Montana Politics

Maryland’s Matt Rosendale Hires a Smear Merchant to Help His Congressional Bid

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Given his lack of personal charisma, absurd policy positions, and lifetime in another state, Maryland real estate developer Matt Rosendale is going to have to do a lot of work to win a U.S. House seat here in Montana. He’s already started some of the likely quixotic process, donating a quarter of a million dollars to his own campaign and hiring a campaign spokesman who will do and say anything to help his man get elected.

The Billings Gazette reports that Rosendale has jumpstarted his campaign with a donation that will be 25 times the total raised by Champ Edmunds in this cycle. More interestingly, the article notes that Rosendale’s spokesman is former Congressional staffer and campaign manager Scott Yeldell.

Yeldell is available to work for Rosendale because the last candidate he represented for Congress, a TEA Party incumbent named Francisco Canseco, was defeated despite running one of the sleaziest campaigns of the year, a campaign that featured incredibly inappropriate and dishonest attacks.

The New York Times reports on the kind of campaign we might expect to see from Mr. Rosendale, given his choice of staff:

It has surprised no one that things have turned nasty, but one advertisement stands out. Mr. Canseco’s campaign distributed a mailer that used an image of Jesus Christ and a picture of two men kissing to highlight what he says is Mr. Gallego’s liberal record on abortion and gay rights.

The ad sparked a firestorm.

Mr. Gallego, a Catholic who opposes legalizing same-sex marriage and has voted in favor of parental consent laws for minors seeking abortions, is demanding an apology. And a few Republicans have flocked to his side.

Mr. Canseco’s campaign manager, Scott Yeldell, accused Mr. Gallego of trying to score points by “acting like he stands up for the faith he abandoned years ago,” an attack Mr. Gallego’s campaign called “vile.”

Unless there happens to be another Republican politico named Scott Yeldell in the West, it also seems that Rosendale’s choice got an early start running dirty campaigns.

A rabid ideologue from out of state represented by a dishonest campaign manager? Sounds like a Republican dream candidate to me.

Update: James Conner looked more carefully at the Rosendale campaign report and discovered that Texas may be getting another Representative should Rosendale win.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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