Category: Legislative Races

Posted: April 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Another Email Takes Aim at TEA Party Lawmakers

A second email is making the rounds in GOP circles this week from an anonymous gmail account called “Concerned Montanans.”  Here’s the first email.

While there’s no word yet on who’s behind these, it is interesting to note that the emails appeared to be focused on the house rather than the senate. Except for Matt Rosendale,  the Senate’s likely new TEA Party leadership candidates, Fred Thomas and Jennifer Fielder, appear to be escaping the flack so far.  Jason Priest isn’t running.

“Facts are Stubborn Things!” – John Adams 

Assault on a child and wife

Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday, February 12th accusing state Sen. Jason Priest of throwing his 4-year-old daughter, shoving his estranged wife and breaking her boyfriend’s rib and then struggling with an officer who intervened in the incident…

Read more:

Sen. Jason Priest (R-TEA Red Lodge) Yellowstone County Detention Facility mug shot.
Sen. Jason Priest (R-TEA Red Lodge) Yellowstone County Detention Facility mug shot.



The state political practices commissioner released findings Tuesday, April 1st, 2014  showing he concluded that Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich violated the law by coordinating with Western Tradition Partnership and other entities to accept illegal corporate donations in his 2010 primary election campaign.

Later Tuesday Commissioner Jonathan Motl filed a civil complaint against Wittich, a Republican legislator from Bozeman, in District Court in Helena.

Read more:




Ken Miller violates Montana Code 45-8-216 with his Robo Calls in the 2012 primary.

The commissioner of political practices is rejected Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller’s request to dismiss a campaign complaint, and warning his campaign to stop making automated telephone calls that are technically illegal.

Read more:


Miller and Rosendale  coordinate on a regular basis.

Wittich has held fundraisers for Rosendale in Gallatin County and elsewhere.

Be on the look-out for Dark Money coming Rosendale’s way since he can’t raise any of his own. Wittich and Priest will probably funnel it through the Montana Growth Network!



Posted: April 23, 2014 at 7:38 am

GUEST POST: Sun shines on Montana grassroots fundraising

Mary Ann Dunwell is the progressive Democratic candidate for Montana House District 84. She welcomes your questions and comments at (406) 461-5358, or

Mary Ann Dunwell
Mary Ann Dunwell

Dark money and U.S. Supreme Court rulings that lift political contribution limits and call corporations people are enough to make those who believe in democracy throw up our hands in despair. Like many of you, I’m alarmed by the implications that the wealthy one percent may soon own our elected, representative form of government.

But, I’m also inspired that we won’t let it happen. The Dunwell for Montana House District 84 campaign has raised money from about 170 contributors. Most are hard-working Montanans or those on fixed incomes who stretch to give $10, $25 or $50. Some have given $100 or even maxed out at $170. I know they’re giving up something in exchange for something much greater in which they believe.

These Montanans have their say and engage in the democratic process. These Montanans speak for people who haven’t had a voice in the legislature. These Montanans step up with me to make sure all of our neighbors have equal opportunity to thrive, prosper and succeed.

I’ve met many people on the campaign trail who don’t have a voice or don’t enjoy equal opportunity. There’s the single mom fired from her job because she couldn’t find a sitter and can’t pay the rent,  the parents who work yet struggle to pay for preschool and night school, the college graduate strapped with huge student loans and no job, the young adults who want to go to college and medical school but have no way to pay, the  mother whose adult daughter took her life, the young woman whose teenage brother took his, and the parent who needs help caring for her child with mental illness. There’s the former Asarco employee kicked out of work and left with contaminated property and a polluted well, the teacher who won’t take her elementary students to the Capitol anymore during Legislative Session because of the disrespect, the WWII Veteran who’s endured a broken promise all these years, and the 30-something who couldn’t go to the doctor and now can.

Our campaign is grassroots. Those grassroots will grow under Montana’s Big Sky, nurtured with sunlight, watered with full disclosure and fertilized by the people’s voices participating in a transparent, democratic process. No way can our grassroots campaign fundraising compete with dark money mega-dollars and corporate influence. But all together, Montana voices are speaking up, being heard and demonstrating that our votes are not for sale. Priceless!


Posted: April 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm

TEA Party Land Takeover Will Cost You Big $$$

TEA Party congressional candidate Matt Rosendale and a militia-affiliated TEA Partier state senator have glommed onto a likely unconstitutional land grab idea pushed by out-of-staters that is a financial black hole for Montanans and a nightmare for Montana’s economy and environment.

Here’s why the plot copied from Utah by Jennifer Fielder, the TEA Party state senator who is vice-Chair of the Montana GOP, and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Yosemite Sam) is so poorly conceived and is more about pushing state sovereignty anti-government uprising ideology.   It’s certainly not about jobs or fiscal responsibility.

Our federal public lands are what make Montana so great. The TEA Party land grab targets the Rocky Mountain Front, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Beartooths, the Bitterroot-Selway, the national forests and scenic areas surrounding our national parks including Going to the Sun Road, and all of our national wildlife refuges and wilderness areas. These are the places where we go to ride horses, hike, hunt, fish, ski, bike or just relax outside with our pets, friends and families.  These public lands don’t belong only to the 2015 Montana legislature and the special interests who would sell them off– they belong to all Americans for generations to come. Rosendale and Fielder say they will exempt National parks, reservations , and national monuments, but not the lands mentioned above.

Perhaps most obviously, the TEA Party land grab would limit public access to public lands. If this TEA Party and grab succeeds many of these lands could be sold or developed, strip mined, strip malls. Whatever. Montanans can expect to encounter a whole lot of “No Trespassing” signs.

What’s more, the Fielder/Rosendale attack on our public lands could cost also Montana taxpayers untold millions of dollars. Consider what’s happening in Utah, the state which recently passed the dubious law which the MT TEA-bunch is modeling their land grab scheme after.  The Utah legislature’s own lawyers have said that the land grab bill will only trigger a costly and ultimately futile legal battle because it has a “high probability of being declared unconstitutional.” The litigation costs to taxpayers will likely run into the millions of dollars.

And that’s just the litigation to defend this unconstitutional nonsense. That’s not even including the cost to manage the federal lands, which Montana taxpayers would now have to assume.

In Utah, the federal government spends between $200 and $300 million per year managing public lands (including fire fighting)–Utah has about 35 million acres of federal land.

In Idaho, the federal government spends more than $300 million per year in managing public lands–Idaho has about 33 million acres of federal land.  These numbers also include the costs of fighting wildland fires.

If you’re wondering what the federal management costs in Montana are, consider that we have about 27 million acres of federal lands.

Compare that with the fact that the state of Montana can barely manage to fully fund its own state parks budget because legislators refuse to appropriate the needed funds.  The state of Montana spends a measly $600,000 in state funds to manage our state parks.  That means that’s the only state money the legislature would allocate to manage our state parks public lands–that doesn’t come from hunting and fishing licenses or federal funds anyway.  If Montana did gain control over federal public lands, Montana taxpayers would be stuck with the cost of managing federal lands too–to the tune of a couple hundred million.

Some right-wingers may say “well let’s just clearcut log federal land to pay these costs.”  In fact, the  Idaho Department of Lands came up with an estimate that the state could raise $50 million to $75 million annually in timber receipts from federal land.

But one cost not figured into Idaho’s estimate would actually negate any anticipated revenue gains.  That’s what are called “Payment in Lieu of Taxes” or PILT funds.  These payments make up for former timber revenues and compensating for the fact that counties can’t tax federal land–they amount to $58 million in Idaho.  If the lands weren’t federal, local governments would lose those funds. The situation is the same in Montana–and other states.  (Also, earth to the pro-logging crowd It’s not environmental protections that dictate how much logging is done –its demand for timber in the free market economy.)

That’s why TEA Party Republican Jan Brewer, who is Arizona’s Governor vetoed a land grab bill in her state because it would have overstressed the state’s budget and land management abilities. As the Salt Lake Tribune commented,

“[t]hat’s a much more logical view than the pipe dream held by Utah lawmakers, that the seizure of public lands would be a fiscal bonanza for the state.”

The Rosendale/Feilder TEA Party assault on our public lands is also bad for business.  Nearly eleven million visitors come to Montana each year, spending $3.7 billion dollars and supporting 13,000 jobs–largely to enjoy our public lands.  Just as important, our public lands are the single greatest reason why many people and businesses chose to locate and invest in Montana.  An increasing number of studies show that rural counties in the West with protected public landscapes see better economic and job growth than counties lacking protected landscapes. To the contrary, Feilder’s and Rosendale’s TEA Party agenda is to sell off and exploit – not protect and promote – our great places to fish, hunt, and recreate.

The Rosendale/Fielder plan will create enormous regulatory quagmire for grazing, drilling, and mining interests who now hold or are seeking permits and leases on our federally-managed public lands. This uncertainty will deter, not encourage, appropriate mineral, agriculture and energy development.  No business wants to come here and embroil itself in endless morass of risks and unknowns. This seems like an obvious point, but the TEA Partiers don’t seem to get it.

Finally, Fielder and Rosendale claim this is about “returning” federal lands to the state – the state never owned these lands in the first place, the federal government took them from Native Americans.  So if they are to be “returned” to anyone, it should be the tribes.

After all, just because an idea is ludicrous never stopped imbeciles in the TEA Party from forcing Republicans to swear oaths to support it.   Check out this TEA Party video of a GOP primary candidate forum co-hosted by the Flathead County Republican Women and the NW MT TEA Party Patriots.

The TEA Partiers asked only three questions.

Would the candidates support denying tribal sovereignty and water rights to the First Montanans?  (By blocking this, Republicans are costing the state of Montana yet more untold millions in legal fees through years of litigation.)

Would they reject federal funds to pay for 100% of the health are costs for 70,000 working poor and Veterans in Montana?  Montana loses $1.8 million every day that these funds are refused.

And would they support this unconstitutional TEA Party land grab to tank Montana’s economy, which would also cost the state millions.

The candidates answered as the forum organizers demanded – even though the TEA partiers’ ideological positions are the opposite of fiscally responsible.


Posted: April 19, 2014 at 6:49 am

GUEST POST: The Primary Hypocrite Wittich

Note: This is a guest opinion piece by Rep. Jesse O’Hara (R-Great Falls).  As I mentioned earlier, the Cowgirl Blog welcomes guest post submissions.  The blog has in the past an will continue to consider guest opinion pieces from conservatives/Republicans subject to my discretion.  Rep. Jesse O’Hara, while of a different political party and with whom I and readers here will disagree on many points, has a reputation for being a thoughtful and effective lawmaker who puts his constituents first.  Note also that Wittich is said to be seeking a leadership position in the house after recruiting primary opponents against current members of the house. The piece below came with the following introduction:

My name is Jesse O’Hara and I am currently serving as a State Representative from Great Falls Montana, albeit I am vacationing at my winter home in Florida at the moment.  I can be reached at 1-406-781-3333, or emailed at or    My Great Falls address is: 2908 Wells Fargo, Great Falls, Mt. 59404.

Last session I was the longest serving member in the Montana House.   What I witnessed was an extremist group going to almost any lengths to purify the Republican Party.   Senate Majority Leader Wittich consistently spoke to the positives of every Republican having a primary, even saying that he planned on having one.  He constantly prattled on that primaries were good in that they allowed the voter to pick between Republican ideologies, and that the voter would pick the extreme ideology.    Then, in the last few minutes of the last day, he fled from a primary to an uncontested race.   It seems he was and is a hypocrite.  Primaries are only good for others.

In my five decades of political activity, including serving as both a State Senator and Representative, I have never seen anything quite like this.


Sometimes, to defend poor choices, a man’s bravado has his mouth writing checks his butt can’t cash. This appears to have been the scenario facing Senator Wittich in the final hours of filing for legislative office.

First, a history lesson: Wittich and his associates, while safely nestled in the warm embrace of Dark Money, have made it their mission to inform Republicans that primaries are good for the party. They justified this claim by stating that primaries have a uniquely “purifying” power that forces candidates to “own their vote.”

It seems an opponent was listening. On the final day of election signups, Wittich had the opportunity to put his hollow maxim to the test – to finally live by the words he preached. A primary loomed.

Nervous and caught unaware, Wittich began to ponder …

Maybe his singular dubious accolade, a stellar rating on Koopman’s cherry-picked scorecard (TAB), didn’t have the star power envisioned?

Maybe the verdict on his failed leadership would haunt him? Would anybody actually believe the fable that his failure to lead was somebody else’s fault?

Maybe he feared that the voters would uncover his efforts to dismantle public education?  Or his reference to volunteer school trustees as members of a ‘commie’ club?

Or maybe, just maybe, it was the zero he received on the Montana University System scorecard? Bozeman is a university town and his constituents might find it unsettling that Senator Wittich’s only support for the university was empty lip service.

By closing time, Senate Majority Leader Wittich had decided that an open discussion of his record, his leadership failure, and his looming legal troubles was a sure recipe for defeat. He disowned his principles and fled the primary to an uncontested House race.  Can anyone say – hypocrite?

Representative Jesse O’Hara

Posted: April 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Republican Email Circulating Takes Aim at TEA Party Legislators

An email making the rounds in Republican circles today urges GOPers to stop the TEA Party “from doing any further damage to our beloved Montana GOP.”

The email take particular issue with Art Wittich, Jason Priest, Matt Rosendale, and Tom Tuck and the Gallatin County Republican Central Committee, was forwarded on by a tipster.  It is pasted below in its entirety so you can decide what to make of it yourselves.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Concerned Montanans <>
Date: Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM
Subject: Montanans on the Issues

Dear Concerned Montana Republicans,

Please boycott the Radical Tea Party members claiming to be Republicans and any future events they may have.

To find out why please read below: 

As many of you know radical Tea Party members are attempting to take over the Montana GOP and although we would agree on many of the issues they are promoting, the Tea Party has been taken over by criminals, liars, and cheats!!!

For example, the state political practices commissioner released findings on, Tuesday, April 1st, showing that Senate Majority Leader ART WITTICH violated the law by coordinating with Western Tradition Partnership and other entities to accept illegal corporate donations in his 2010 primary election campaign. THIS IS A FELONY CRIME!! Later that same day, Commissioner Jonathan Motl filed a civil complaint against ART WITTICH.

Is this someone we want our children looking up to?

For more information on ART WITTICH’s criminal activity please see the Billings Gazette article at:

ART WITTICH and other GOP Central Committee members, claiming to be Republicans, such as TOM TUCK, the Gallatin County Republican Central Committee’s chair, also work very closely with JASON PRIEST whom was arrested last February on suspicion of partner family member assault and resisting arrest. Priest is also is a founder of a nonprofit group called Montana Growth Network which supports U.S. HOUSE Candidate MATT ROSENDALE.​

Is this someone we want out children looking up to?

To find out more pertaining to the coordination between JASON PRIEST and ART WITTICH click below:

What is the one thing all these criminals have in common, they all rabidly support, U.S. House Candidate, MATT ROSENDALE! The Gallatin County Republican Central Committee even held a vote last February, which TOM TUCK feverishly supported, to solely support MATT ROSENDALE and his criminal cronies in the primary election.

Please help stop these criminals from doing any further damage to our beloved Montana GOP by boycotting, not only the Central Committee’s like Gallatin County, but also all future events.


 Thank you and God Bless!


Montanans on the Issues

Posted: April 17, 2014 at 6:58 am

Montana Lawmaker Says He Will Join Armed Rebellion in Nevada

More than five thousand gun-wielding, yellow flag waiving TEA Partiers and Montana militia members are descending on a small town called Bunkerville to fight the federal government.

Kerry White headshot
TEA Party Republican Rep. Kerry White of Bozeman, MT

No, its not a scene from the next Dinesh D’Souza movie flop, it’s actually happening in the town of Bunkerville, Nevada– an hour North of Las Vegas.   Now, TEA Party Republican Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman) posted on his Facebook page that he plans to join them.

White, who is the brother of Gallatin County Commissioner Steve White, has considered running for Governor on the GOP ticket in the past.  It’s not known whether he’s still considering that office. Here’s his Facebook post:


At issue is one man’s refusal to follow the law like his neighbors have done and stop illegally grazing on federal land.  The rancher, a man named Cliven Bundy, has racked up $1.2 million in fines and unpaid grazing fees since 1993–but says he is special and needn’t follow the law like everyone else because his ancestors homesteaded in the area.

So the BLM, as is standard practice, began confiscating Bundy’s cattle to sell to pay some of the unpaid fees. This is no different than what happens to anyone who doesn’t pay their mortgage or their taxes for many years.  The government or bank has the right to foreclose because the person didn’t uphold her or his end of the deal.

As BBC News reported, many of these protesters are armed and have threatened to use deadly force to stop the government from doing its job.  A Montana militia member told reporters:

“That is what we do. We provide armed response,” Jim Lardy with Operation Mutual Aid said.

Lardy came from Montana to join the protesters, and he says he is not afraid to shoot, if necessary.

“They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government,” Lardy said.

He says other militia members are joining him.

“There is many more coming,” Lardy said

Here’s another Montana militia member:

“We’re all in this together,” said Rick Lovelien, 50, a militia member from Libby, Mont., with the Montana State Defense Force.

One protestor even admitted they had plans to put women and children at the front of the crowd so they would be among the first casualties if violence broke out.  So these are the kinds of people that are involved.

The rancher is even urging sheriffs across the US to disarm federal law enforcement officials, Reuters reported.

An official with a group that tracks extremist and hate groups said the call by Cliven Bundy to disarm federal law enforcement with agencies like the BLM is equivalent to calling for an armed rebellion against the U.S. government.

The federal government, siting safety concerns for BLM staff and members of the public, have cancelled the cattle collection for the time being.  The situation remains worrisome for many reasons.  Dallas Hyland writes in Utah’s St George News that this could be the start of a growing trend:

The stand-down was necessary to prevent bloodshed, but it must be recognized that if Bundy and a multitude of his supporters, militia friends, and even family members who broke the law, are allowed to go unpunished, anarchy will follow. Other groups, emboldened by the appearance of forcing a stand-down, will only continue to gain momentum. And furthermore, law enforcement as a whole will be rendered impotent as average people with disputes with current laws begin to wonder if they too can call a militia in to force the police to leave them alone.

And even though the federal government is standing down for now, an update to the TEA Partier’s Facebook page includes an update that White has plans to postpone his trip to when the federal government returns, presumably so that he can get in on the action.

Kerry White Facebook page


Kerry White’s opponents are democrats Christopher Burke, a West Yellowstone businessman, and CJ Monteith.  The district is not dominated by Republican voters, like some in outer Gallatin County are, but contains about half dems and half repubs–so this kind of behavior will hurt White rather than help him.

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 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.”


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


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: March 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

TEA Party Tax Dodger Seeks Legislative Seat

TEA Party Republican Joseph Large says his “fiscal and governmental views are more in line with what the good people of the 9th district are looking for.”

But this is highly doubtful, since Large has managed to amass more than $20,000 in state and federal tax liens and civil judgements.

Joseph Large liens

If he can’t manage his own money and pay his own taxes, he can’t be trusted to manage ours.

Senate District 9 includes Toole, Pondera, and some of Glacier County. Large doesn’t live in any of these counties, so he’s not even legally qualified to run here unless he buys a house and moves to one of them.  He was recruited to run by TEA Party Republican Ed Walker (R-Exxon) of Laurel, who is managing the GOP’s legislative races and recruitment. So, it appears that the state party’s current legislative leaders believe that candidates like this would be so valuable in the next session that it has recruited them to run against their own incumbents.

Large faces Republican Sen. Llew Jones of Conrad in the primary.  The democratic candidate in this race is Joan Graham.  There’s also a TEA Party candidate running as a fake democrat in this race, David Brownell.

And speaking of fake candidates like Brownell, there is also a rash of TEA Party Republicans and neo-confederates running in Maryland this election cycle.  Jonathan Hutson has a rundown on the outbreak here, and sheds some light on the motivations behind the plot to deceive voters, which could also be in play in Montana.

Hutson’s in-depth post is worth a read. Maryland’s fake candidates call their scheme to deceive voters a “strategic plan,” called “Operation DINO” for Democrat in name only, which the tea partiers say will have a “devastating effect” on the next election.

Posted: March 28, 2014 at 7:06 am

The Assman Copieth

Essmann Embarrasses MontanaMore interesting doings in Teton County this week.  Jeff Essmann has paid to have an op-ed placed in the Choteau Acantha which bears some surprising resemblances Art Wittich’s recent op-ed in the Great Falls Tribune.

Sen. President Jeff Essmann, aka the Assman, (a moniker that refers not to his physical situation but to the smell of his foul legislation and outright lies, which resemble ass) is either copying Wittich outright, or we’ve just discovered that it is really Wittich who is the man behind the TEA Party curtain, pulling the doomsday-prepper-procured strings.

Essmann’s piece has the same structure as Wittichs.  Both pieces start out in the first paragraphs by saying essentially someone called me an extremist but really I’m not.

Here’s Wittich:

So why am I called an extremist? Well, I had the audacity to lead 75 percent of the Senate Republican caucus in opposing the backroom political wheeling by O’Hara and his cross-over Republicans dealing with the Democrats, on things like:

Here’s Essmann:

So what did I do to deserve being called an extremist by Llew?  Well I, along with 80% of the Republican caucus had the audacity to oppose the backroom political wheeling and dealing he engaged in with the Democrats.

This kind of thing is similar throughout the piece.  Essmann also copies Wittich’s lies, almost word for word.  I wrote about Wittich’s lies and attack on Jesse O’Hara here. Sen. Dick Barrett wrote about the factual problems with Wittich’s hit piece here.

Here’s Wittich:

Appropriating taxpayer money to organizations such as Planned Parenthood to perform abortions.

Here’s Essmann:

Sen. Jones supports measures that allow taxpayer money to flow to organizations, such as Planned Parenthood. that perform abortions.


Passing a $125 million taxpayer-funded bailout of the state employee pension system, making taxpayers (and our children) again guarantee O’Hara and his friends’ retirement, instead of their own.


Sen. Jones supported a $125 million taxpayer funded bailout of the state employee pension system…taking taxpayers like you and me out of the business of guaranteeing anyone’s retirement but our own.

Essmann, after copying Wittich’s opening and Wittich’s lies, also copies his end:


The bottom line is that O’Hara and his fellow crossovers had the opportunity to work with their Republican colleagues to support the reform principles that we campaigned on.  Instead, O’Hara chose to support the liberal policies of our spendthrift governor and Democratic legislators.


The bottom line is that Senator Jones and his “Responsible Republicans” had the opportunity to work with their Republican colleagues to support the principles that we campaigned on. Instead, Llew chose to support the liberal policies of our spendthrift governor and Democrat legislators.

Here’s Page 1 and Page 2 of Essmann’s attack piece.

Here’s Wittich’s attack piece.

To be sure there is one difference between the two pieces–Wittich didn’t have to pay to get his published. Essmann’s piece appears labeled as a paid advertisement.