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
The Montana Republican Party is always ranting about the supposed fraud they claim is being perpetrated in Montana elections. The unfounded belief that our elections are being stolen by fraudulent voters is now an essential piece of right-wing orthodoxy–even though these folks are never able to produce any evidence to back up their claims.
According to one attendee of the recent GOP state convention, those looking for evidence of election shenanigans need search no more.
That person has posted a Youtube video that appears to be an audience member recording of the election process from the GOP State convention. S/he says the video is evidence of how insiders in the “Old Guard” GOP “manipulated” the party leadership election. The notes on the video say this was done to make sure delegates for Ron Paul were blocked from attending the National Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.
You can take a look at the video here and draw your own conclusions:
The Montana Hunters and Anglers have a new ad up this week. The ad says “with Dennis Rehberg in Washington it’s open season on Montana.”
In the Lee Newspapers report on the ad, Rehberg tried to run from key provisions of his bill, H.R. 1505, which would hand over control of Montana land within 100 miles of the Canadian border to the Department of Homeland Security.
A Rehberg staffer tried to claim that Rehberg had added language to the bill to make sure that the Department couldn’t restrict hunting. However, the bill specifically provides the authority to Homeland Security to close roads–which would obviously allow them to block hunters and anglers from Montana public lands.
This week’s worst political ad is brought to us by none other than the Neil Livingstone for Governor campaign.
It starts with Neil Livingstone posing near a horse corral with “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” whistling to the TEA Party in the background. Livingstone doesn’t introduce himself, even though no one has even heard of him in Montana. Instead, Neil gives us his most important policy proposal: “introducing grey wolves into New York’s Central Park.”
After beginning with such a serious and credible opener, the ad then shifts. Livingstone pops up into the opium-den like gloominess of a Ben Quayle ad from 2010. Quayle’s was widely mocked as one of the year’s worst. Strangely, Livingstone has also chosen to portray himself in the second half of the ad with only one arm.
Livingstone says he wants to push back against the federal government–with a creepy over emphasis on a pushback that is “HARD.”
While Quayle’s ad says he wants to go to Washington to “kick the Hell out of the place,” Livingstone simply says he wants to “tell the Feds to go to hell.” Here’s the ad:
Helena legislative candidate Jenny Eck has a campaign ad on air. Eck is the Democratic candidate for House District 82, which includes much of Helena’s west side. The seat is currently held by Rep. Mike Menahan (D), who is not running for re-election. It’s worth noting with all the web-only video we’ve seen this cycle that the ad is actually on broadcast and cable stations. Here it is:
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:
A Flathead area property owner is taking on Republican Rep. Janna Taylor for paying less than 20 bucks in property tax for lakeshore property and raking in over a million dollars in federal farm subsidies. In fact, the TEA Partier is the number one recipient of government farm subsidy cash in the Montana Legislature.
Anne Marie Semsak, in a well-written letter in the Missoulian this week writes:
It is a matter of public record that Rep. Janna Taylor owns 15 acres, including 660 feet of Flathead lakeshore property, near Rollins, for which she pays $19 annual property tax, plus a little over $2,000 for the improvements on the land – house, dock and outbuildings. Her taxable value is $400,031.
We own 4.87 acres with 180 feet of lakeshore with two older houses and a mobile home. Our taxable value is $1,064,136.
Taylor is a state legislator, entrusted to fairly serve her district. She lists “rancher” on her biographical information, but their ranch is in central Montana, far from this legislative district. I have not seen “cherry farmer” on any of her information. One could conclude that she is taking advantage of the agricultural exemption, and I find this disturbing.
Taylor made waves in the Montana legislature for her hypocrisy in government spending and her statement that the death penalty is needed to address prisoner spitballs. Taylor is running for the Montana Senate against incumbent Sen. Carmine Mowbray (R-Polson) in the June 5 primary elections.
Tim Baldwin (R-Crackpot) Running in Derek Skees’ footsteps for Whitefish House Seat
Whitefish residents thrilled to find TEA Party Republican Derek Skees aiming for statewide office and abandoning his legislative seat are re-thinking their good cheer. That’s because TEA Party Republican Tim Baldwin, son of Chuck Baldwin, is running in his place. Baldwin is basically Skees with a law degree + uber-religious conservative + has dad with ties to the white supremacy movement–a truly scary thing.
In the video below, Baldwin discusses his theory on why true Christians don’t need to follow the law if they decide they don’t like the evil government:
Elizabeth Best Campaign Ad Up
Montana candidate for Supreme Court Elizabeth Best has a campaign ad up. Here it is:
It seems like every day we read about new medical cannabis business owners face serious federal charges. So it’s particularly timely that a new documentary film, “Code of the West” — telling the emotional story of out state’s medical cannabis political debate — will screen in four Montana communities this month. Here’s the trailer:
“Code of the West” documents the infamous imbeciles of the 2011 Montana Legislature as they debate cannabis regulation and repeal of the Medical Marijuana Act that Montana voters passed with a citizens initiative in 2004. It follows key figures on each side of the debate, including Tom Daubert — longtime lobbyist for environmental and public health-related issues including medical cannabis, who recently reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors after his former business Montana Cannabis was raided by federal agents in March 2011.
On the other side of the Montana debate, the documentary follows advocates of the medical marijuana repeal effort, including Cherrie Brady of Safe Communities Safe Kids and disgraced Montana Speaker of the House Mike Milburn(R) HD 19 Cascade, who sponsored the bill to repeal the medical cannabis initiative and make all marijuana use again a crime. Speaker Milburn will participate in the film’s panel discussion in Helena on Thursday, May 17, at the Myrna Loy Center, and Cherrie Brady will sit on the Billings post-screening panel. Milburn was term limited in the House but decided not to run for the senate (for obvious reasons) after he presided over the massive disaster that was the 2011 Legislature.
Opponents of the new law, SB 423, have collected more than enough signatures to put a Montana Medical Cannabis Referendum on the November 6, 2012, ballot. If passed, the measure would repeal SB 423. During the 2011 session the Governor called SB 423 “unconstitutional on its face,” and issued an amendatory veto to fix the parts he considered legally defective. The legislature rejected his changes.
Also, the Montana Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on May 30 for Montana Cannabis Industry Association v. the State of Montana, a suit that is appealing portions of state District Judge James Reynolds’ ruling on June 30, 2011. That ruling blocked portions of SB 423 from taking effect. The state of Montana is required by law to defend SB 423.
Screenings and post-screening panel discussions with high-profile figures from both sides of the political debate are to be held in Missoula, Bozeman, Helena and Billings the weeks of May 13 and 20. “Code of the West” screening times, trailer, ticket information, discussion panelists and Facebook event links are available at http://www.codeofthewestfilm.com/screenings.
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.”
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.