Political Gossip, Satire, and Analysis from MT's Capital City "...an uncanny knack for sharp insider information..."--AP "...amazingly accurate inside info..."--Politico.com "...a viral sensation..."--Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos "Among the best state-based political blogs in the nation."--Washington Post
As you all know, Montana Republicans are a nativist and xenophobic crew, who hurl “out-of-state” as a nasty insult and love to tout the number of generations back that their lineage has lived in Montana. Many a pale chest is thumped mightily as if these men had a role in choosing the location of their births.
So we should assume that the GOP power brokers are currently holding an emergency meeting in a smoke-filled room somewhere, urgently trying to decide how to handle a shocking development within the party: Continue reading →
The vice-Chair of the state Republican Party, Sen. Jennifer Fielder promoted the gathering of an extreme anti-government group appeared as a keynote speaker at the group’s event. But when a reporter showed up, “she quickly distanced herself from [Defend Rural America leader Kirk] MacKenzie when asked about his extreme rhetoric and ideas,” which included that “neo-environmentalists” are “domestic terrorists.” Fielder said that the group ideas weren’t what she thought they would be.
So now she knows, and there’s no longer a way to claim ignorance.
But Sen. Fielder must not be too upset about the group’s views. She’s invited yet another Defend Rural America speaker, Doyel Shamley, to present information to a legislative hearing this Wed, Jan 8. You can see that he appears under Fielder’s portion of the Environmental Quality Council agenda.
Shamley appears on the MT EQC agenda, billed as a “natural resource consultant.” But Doyel Shamely is so much more.
Shamely is the host of a somewhat creepy conspiracy theory program which posits that politicians, lawmakers, members of the royal family, the illuminati and others have created a “New World Order” through which they attempt to control the thoughts and beliefs of everyday people–of course, there is connection to UFO’s and aliens visiting planet Earth.
Is there a New World Order? Are they trying to control every part of our lives? Are we treated like sheep?…Are they politicians, company directors, religious leaders, royalty, lawmakers, or all of the above and more? How old is their rule? And what secret organization do they belong to?
Perhaps more importantly, are UFOs actually visiting our planet? Have they been here for thousands of years? All this and more is constantly investigated by thousands of people around the globe and nobody more than the Hour of Our Time Show*[hosted by Shamely]…Are they trying to control our minds? Are they lying about the Alien Threat? You decide.
Indeed Fielder has decided that Montana’s lawmakers need to hear from this consultant–apparently no other natural resources speaker would do.
Yes, the truth sometimes has a way of coming out, but that hasn’t stopped Fielder from tried hide from and disassociate herself from the extremist views of these “expert consultants” she consorts with.
For example, Sen. Dick Barrett (D-Missoula) provided her with an email with information about the watershed consultant hired by TEA partiers to block a tribal water rights agreement negotiated by the state of Montana and the CSKT. Kate Vandemoer (yes, this is the Usurpathoner) has a birther blog with some pretty extreme, marginal views–and some writings that reflect the soundness of her judgement. But Fielder got angry and insisted that the contents of Vandemoer’s “personal” blog (whatever that might mean) were not relevant. But in the same breath, she claimed that she had never read the blog. I encourage you to read this informative chain of emails below the fold.
The most cursory review of Vandemoer’s very public blog (Dr Kate’s View) shows that Vandemoer uses it not only to promote her multitudinous and bizarre birther conspiracy theories, she also uses it to share her views on water and watershed politics.
In a post entitled “Watershed Politics” Vandemoer writes the following. (Apologies for the long passage but they illustrate this “expert’s” state of mind.)
the landscape of our America was shaped by our Constitution, the very blood and water of our country…Upon this hallowed ground–nothing more than a chessboard to some– a dark rain has fallen for decades…it is falling and now drenching. I remember being in the wilderness for weeks on horseback, wondering what the black ‘goo’ was on the vegetation and the rocks…This foreign rain, and the raging torrents it produces, are attempting to capture that stream and dream known as America. It is trying to erode our landscape, our system, in order to capture liberty and train it into a controlled system of slavery, where the course of everyone’s life is determined by a single train of thought–communism, new world orderism. The NWO has intentionally created these devastating torrents to undermine sovereignty, liberty, and freedom…indeed I have felt that the very foundation of our country is threatened…and with increasing force.
Does the NWO think it is God, such that it can flood the world with poison rain and torrential rivers to destroy all of creation, and refashion it to its liking (and control)?
She uses the blog to share her belief that climate change is a diversionary tactic to keep the public from looking into a list of conspiracy theories: such as “weather modification by geoengineering“–Vandemoer believes the government is creating natural disasters so that it may “take over our lives.” There’s also HAARP (a secret weapon conspiracy nuts think is used for weather modification. And don’t forget “chemtrails, and microwave pulses.”
So even if Fielder doesn’t scramble to distance herself from the conspiracies, or Vandemoer’s belief that, “the Rothschilds (translated ‘Red Shield), Rockefellers, and many other monied JKhazar Jews, who together form a cabal acting like a synagogue of Satan that is in full gear enforcing its agenda on America, including Agenda 21.” Even if Sen. Fielder does not believe that these views call “Dr. Kate’s” judgement into question, Vandemoer’s views on water as a water consultant should give any sane person pause.
For tomorrow’s legislative meeting. Fielder has invited another extremist to town. She’s asked Ken Ivory to the legislative committee tomorrow. Ivory is the Utah legislator who carried a bill requiring the Federal government to cede much of its land in Utah to the state.
This guy Ivory has already appeared in Ravalli County. Actually, he’s been touring around pushing this idea to other states at ALEC conferences too–legislative language is conveniently available now in ALEC boilerplate. Montanans will remember this idea as one of the infamous nutjob bills of the 2011 legislature, sponsored by Derek Skees.
Unfortunately for Ivory (and ALEC), Utah’s Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel had to go and point out a pile of pesky case law with regard to public lands going back to the 1870s that gives the bill “a high probability of being declared unconstitutional.” And the Salt Lake Tribune has called Ivory’s effort “tilting at windmills.” Arizona rejected it. The bill was vetoed by TEA Party Governor Jan Brewer. In Montana, the bill didn’t even make it out of committee.
But the GOP loves to throw these kinds of pointless proposals out there, in spite of the fact that it is a complete waste of public resources to do so. It’s political grandstanding to rally the extreme-right conservative TEA Party base and to feed their antigovernment conspiracy narrative.
Skees is also the creator of the 2011 election cycles most…interesting political ad. He lost big to Monica Lindeen for state auditor that year. So we’re likely to see more such hilarity in 2014.
He made national news as a TEA Party nutjob and states-rights fanatic. He believes that the fifty states individually can, should and must override federal law when they please. He admittedly does not recognize the supremacy clause of the US Constitution and believes Abraham Lincoln was the villain and cause of the Civil War, that the Southern States had the right to do what they wanted, including own slaves, without interference from the federal government. Such ideas were explicitly expressed by Skees in an e-mail to a supporter in 2010, which was published in the Flathead Memo at the time but has so far received little coverage from major newspapers in the state (which raises disturbing questions).
Montanans aren’t very fond of right-wing radicals nor people who wear confederate flags. Plus the current PSC is already over-stuffed with angry right wingers like the infamous Roger Koopman, whose early history is chronicled nicely at A Chicken is Not Pillage. So the addition of Skees would leave the PSC even more unbalanced.
What’s also interesting is that Mr. Skees is implicated in the American Tradition Partnership illegal coordination scandal. Montana’s top election regulator says he’s launching an investigation into candidates ATP helped to elect in 2010, and the results of the investigation could become public at any time. Skees could be on the list of candidates who will be investigated because documents linked to Mr. Skees were uncovered in a brilliant work of national investigative journalism PBS did last year. In a full-hour exposé of Montana politics and the secretive right-wing group, PBS’s show Frontline revealed the secret stash of incriminating documents which was found in a meth house, showing extensive communications between several GOP legislative candidates and the ATP, and showing that the ATP was even preparing campaign material for them, such as this letter.
The democratic candidate for the seat is state Rep. Galen Hollenbaugh (D-Helena). Hollenbaugh has been in the state legislature since 2006 and the voters have returned him to office in each election since then. He’s vice-chair of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation.
TEA Party republicans are attempting distance themselves from a group they promoted and for which they appeared as keynote speakers after a local reporter started asking questions. However, in the same news story, the lawmakers say they plan to implement the very group’s ideas. Here’s what happened.
His name was found in a box of documents in a meth house which later became the subject of a brilliant work of national investigative journalism. In a full-hour exposé of Montana politics and the secretive right-wing group, PBS’s show Frontline revealed that a secret stash of incriminating documents has been found in a meth house, showing extensive communications between these and perhaps other legislative candidates and the American Traditions Partnership, and showing that the ATP was even preparing campaign material for them.
The list of others who could be investigated because documents and campaign materials with their names were found in the meth house includes–but is not limited to–current and former legislators Ed Butcher, Bob Wagner, Wendy Warburton, Jerry O’Neil, and Derek Skees. Rep. Dan Kennedy (R-Laurel) is already under investigation.
Miller announced the investigation on his own Facebook page, saying. “Well, before the press breaks the news, (or MT-Cowgirl), former MT Rep. John Ward has filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices over the 2010 primary, alleging coordination with Assembly Action Fund and ATP (WTP).” Screenshot.
He said he is “not commenting further at this time on the merits of my case.” Screenshot. However he added,
“One could wonder in the Kennedy case if a candidate buys something (paper) on sale at say WalMart and Staples has the same item at a higher price, just what is the fair market value of that item. Or if a candidate buys stamps at Costco at a 25 cent discount if Costco is making a corporate contribution to the candidate as it is less than the US Post Office charges which one could assume the CoPP would think was the “fair market value.”
Former Rep. Scott Mendenhall (R-Clancy) blamed the investigation on “More divisiveness out of the self-proclaimed ‘Business Republicans.’” Those alleged to have illegally coordinated with ATP are in the TEA Party camp.
Montana’s head elections regulator ruled this week that American Tradition Partnership illegally coordinated with a GOP legislative candidate, Dan Kennedy R-Laurel. Now, Montana’s top election regulator says he’s launching an investigation into other candidates ATP may have coordinated with.
ATP is the right-wing political attack group that was instrumental in bringing us the nation’s most bat-crap crazy state legislatures in 2011 and 2013. Kennedy’s primary opponent was but one of several GOP candidates who complained about ATPs activities to elect hard right-wingers over more moderate republicans.
A week before the election, TEA Party Republican Derek Skees wrote a lengthy defense of his campaign strategy after the TEA Party blog PolyMontana pointed out flaws in his tactics.
Skees said there wasn’t a problem with his campaign for statewide office, rather “things are just where I want them.” Thesaurus firmly in hand, Skees explained that the facts did not support “the conclusions you are blindly flailing for.” He said his critics had no idea “how well received I am state wide.”
Skees explained that he wasn’t raising money and contacting voters on purpose. He said he is so reviled by the left that were he to campaign it would actually harm his chances.
Suffice to say, the left hates me, and would have rallied HUGE against me were I to come out swinging big in emails, press releases and social media, as well as massive early fund raising.
I will not circulate email blogs that would just frenzy the left: I have left them in the dark and bask in the quiet of the blogs while the press hammers home the fact I stand against Obamacare, all the while spelling my name as it appears on the ballot perfectly. Awesome!
Skees predicted that in the unlikely event that he lost, it would be the fault of those who question this awesome strategy:
If I lose, it will be attributed to failed political pundits like yourself questioning my ability to win for any of a hundred reasons, convincing just enough people to ballot fatigue me down ticket.
You can read Skees’ entire response on the PolyMontana blog. It’s also pasted below in case they take it down. Skees lost to current state auditor Monica Lindeen 53-46.