Tag Archives: Ken Miller

The Jesus Factor

Montana GOP Executive Director Bowen GreenwoodBowen Greenwood, the head of the Montana GOP, emailed party faithful that he will be running as a write-in candidate for clerk of the Supreme Court this fall.

In the email, Greenwood wrote:

I am  first and foremost a follower and friend of a guy named Jesus of Nazareth. Nothing else even comes close.

Aware that his missive would be picked up and transmitted around, Greenwood clearly is keen on sending a message to the holy rollers in his party that he is One Of Them.

As this relates to the governor’s race, it’s been previously assumed that Greenwood is not a Rick Hill supporter, because of Hill’s lack of right-wing bona fides, Greenwood’s appearance in a Ken Miller video, and Greenwood’s support of Rick Santorum. I would say the email supports the notion that Greenwood likes the Miller candidacy.

And recently Miller has become more direct, himself, about highlighting his own status as “A Christian,” on his website and in debates.

Greenwood might also be worried about a religious insurrection within his party, and wants to appear to be a religious nut so that he can keep his job when the wheels come off in November. Right now the Montana GOP is run mostly by Helena insiders, but is staring at the real possibility of twelve straight years of Democratic control of the Governor’s office and 16 straight years controlling the Attorney General’s office and Land Board. If this comes true in November, there will be a Republican Revolution, but not the kind that the GOP enjoys celebrating, unless you happen to be one of the ecstatic rioting Tea Partiers holding the pitchfork that is hoisting the asses of Greenwood and Will Deschamp, the Party Chairman).

And there is another more subtle thing going on here.

Right-wingers have been led into a self-reinforcing delusion, ever since McCain lost to Obama, that if a moderate Republican candidate loses an election it’s because the candidate made the mistake of trying to appeal to independent voters. Be a true right-wing conservative and you will always win, say Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to their daily audiences of twenty million foaming, gullible ignoramuses.

This thinking allows right-wing leaders and shouters to have their cake and eat it. They can say “I told you so” if and when candidates like Mitt Romney or Rick Hill get defeated. And the purveyors of this Theory of Conservative Purity themselves become more relevant in the off-season. Their followers, meanwhile, can take solace in the fact that arch conservatism is The Way, and that Republicans can only lose elections for failing to follow The Way. This is exactly the bed that has been made for Mitt Romney, by Santorum and Gingrich, Beck and Limbaugh. When Romney loses, they’ll say its because a false conservative, not a true one, was nominated.

For a Party activist like Greenwood, this delusion has a more practical application: it sets up a good position from which to dump on a GOP candidate who loses.

It’s an easy out. For when Rick Hill loses (and he will be the nominee, and will lose to Bullock), Greenwood will signal to the base of his party, “I told you so.” This, even though Ken Miller would himself strand no real chance of winning a general election. But how could this be disproven if Miller never gets the nomination? It can’t, and that’s the beauty of it.

The entire Greenwood email is pasted below the fold.


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Adultery and Abuse, Front and Center

I was forwarded a juicy e-mail late last night from a tipster, but didn’t have time to blog about it and I woke up to find that Pogie at Intelligent Discontent had scooped me. Check his post out. The e-mail contains a 30 second TV spot, by Montana Conservative Families, contrasting Rick Hill and Ken Miller on…..family values.

Miller is shown with his family, described as a Jesus-loving devoted husband, a “John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere” type of guy, if you will.

We are then shown Rick Hill’s mug, and are told that he is an adulterer.  A photo of a cocktail waitress, in revealing dress, is then shown, the face blurred out, along with headlines from when Rick Hill’s first wife went public with his infidelity during his the 1998 Congressional campaign (said infidelity having been consummated with a cocktail waitress).

The narrator tells an abbreviated story of how Hill was stepping out on his wife at “a motel bar,” which we know to be none other than the world famous Sip ‘N Dip lounge in Great Falls (soon to have its own reality show, by the way.)

One might conclude, as Pogie does, that Ken Miller is behind this ad, though there is nothing in the ad to confirm this.  What we do know is that the apparent ring leader of Montana Conservative Families, a woman named Nancy Davis, has sent several emails out in the past, some bashing moderate Republicans and specifically Rick Hill for not having “social conservative values.”

Ken Miller has recently attacked Hill directly in public, in a very personal way–making fun of Hill for spending most of his time in Palm Springs, California at his second home–but has never alluded to his extramarital past.  Only the Stapleton campaign has crossed that line, with Bob Keenan, Stapleton’s number two, suggesting that Hill’s “skeletons” would ultimately take him down.

The timing of this video is also interesting if you consider the simliarities to what occurred in the Democratic Primary in 2006 between John Morrison and Jon Tester.

A month or so before election day during the Tester-Morrison face-off, Lee Newspapers had a big front-page expose about Morrison’s extramarital affair. He had a relationship with a woman many years earlier, but when he became State Auditor, his office ended up investigating her new husband for securities fraud. This raised a question about whether Morrison should have recused himself from the investigation.

But before the story hit the paper in 2006, an effective whisper campaign was conducted against Morrison, with letters and e-mails making the rounds among Democrats, giving the story a certain ripeness.  We will see if this Ken Miller-Rick Hill business follows the same trajectory.


Political Quick Hits

Judge Rules Against Head of Local Anti-Gay Movement

A district judge has ruled against Robert Dellwo, the leader of the opposition to the Helena non-discrimination ordinance. Dellwo is the head of the unaccredited Helena Christian School, which is affiliated with East Helena’s Canyon Ferry Baptist Church. Apparently the school borrowed money to build a subdivision but didn’t pay it back. At one time, the church proposed that 800 new homes be built in an area already struggling with water shortages.   The school wanted to build the subdivision on the site of an old cyanide mine, which also raised concerns about contaminated soil.

What the church and Christian school  will do with their own subdivision is unknown.  Montanans tend to be wary of religious colonies after the Church Universal and Triumphant started one outside Yellowstone Park. CUT was the bunch who believed that the world was going to end of a nuclear holocaust at a particular hour and minute on April 23, 1990. They built a massive underground bomb shelter up near Gardiner, MT and stocked it to the rafters with illegally purchased semi-automatic weapons, in preparation for The End (as reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Feb. 27, 1995; Bozeman Daily Chronicle, March 14, 1995).

Dellwo is appealing the ruling.

Today’s Must Read Political Blog Posts

Montanafesto and Intelligent Discontent have today’s must-read posts. Both look at the allegations of corrupt campaign finance practices by GOP Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Miller. The Montanafesto piece is a hilarious look at the contrast between how the Republican portrays himself, and reality. Intelligent Discontent writes about the accusations flying from the other candidates, who have their own troubles.

Three Days Left

The Flathead Democrats are making news for their fun and innovative fundraising. KCFW Missoula TV news  and HXLH Helena both covered the eBay auction of the framed Schweitzer VETO memorabilia set–a reminder of the infamous 2011 legislative session. The auction ends Friday April 27.


Ken Miller Wins Straw Poll

Ken Miller and FamilyFormer state senator and Republican Party Chair Ken Miller on Monday overwhelmingly won the Lewistown TEA Party straw poll following the most recent candidate debate.  It’s a sign that the tide may be turning against former Congressman Rick Hill among base voters where he had previously appeared to be on course for an easy win.

Miller took first place in the informal post debate survey with 49 percent. Stapleton placed a distant second with the votes of 15 percent of participants. Former Congressman Rick Hill took third with 12 percent.

The remaining votes came it at 11 percent for Livingstone, seven percent for Jim Lynch, and three percent each for Bob Fanning and Jim O’Hara.

The survey comes less than three weeks before mail ballots go out.

Dave Lewis throws Martz, Hill and Himself Under the Bus

In recent times we’ve seen Republicans fall into a circular firing squad.

When Schweitzer was meeting with the Republican leaders last session, they told him that Rick Hill had made a mess of the Work Comp system when he was in charge of it during the 1990s.  Threw him under the bus.  Neil Livingstone made the same point about Hill a few weeks ago, and Ken Miller has taken on Hill for having spent most of the last twenty years in Palm Desert, California, rather than Montana.  And of course Corey Stapleton’s campaign has already chimed in with the insinuation that Hill has “too many Skeletons in the closet” to become Governor.

Yesterday it continued. State Senator Dave Lewis, a regular Cowgirl blog commenter, admitted that Montana’s current Pension woes, which Schweitzer is now trying to fix, are due largely to his own bill, HB 294, which he carried in 2001 on behalf of Judy Martz and her chief economic policy guru, Rick Hill.  This bill, ordered by the Martz administration as a supposed long-term solution to avoiding an insolvent state pension fund, gave automatic increases (3% a year), to state workers. It assumed that the stock market would go up forever.

Lewis gave an interview in which he said that “in forty years of government, HB 294 was the worst mistake I ever made.”  Some kudos to Dave Lewis for his honesty; this type of confession is rarely heard in politics.

The more important point is that Lewis’s statement closes the book on a very substantial inquiry as to the ineptitude of the Judy Martz administration.  We now have a confession entered into the record, conclusive proof that the Republican administrations of the last 20 years fucked things up, and Schweitzer has had to spend seven years trying to repair the damage.


The Fellowship of the Right Wing

The GOP Gubernatorial primary and “The Lord of the Rings” both concern alternate realities, too many characters to follow, and talking about either of them repels members of the opposite sex.

In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” a hobbit of The Shire journeys with eight companions to defeat Mordor so they can return to Middle Earth.


In the GOP Primary, has-beens from decades past journey with their companions on a quest to regain the power that has been in the hands of the wing-nuts’ arch enemy, Brian Schweitzer, for eight years.  They hope to return Montana to the era where the Dark Lords reign.