Tag Archives: Kim Gillan

Karl Rove Woke Up This Morning with a Strange Pain in His Ass…

…only to discover that the pain in his ass was due to the fact that the entire 2012 election had been shoved up it.

Rove came up empty, in Presidential and Congressional races.

Here in Montana, Denny Rehberg has been sent packing by Jon Tester, in an enormous victory, a virtual landslide.  Tester blew him out.  Libertarian candidate Dan Cox got almost seven percent, one of the biggest takes by a third party candidate since Ross Perot got in the mid-twenties in 1992.

We should all be proud of what Tester did.  The polls showed him neck and neck going into the last days, but he got his vote out and closed big.  And he overcame an absolute monsoon of negative ads lasting three months, one of the biggest smears ever recorded on Montana’s airwaves, funded by Washington DC Republicans and Karl Rove’s group Crossroads GPS. He dumped tens of millions into the race (and even paid a visit to Montana, to help Rehberg with strategy), all of it impugning Tester for having had the temerity to support his President.  And the beauty is, it doesn’t really look like the attack worked at all.  Tester cruised to victory.  What mattered more to voters was that Tester turns in a workday, doesn’t whine or complain, doesn’t spend his days smearing people or blaming people, but tries accomplish something.

Same for Obama, the object of vitriolic GOP hatred, who demolished the weak Mitt Romney in spectacular fashion, defeating yet another empty, negative campaign by the Republicans.  Poor Rove, whose group spent half a billion dollars and got zilch in return.   Dems have actually picked up a seat in the United States Senate, and Rove had the dubious task on FOXNews last night of trying to convince the public that while every network and news outlet was projecting Obama the winner, they were, according to Rove, doing so in error.  He had secret math, you see, that showed Romney was, in fact, still going to win.  What happened in Montana and nationally, well, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy than Karl Rove.

Dennis Rehberg, meanwhile, concludes 12 years of federal service and many more years of state government service, and the Cowgirl blog recognizes this contribution to society.  Though we rarely agree with Rehberg and have always advocated against him, anybody stepping up to run for or hold public office deserves recognition and congratulations upon the completion of a career, as do his many staffers and operatives who spent the last two years in this fight.   We wish Denny and his crew well in his future endeavors. Perhaps we will even see him try again two years from now for the Senate or even four years from now for governor, or maybe even try to take his seat back if Steve Daines vacates his newly won House seat to try to move up to Senate.

Speaking of Governor, Lee Newspapers, CNN, and NBC have called the race for Bullock, and now AP has as well.  Down three points heading into the weekend according to a Mason Dixon poll, Bullock came up strong last night.  Votes are still outstanding in Yellowstone County and also in a few key Indian countries like Glacier and Bighorn.  But Bullock is showing about a 2 point edge right now, and I don’t believe it will be eroded much by the balance of votes yet to be counted.  He will be our next Governor.  Keep the cellphone tight, Steve, for Rick Hill will be calling you shortly to congratulate you and concede the race.

Hill, like Rehberg, deserves credit for trying a comeback late in life.  He came up short, and has now probably concluded his political career, but he put in a tough effort and should be congratulated on having waged a pretty close race

Pam Bucy and Kim Gillan fought the good fight, but were up against two guys who had run for statewide office before, and so these two impressive gals started out at a disadvantage. Expect to see both of them remain in the orbit of public service.  Either or both would be excellent applicants for Bullock cabinet positions and Bucy, I believe, will be back again to run for something else.

Daines got a huge investment from the national Republican party, so that made life miserable for Gillan who could not pull in the same dough from her party and was running for an office that seems to have the word Republican posted on the door.  It was an uphill battle from the get-go.  But Bucy, a far superior candidate to her opponent, got shafted.  Our new attorney general Tim Fox has achieved his office by being bankrolled by secret money, close to a million dollars worth, the source of which has still not been determined.  Bucy had no such slush fund.  When you tally up the money, Bucy got outspent 5-1 at least.  It puts a cap on a sad chapter in Montana electoral history, in which Republicans attempted to take over the government with unlimited, secret corporate money.  Poor Pam became the object of the corporate wrath, despite an impeccable resume that made her opponent look like a bum.

In other races, Juneau, Lindeen and McCulloch all have leads right now, but Juneau’s race will be tight. She’s up half a point, with Billings and Indian country yet to be reported. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for her.

We should be proud of all these candidates.  And, I am proud of all of you, who have participated in this election by tuning in, for keeping the discussion alive and spirited, providing information, and for making Cowgirl blog the place for politics in Montana.

Momentum Continues for Gillan: New Congressional Ad Up

The momentum continues for Kim Gillan’s congressional campaign tonight. In addition to winning the second consecutive debate, Gillan also has a new ad up.  Here it is:


Daines meanwhile is having a harder and harder time hiding the fact that he’s marching lock-step with Paul Ryan while he’s  schmoozing in DC.  He even held an event with the TEA partier to troll for lobbyist cash.   Here’s the screenshot of the invite.

But back in Montana he’s trying to cover up his unpopular stances that will hurt Montanans — ending Medicare’s guaranteed benefits and slashing Pell grants.

He’s trying to distract voters from these key issue by running attack ads lying about Kim’s position on gun rights.  Of course, Daines piece of crap ad offers no sources–and how could he? Gillan has supported many gun  bills over the years and has been endorsed by the NRA in her legislative races.

Congressional Debate Preview

Montana’s Congressional candidates debate tonight, and it’s likely Daines is worried.  He’s definitely not going to want to talk about his unpopular plans to end Medicare and cut Social Security benefits.  So, Daines’ major goal tonight will be to avoid discussing it.

This isn’t going to be easy. Daines is already on the record saying in the Billings Gazette that  he would have voted for the so-called Ryan budget, the conservative budget blueprint that was endorsed by the GOP-TEA-Party controlled House.

This budget would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit in favor of taxes for oil companies–and give tax breaks to corporations who outsource American jobs overseas. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it will increase health care costs by an extra $6,359  for every future Medicare beneficiary.  That means all of us, if we’re lucky enough to live that long.

The non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote:

“The measure […] stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades. […] The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”

So, Daines desperately needs to try to switch topics. But rather than coming up with anything of his own to talk about, Daines instead decided to plagiarize his own opponent’s campaign ads.  In his new ad released today, Daines repeatedly calls himself a problem solver, something Kim Gillan said about herself in her first television ad 19 weeks ago.

If Daines has any success in tonight’s debate it will be because he’s using Gillan’s lines.

The debate will air live on MontanaPBS, TONIGHT, SEPTEMBER 25, from 7 – 8:30 PM.  It will also be simulcast on Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio, streaming on-line at www.montanapublicmedia.org.

Montana Candidate Suddenly on National Radar

 National political groups this week upgraded the Montana house race. It’s now considered winnable.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps candidates around the country with cash infusions, put the Kim Gillan-Steve Daines contest on its Red to Blue 2012 target list, which “highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support.”   EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, also announced that Gillan has been put “On the List” of its targeted candidates and she will thus receive assistance.  In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY’s List raised more than $38.5 million to recruit and support women candidates, help them build strong campaigns, and mobilize women voters to turn out and vote.

Last week, Public Policy Polling, a non-partisan group, announced that the race “looks like a toss up,” as Gillan closed the gap with her opponent to within the three-point margin of error.  The race is now a statistical dead heat, the polling firm reports: “This race could go either way” as candidates become better known in the final eight weeks.


LATEST POLL: Montana Congressional Race a Toss-Up

The latest polling shows Montana’s open U.S. House seat between Billings State Senator Kim Gillan and Steve Daines “looks like a toss up.”  As Intelligent Discontent points out, Gillan is gaining on Daines from previous polls.  The race is now a dead heat.

From the Public Policy Polling report on the poll:

The race for Montana’s open House seat looks like a toss up. Republican Steve Daines has a narrow edge over Democratic opponent Kim Gillan, 40-37, with Libertarian Dave Kaiser at 9%. Gillan has gained 3 points on Daines since our last poll of the race in the spring. Both candidates are still pretty unknown- 59% of votersaren’t familiar enough with Gillan to have an opinion about her and the same is true when it comes to 56% of voters with Daines. Gillan’s favorability rating is 22/19 and Daines’ is 22/22. This race could go either way as the candidates become better known in the final eight weeks.”

While it’s been said in the past that Daines has the edge because of his lead in fundraising, the poll is a testament to Gillan’s smart, targeted, and agressive campaigning.  Of course, the fact that Montanans don’t much like what they see in Daines doesn’t hurt either.

You can see the full poll results online here.


Kim Gillan has a New Ad Up

Here it is.

According to the Youtube notes:

She is” illustrates Kim Gillan’s bipartisan record of problem solving on important issues — including requiring insurance companies to cover autism and diabetes in Montana, expanding job training across the state, and standing up for seniors and women’s health.

“It’s time we had a problem solver representing Montana in the U.S. House,” Kim said. “My record is clear: I know how to work with Republicans and Democrats to get things done for families and small business across Montana. And in Congress, I’ll stand up to any party in order to do what’s best for Montana.”

Featured in the new ad are Laura Simonsen of Billings, who worked with Gillan to require insurance companies to cover treatment for autism and diabetes in Montana; Stephen Wahrlick of Billings, whose business has benefited from customer service job training programs; and Carol Williams of Missoula, wife of former Montana Congressman Pat Williams and Minority Leader of the Montana State Senate.

Daines Under Fire

Congressional candidate Kim Gillan had strong words for Steve Daines today after the fundraising event he had this weekend with Rick Santorum as his guest of honor.  Cowgirl readers will recall that during his presidential campaign, Rick Santorum that told CNN that said rape victims should suck it up and accept “the gift” that  “God has given to you”. Here’s Rick Santorum on rape:

 I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

Here’s Kim:

As a woman I found his comments and his attitude towards victims repugnant. I am disappointed that Steve Daines would stand shoulder to shoulder to raise money with someone who’s extreme views are so out of step with Montana values.

By bringing in Santorum, Daines shows he doesn’t get what Montanans are most concerned about.  Gillan continues:

We must get our economy back on track and get Montanans back to work. Montana cannot afford to have our lone voice in the House of Representatives be that of someone that would give credence to such far-reaching radical ideas. There is too much at stake to be silent while Daines associates himself with people like that to fuel his ambitions.


A Look at the Primary Election Results

Congratulations are in order to Kim Gillan and Pam Bucy who have won their respective primaries for Congress and Attorney General.

But that’s not the only good news.

Republicans have nominated Brad Johnson for Secretary of State. Johnson has battled alcoholism for many years, has had a few DUIs, and has been in and out of rehab recently (in 2008, he even campaigned from a rehab facility toward the end of the SOS race last time). Notably, in the article reporting on his announcement for office, he was unable to state a single reason why the current SOS, Linda McCulloch, should be replaced. Not a good start. He also says that he currently works as a “consultant”, although it is unclear who, if anyone, is paying him for his consultations. The nomination of such a weak candidate is good news for Democrats and for all those who don’t believe in the voter suppression tactics frequently championed by Republicans.

In the legislative races, congratulations to Helena’s Jenny Eck, who defeated two primary opponents for the open seat left when Mike Menahan decided not to run.  Here are a few other interesting legislative results:

Incumbents Taken Out

Incumbents are difficult to defeat and are rarely taken out.  It’s a lot easier when that incumbent becomes a laughing stock on national television. DUI promoter Alan Hale was taken out by primary opponent Kirk Wagoner 863 to 813.  Birther Bob Wagner was defeated by Ray Shaw in Madison County 1040-991.

Crackpots Advance

In Park City, nutjob TEA Party hatemonger David Howard somehow surpassed his two primary challengers by a wide margin.

In Sanders County, TEA Partier Jennifer Fielder (here’s her flyer) defeated the saner Rick Seeman. Feilder seems to have focused her campaign on the fact that her opposent was at one time employed by the government.   GOPers have also nominated the legislature’s largest recipient of government funds, TEA Partier Janna Taylor, over Republican Carmine Mowbray for Senate District 6.

More Good News for Democrats

Brad Johnson isn’t the only good news for Dems.   In the Laurel House races, supernatural scholar Sarah Laszloffy defeated main streat Republican Debra Bonogofsky, giving an edge to Democratic candidate Sean Whiting for that seat.

Corporate Money Wins

A secret list of corporations succeeded in electing State Senate TEA Party candidate Dee Brown over Republican Bill Beck in the Flathead. The corporations behind the so-called American Traditions Partnership are fighting Montana’s clean election laws in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is defending Montana against ATP in that case.  Meanwhile, another corporate front group with secret donors has purchased the Montana Supreme Court race for $41,000.  TEA Party Republican Jason Priest’s shadow group succeeded in advancing right-winger Laurie McKinnon over Elizabeth Best.

I’m interesting in hearing your thoughts on the primaries and your takes on other races I didn’t get to here.  Please consider this a primary election open forum.

Kim Gillan Airs First Democratic Congressional Ad

The Billings Gazette is reporting today that Kim Gillan is the first Democratic candidate for Congress to have an ad on the air.  The ad takes aim at our GOP-controlled Congress’ infamous inability to accomplish…anything.  Other candidates have created ads, but none have yet had the resources to air them.  Here’s the ad:


New Poll: Gillan in the Lead

A new poll by Public Policy Polling, a national firm that polls in Montana periodically, says that Billings state senator Kim Gillan has opened up a lead against the rest of the field in the Democratic Congressional primary contest, taking 21 percent, with Diane Smith at 13, Franke Wilmer 11, Strohmaier 9 and Bob Stutz at 1.

The poll also reveals that Gillan and Steve Daines (who will be the GOP nominee) are now in a 33-27 match in the general election.