Word on the street from Kalispell is: at a recent Flathead Republican meeting, gubernatorial candidate Neil Livingstone took a few hard swings at his opponent Rick Hill.
Livingstone supposedly made reference to “values,” and said that Hill has proven in his past that he doesn’t have good ones; and he described Hill is a “failed businessman” who is not qualified to be Governor.
Livingstone knows about business, having made a fortune charging foreign governments (and dictators) for expertise on terrorism and international relations, whereas Rick Hill charged the state of Montana a fortune for inflated rental space.
But Livingstone might also have trouble with the GOP values police: not long ago, he split from his longtime spouse, trading her in for a newer model, a “young blond dish.” So values might not be his card.
The Ken Miller for Governor campaign today released polling results which they say shows “the Republican field tightening and Miller holding a very competitive position against Rick Hill.”
Information about the poll by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies, which was an autodial survey of 676 likely GOP primary voters, and its toplines and crosstabs can be found here, along with a press release from the polling firm itself.
In the Ken Miller campaign email, which was sent to supporters (and is pasted below the fold), Miller writes:
We shared that Ken Miller is a family farmer, small businessman, and a grassroots conservative, and Rick HIll is an insurance company executive, former Congressman, and an establishment moderate. After providing this information, respondents chose Ken Miller with 61% over 14% for Rick Hill and 25% undecided.
Of course, that’s comparing Hill’s negatives with Miller’s positives. Miller also points out that the poll shows Miller and Hill are the race’s frontrunners.
Interestingly, the one negative that they didn’t test (or at least they didn’t release) is the one Miller’s campaign is suspected of shopping around.
Rick Hill’s campaign donors can rest assured that their money is being well spent–to allow Rick Hill to criss-cross Montana in the finest of Japanese automotive luxury.
According to campaign finance reports Hill filed yesterday, every month the campaign pays $329 to the American Honda Finance Corporation. The campaign finance report is online in pdf form here, and here is a screenshot of some of the payments:
In 2004, the press wrote about Schweitzer’s American truck that he purchased in Idaho, with his own money, but I guess they see no problem with the fact that Rick Hill is buying luxury Japanese cars with campaign donations.
The justification for such a campaign expense is questionable, unheard of in Montana state level politics, however, it is true that some sitting members of Congress have been known to lease themselves personal vehicles to travel around their home states in style. I guess Rick Hill’s just been in Washington too long to realize that he should be driving the state in a used pickup like everybody else. Regardless, we hope someone will provide more information on the matter soon.