even more. Before the recession, no one bank controlled even 5% of the total mortgage market, which is the largest market in the world, Now five banks control almost 80% of the market.  In addition, these megabanks also own entire chains of production, including natural resources, warehouses, and ports. They now even control the Federal Reserve monetary policy process.

I want to strengthen community banks, which are closer and more accountable to the people they serve. I’m the one who can lead on this issue. What is best for Montanans and the American people? A Republican that’s going to do what the big banks tell them to? A  Democrat who isn’t going to understand as well as banks the loopholes and sleight of hand that might be embedded in a piece of legislation, as we saw with The Financial Modernization Act in which a small provision, five words, allowed for the kind of  monopolies mentioned above?

Or, would citizens be better served by me, a Democrat with Democratic values who understands banking and finance from the inside and can hack their legislation for slippery provisions that allow them to do whatever they want, crash our economy, and force us to bail them out even as citizens themselves are financially drowning. Our problems with the banking system aren’t over. We need people in D.C. who know how to fight and can’t be fooled.

I’m also troubled by the prison-industrial complex. Our criminal justice system will be inherently corrupt until we can end the poison to justice that is for-profit prisons. If there’s profit in locking up American citizens, there will be those working the halls of Washington to do just that. It’s a violation of the character of America that we locked up a greater percentage of our citizens than any other country, followed, not even closely, by China and Russia in the #2 and #3 positions. The for-profit criminal justice system is a tool of racism and corporate interests. No one went to prison for crashing our economy, or for the BP oil spills, while a young man or woman goes to jail for a joint in his or her pocket. There’s a lot wrong with that.

I’m also troubled by the persistent, unrelenting squeeze on the middle class. Their economic power is continually eroded, and given recent decisions by our Supreme Court, as the middle class has fewer resources and as money in politics is granted more power, the selling of our system of governance to the highest has bidder has been sanctioned lock, stock, and barrel.

Money controls our government. The people have less and less money as wealth consolidates in the 1%. We are caught in a self-reinforcing loop, money buying influence that gives the monied more money to buy more influence. It is no understatement to say, this self-reinforcing loop is destroying everything our county stands for and must be broken.

The problem of big money in politics isn’t exclusive to one political party or the other, as evidenced by the coffers of both Republican Steve Daines and Democrat John Walsh. Given those two choices, big money wins, which is why the people of Montana need other choices and a reason I’m in the race.

And, as I’ve said often, I’m troubled about climate change and the environment. Good luck to those who think they can turn back the consequences of climate change with rhetoric. It’s not coming. It’s here. Our own Governor in Montana has stated that Montana is already strategizing about how to deal with the here and now consequences of it, even if asserting in the next breath the importance of industries that contribute to the crisis.

When it comes to the environment, we are at the point where it is no longer about politics but the ability to accept a reality that is here whether we accept it or not. We need to mitigate climate change without playing politics and we need to acknowledge that ecosystems don’t fit tidily into artificially drawn state boundaries, which is why I support and will introduce Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act should I be elected.

Lastly, but critically, more than half of our population, women, is paid unfairly, subjected to routine violence, and treated like a subclass over whom the state asserts the right to exert control over private bodily decisions. Jimmy Carter has recently called violence against women the greatest human rights violation on the planet. Where there is progress in gender equality, it is insultingly slow. But worse, our society and our rhetoric has been slipping backward. Whether one believes that slip is one step backward or twenty, it is dangerous. It’s not impossible to move backwards on human rights. This trend must be stopped. Rhetoric proceeds reality, so current nonsense about “legitimate” rape and the disgraceful vote this month in the Senate against pay equity is not to be taken lightly.

We talk about women’s “issues.” But the issue, the problem, is the unfair, unequal treatment of women and men in the culture.

I was born white, straight, and male and I know that in our society that gave me advantages. But from there, I had to do things myself and work my way towards the things I wanted and valued. Nobody groomed me or held doors for me. And that’s okay. Taking the journey is the way a person learns. It’s no difference with this Senate race. I will work on behalf of an increasing pressure from those who have supported the Democratic Party historically. We want to win, but it’s the values of the Democratic Party that we want to see prevail, not just individuals with “D’s” after their names.

My life has not been one of “holding positions.” It’s been one of doing things, fighting for things, and building things. I love this country and I love Montana. Living in Montana has been the most powerful formative force in my life. There are some wonderful Democratic leaders here in Montana, women in particular, who did not step forward to run for this seat, and this seat is too important to surrender to either a business-as-usual Democrat (who can’t beat Daines) or the Republicans. I hope Montanans will put their faith in me as their best bet for turning back the corrupted path too many of our systems have fallen subject to and forwarding the values of good people wanting the basics of honest work, honest pay, a healthy environment, and a just system of governance.

Dirk S. Adams of Wilsall is an attorney and rancher. He is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: April 15, 2014 at 6:53 am

REPORT: Montana Elections Among Best Run in Nation

A recent report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts ranks Montana elections as the 11th best in the nation under Secretary of State Linda McCulloch. The report also calls for implementation of McCulloch’s plan for online voter registration, which would make access to voting a lot easier.

Montana has ranked in the top of the nation for the past two federal election cycles. Under McCulloch’s leadership, the state has been recognized for expanding its use of electronic voter information tools, adding post-election audits, and increasing the accessibility and accuracy of military and overseas citizen ballots.

Online voter registration in the era of online banking, shopping, and everything else is a no-brainer. Twenty states already have it. But luddites (and those who don’t want more people to vote) in the Montana legislature have repeatedly blocked McCulloch’s proposal to implement online voter registration and instead continue to introduce bills to make it more difficult to vote in hopes of suppressing votes from young people, women, working families and people of color–people less likely to support Republicans.

McCulloch shows up personally to oppose every single bill to restrict voting rights, for which she is to be commended. Republicans legislators forced a referendum on the November ballot to repeal same day voter registration in Montana and restrict the amount of time available to Montanans to register and vote.

Posted: April 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

TEA Party Leader Seeks School Board Seat

Embattled Great Falls TEA Party leader Cyndi Baker is running for Great Falls School Board, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

The candidacy is odd because Baker has been vocally opposed to school funding. When Baker ran unsuccessfully for city commissioner a few years back, she made her opposition to public schools the centerpiece of her campaign.

Cyndi Baker (left) and former (but ousted) Rep. Cleve Loney R-TEA-Great Falls (right, now a candidate again)) at a TEA Party Rally in Great FallsAs a Great Falls City Commission candidate Baker, who campaigned against school district spending, then turned around and sought a district paycheck.

Her actions became somewhat of a local scandal, after Great Falls Tribune reported, Baker tried to threaten the local government for taxpayer funded payola in the form of a position as “ombudsman” to the local TEA Party anti-government activists. Here’s how the threat worked.   Baker  had been complaining for some time that it was “illegal” for district employees to criticize her opposition to district funding.  Baker said if she were hired, she’d keep the “illegal” activity quiet.  She did not explain how the proposed ombudsman position would work with people who are divorced from reality.

As the Tribune reports, while the district’s criticism may not have been flattering to Baker, there was nothing illegal about it.  What the Tribune didn’t report is that Baker is the leader and spokesperson for the Great Falls TEA Party. Apparently Ms. Statue of Liberty (Baker’s preferred costume when at TEA Party rallies) is engaged to TEA Party Republican legislator Cleve Loney (who prefers to dress as George Washington, among other things, as you can see from this KRTV video). The voters ousted Loney after one term, but he’s running for legislature again this year anyway.

Baker is another perenial candidate candidate seeking your vote as a platform to spew right wing nonsense in public meetings, in the newspapers and on our airwaves. So the people of Great Falls would be crazy to vote her into office. They have so far declined to do so. The Great Falls Tribune reported, the TEA Partier had the most campaign signs of any candidate in the city commission race and the second largest campaign war chest–but to no effect. Baker blamed her defeat on teachers, despite losing by a margin of 84-16.

 

Posted: April 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Sign the Petition to Stop Anti-Science, Anti-Gay Billionaire Couple from Speaking at Montana’s Best Tech School

Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, has been invited to speak at Montana Tech’s graduation. This touched off a stir,  with stories in Montana and national press.  Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.

You can sign a petition urging Montana Tech’s president to do the right thing and rescind the offer of the strange husband/wife co-speech here. 

Gianforte’s wife was also invited to give the speech with him, in a kind of duet.  But she has her own problems–she’s a big player in the “christian shop-owners must have a right to discriminate against LGBT people” movement.  She recently testified against Bozeman’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance, and Gianforte bankrolls the non-discrimination ordinance opposition.  His wife is chair of the pro-discrimination bunch’s board of directors.

Sign the petition.  

Gianforte is a major funder of creationist museums around America,including one in eastern Montana where the main focus is on showing that “there is no scientific evidence that evolution ever took place on earth,” as the museum’s director explained.   I believe that such a belief presents serious problems for anyone seeking to speak a a geology school in Montana, regardless of how much money school administrators without standards might hope such a individual might “donate” to buy such public attention.

Gianforte also bankrolled the effort to force the state of Montana to use your tax dollars to subsidize private sectarian religious schools during the last session.

Gianforte’s wife appeared at a public hearing in Bozeman recently to declare that she is ready to literally give her life and liberty to defend the rights of local Bozeman businesses to refuse service to gay people.  Bozeman is considering an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance. Mrs. Gianforte is apparently helping lead the charge against it.  She stated in the hearing that she would gladly go to prison for breaking such an ordinance if enacted and that she would “regretfully watch others shut down the organizations and businesses that people in other state[sic] are currently doing,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

And, please be aware that Gianforte is one of the chief financial forces behind the Montana Family Foundation, a group which (as the School Administrators of Montana point out) claims that higher standards for reading and math are connected to the workings of “the United Nations, UNESCO, the ‘New World Order,’ Marxism, Globalism, Islam, etc.” and that the new, better standards are the culmination “of an envisioned future of  ’dominant elites’ who have been working behind the scenes for over 100 years to ensure its adoption.”  The Family Foundation and its anti-illuminati cohorts also believe that celebrating bigotry by importing stale, greasy fast food from hundreds of miles away is a good idea.

Posted: April 9, 2014 at 7:22 am

“Shrimp Pimp” Art Wittich Complains about Cowgirl Blog at TEA Party Shrimp Peel

Disgraced Tea Partier and Art Wittich [pronounced "WIT-ick"] used the opening moments of his speech to Teton County TEA party Republicans to take a swipe at this blog.

The state senator, dubbed “Shrimp Pimp” by local republicans for goading TEA Partiers into hijacking the GOP’s popular local fundraiser, did not dispute the facts of any of my posts, rather he tried to attack me personally by flatly proclaiming that I’m not a woman, that I’m not Montana and that I “don’t know anything about cows.”  Why he thinks this is unclear, but probably based in sexism. People like Wittich think women can’t have good political blogs apparently.  Whatevs.

You can see the video here – Wittich’s anti-Cowgirl blog rant is one minute in.

It’s not surprising that this is the kind of line Wittich would take.  His problem is a very simple one:  He can’t complain about the merits of what I’ve written because everything that has been said about him has been backed up with facts.  I challenge the state Senator to find one thing I’ve written about him on this blog that isn’t true.

I shudder to think what Wittich will do when he finds out that his actions against the people of Montana and members of his own party are not just discussed on the blogs, but also on Facebook and Twitter, on television and in the newspapers, around dinner tables, at coffee shops, high school sporting events, at diner counters, and around water coolers across the state.

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

We’ve Met the Enemy and It is Science and Knowledge

Creationists have been much in the news in Montana of late. Here’s the latest on Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul who apparently believes the earth is 4,300 years old.  It’s also time for an update on Lawrence VanDyke, the creationist supreme court candidate who believes in “pray away the gay” conversion therapy.

Gianforte

Intelligent Discontent has an excellent piece up on Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, and is bringing “His Creationist Entrepreneurial Spirit to Carroll College.” The best part: when the dear Dr. Evans wrings his hands and admits he can’t speak to Mr. Gianforte’s religious beliefs.

Yet, when you combine his large donations to The Montana Family Foundation and a creationist museum and his wife’s recent decree that discrimination against gay people must be kept legal, with a solid number of Montana and SCOTUS justices telling us that under campaign finance laws these days money basically is speech, I’d say it’s a hard thing to ignore.

jesusdinoScreen shot 2014-04-09 at 12.03.45 AMPlus, he’s involved teaching computer science and economic impact after donating to a museum that promotes false science and says the earth is only 4,000 years old and that dinosaurs died in the Noah’s ark flood. I don’t think students want to pay good money to be told basically: “This is the Invisible Hand, it influences market movement and smites the unholy and dirty hordes of poor people. It’s not invisible because it doesn’t exist, it is is visible if you have the magic glasses.”

His announced commencement speech at MT Tech touched off quite a stir of course,  with stories in Montana and national press.  Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.

So, way to devalue your own degrees and images Carroll and Tech.

Lawrence VanDyke

Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 12.03.59 AMAnti-science newsmaker number two is our recently profiled candidate for Montana’s Supreme Court, creationist Lawrence VanDyke.  Like Greg Gianforte, VanDyke isn’t just a creationist, he’s also got some troubling views on LGBT people.

He states his belief in the Harvard Law Record that being gay is a choice correctable by conversion therapy a la Michelle Bachmann, citing a lone study, which relied exclusively on verbal self-report of changes in sexual orientation. He also states that in Canada, ”courts are forcing same sex marriage on the populace.” (Does he actually believe Canada is forcing people to marry others of the same sex?)

VanDyke clerked for right-wing justice Janice Rogers Brown from 2006-2007.  She’s the rightwinger who infamously ruled against birth control, against women’s medical privacy and the rights of same sex couples to adopt kids with no homes. As PBS reports, civil rights groups say “Justice Brown’s opinions on civil rights law ‘reveal significant skepticism about the existence and impact of discrimination.’”

From Think Progress:

Prior to her nomination to the D.C. Circuit, Brown labeled the New Deal a “socialist revolution,” and she likened Social Security to a kind of intergenerational cannibalism — “[t]oday’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much ‘free’ stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”

Also troubling is that VanDyke wants to be elected to pass judgments on Montanans, but he apparently believes he himself is above the law and has filed for office even though he’s nearly two years short of the legal requirement to have five years of active status with the State Bar of Montana in order to run.

Five delegates to the Montana Constitutional Convention have filed a lawsuit to have him removed from the ballot.  These delegates are right of course – a person should have to meet the minimum qualifications in order to run.  No one is above the law, not even this guy.

So yeah, our Supreme Court is already getting pretty bad with McKinnon, Rice, and sometimes Baker carrying water for TEA partiers, and this guy is the last thing we need.

By the way it was a Carroll College professor who made internationally renowned discoveries about how being LGBT is part of natural biological variation (while on sabbatical from Carroll.)

Dr. Anne Perkins is an animal behaviorist, a former USDA scientist, member of the Carroll Psych dept, and the current head of Carroll’s Anthrozoology (Human Animal Bonding Program). She discovered how the embryonic development of animals and hormone levels leading to natural homosexual attraction.

Dr. Perkins has been featured in the London Times, Science News, New Scientist,and Annuals of Biopsychology.  She has been a featured speaker at the International Symposium on Human Development, the International Ethological Society, and the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. She was also quoted in the documentary “Survival of the Fabulous”. She hosted a screening and discussion of the film and the implications of naturally expressed homosexuality at the Myrna recently.

So lest you think the profs at Carroll are okay with this while the Tech faculty is not, that’s not likely.  Several Carroll faculty testified against the creation bill during the last session. 

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

TEA Partiers Running as Dems Become Active in Right-Wing Causes

A dirty plot hatched by the local conservatives to deceive voters and with TEA Party Republicans pretending to be Democrats has thickened.  No less than eight TEA Party conservatives have filed for office as democrats has just come to light. Now, the possible motives and potential and level of coordination of these party-switching candidates is starting to emerge: one has already appeared as a pawn in a lawsuit filed by a right-wing extremist and TEA Party candidate who is seeking to block access to federal funds to pay for health care for the working poor and Veterans in Montana.

Take fake democrat Kathy Hollenback, who appears in TEA Party republican Matthew Monforton’s lawsuit against Republican Tim Fox. Monforton has filed a flurry of lawsuits laden with right-wing ideology and buzzwords since becoming a candidate for office. He’s suing the Attorney General because Fox certified the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative as legally sufficient and wrote a fiscal statement for the initiative which explains both the cost and the savings of the measure to accept federal funds and use available federal monies coming to Montana for health care for the working poor: ranch hands, motel clerks, construction workers, and waitresses.

Monforton recruited Hollenback  to help him deceive the public into thinking he has bipartisan support his nonsense.

Screen shot 2014-04-08 at 10.29.50 PM

Hollenback’s husband is David Ponte who formerly ran for legislature on the GOP ticket in 2010.  Ponte is a tea party winger who is precinct chair of the Gallatin Republican Party.  Ponte has filed numerous complaints against democrats and mainstream Republicans whom the TEA Partiers dislike.

The other parties Monforton has recruited for his lawsuit he claims are part of an MSU group that doesn’t appear anywhere other than the pages of his twisted legal arguments.

Monforton has given his group the ridiculous sounding name “If You Like Your MSU Funding, You Can Keep It.”  The supposed “group” includes Kathy Hollenback, TEA Party candidate running as a fake democrat, Ed Johnson, an MSU student running for the Legislature as a Republican; and Kyndall Miller, daughter of Ken Miller, who lost in the GOP Gubernatorial primary against Rick Hill in 2012.

Both Ed Johnson and Hollenback are running in HD66, in the heart of Bozeman.

Monforton wrote a letter to the editor in the Bozeman Chronicle recently denigrating the elected body he himself is seeking to join as a “parliament of whores.” Rick Hill hired Bozeman Tea Party hot-head Monforton to give him legal advice. It it was Monforton’s idea to take the infamous $500,000 donation, and it was perhaps the worst legal advice in Montana political history, probably destroying Hill’s campaign.

To my knowledge, the Gallatin Republicans have’t weighed in on this deception yet, nor have they explained why Gallatin Republicans have a white supremacist on their website, Drew Turiano.

 

Posted: April 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Analysis: Unmarried Women, Youth, People of Color Key to 2014 Electoral Success in MT

A new analysis of likely Montana voters found that unmarried women, people of color, and young people hold the key to electoral success in 2014, according to the Voter Participation Center and pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners.

That’s because according to the report nearly 38,000 of these Montana voters, dubbed the “rising American electorate” could stay home this election year, as compared to 2012, which could mean the difference between winning or losing key races.

Drop-off from the last election cycle in 2012 – either from failure to register or failure to turn out at the polls – is a significant issue as Montana’s June 3rd primary and November election near. Unmarried women make up 24,000 of those Montana “drop-off” voters – a substantial bloc.

What we don’t want is a repeat of the 2010 elections, when only 38% of these voters voted, resulting in the nightmare that created the 2011 “bat-crap crazy” legislature.

Consider that Montanans cast 386,000 votes in the 2010 election. The report shows that combining the potential drop off (38,000) with all other Montanans who are likely to stay home (approximately 40,000 voters) could lead to a combined potential loss of nearly 80,000 ballots from across Montana not cast this year.

The key to getting these voters to the polls is to talk about pocket book issues that are relevant to them, have an active volunteer base, and of course not branding oneself as part of the anti-jobs, anti-health care, anti-science, anti-21st century, pro-racism party.

Posted: April 7, 2014 at 6:23 am

Choice of Flavors of Republican Shrimp: Angry or Angrier

The great Shrimp Peel schism in Teton county could be viewed as a microcosm of what is happening to the Republican Party.

The Teton county GOP hosts an annual banquet, known as the Shrimp Peel, where an older crowd of mostly angry men with white mustaches and 1970′s blazers complain about President Obama, socialism, spending, taxes and so on.  They do this while feasting on all-you-can-eat shrimp (unpeeled, meaning that flavor and freshness is preserved) as well as spaghetti.

This year, the Tea Party announced that it would hold its own event, because the Choteau area’s Teton County Republican Party is too liberal.  Thus there is now a competing Shrimp Peel, for true conservatives.

The main Peel (the “establishment” Shrimp Peel, if you will), will go down on May 2.  Patrons will be treated to a keynote speech by the top GOP celebrity in Montana, congressman Steve Daines.

The booby prize goes to the attendees of right-wing Shrimp Peel, which took place Friday night.   Their speaker was disgraced Tea Partier Art Wittich, who the TEA Partiers told the Choteau Acantha, was instigating the TEA Partiers to break off and have their own ultra-conservative peel. [Article pdf one two.]  Perhaps that’s why the local GOP central committee took out ads referring to him as the “Shrimp Pimp.”

PhonyPeel4

Local GOPers are not pleased about Essmann and Wittich meddling in their local affairs, and have been saying as much in the local papers. 

PhonyPeel2

Ads for the phony peel are below:

PhonyPeel PhonyPeel1

Wittich has been trying to be the Tea Party heavy for many years, though it’s not going well for him.   He was also notified this week by the Montana election authorities that he violated state law by taking illegal contributions from the criminal enterprise known as American Tradition Partnership.  His violations were so egregious that the Commissioner of Political Practices, Jon Motl, will soon be in district court recommending that Wittich be removed from the ballot in November.  The violations made national news. 

In the private sector, Wittich’s contributions to society include having once billed a legal client $2,300 for 20 minutes of legal work. The bill was $98.70, but Wittich tacked on a few thousand extra because the client didn’t pay on schedule.

Bon appetite, Choteau.

Posted: April 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Dem Party Makes Surprising Endorsement in Primary

We learned this week that the Democratic Party executive board, in a meeting earlier this month, voted to endorse John Walsh in his primary.  This left John Bohlinger and Dirk Adams out in the cold, and they are crying foul.

The Party rules disfavor endorsements in the primary, for the obvious reason that party politics are ultimately about people, not boards.  But the by-laws say that a “proven incumbent” can be endorsed “with a two thirds vote of the board.”  It is rare, and the rule is usually only employed in primaries where there is no serious opposition at all against an incumbent.   Baucus and Schweitzer received endorsements, for example, when they ran for re-election even though they had minor opponents.

However, this time things got sticky because on the same day that the Walsh endorsement was issued, the Party issued a statement in which Adams and Bohlinger were labeled as “not true Democrats.”

I can understand the value, strategically speaking, in trying to clear the field for John Walsh.  Walsh is leading the primary right now according to polls, and it is not a stretch to say that many things–his major fundraising advantage among them–make him the toughest candidate to field against Daines at this time.

But I am ambivalent about this move by the Party.  Bohlinger was once a Republican, yes, and voted also against choice, and he will have to answer for that in this election.   But he has since switched sides and supports choice, and progressives probably should keep in mind that though he has quacked like a Republican duck for many years at Schweitzer’s side, it was deliberately for the political benefit of the Schweitzer administration. Bohlinger worked hard every two year  to get Democrats elected.  And yes, Adams wrote checks to a few Republicans, for various reasons which he explained in the press lately, and that will (and should) hurt him among voters.  But he also gave to Democratic candidates.  And again, I am not sure that the Party should be proclaiming people as Democrats or Not Democrats.  We have to leave room for people to be able to change parties.

And I’ve been reading the remarks of critics on Twitter and elsewhere who point to the fact that the party is an organization that is designed to be grassroots, and I’m debating in my mind whether those arguments (even if pushed mainly by partisans of Bohlinger and Adams) should carry weight here.   If and when the Party endorses someone, it is supposed to reflect the clear and unequivocal opinion of the people.  Such could be said of the occasions in the past when the Party has made endorsements in the Primary.  I’m not sure it can be said here.

The Flathead Memo also has a post up on this that is worth reading.