Sleazy Campaigning in the City Commission Race?


I have to say that I have been troubled by an interesting tactic in the upcoming Helena City Commission race. Someone (or more likely, some group of people) has been engaging in a whisper campaign against Jack Stults, suggesting that something inappropriate happened while Mr. Stults was at the DNRC, or that his departure was the result of some impropriety.  An example is this comment left by "Natasha" on the IR web page on Oct 12:

"I believe the IR should investigate WHY Jack Stults left the DNRC. The IR should find out if it was Jack’s choice to leave or if the department let him go under a mutual guise. "

Today, she was so eager to get this message across that she posted this comment, on a story totally unrelated to Stults or the Commission:

"Someone needs to investigate WHY Jack Stults left the DNRC. It seemed he left rather sudden and unexpected. Was he "let go" under a mutual guise. Did the upper folks of the department determine him to be imcompetent??? We need someone to get to the bottom of Jack’s past. The last thing Helena needs is a person with a history of making poor decisions!!!!!! "

These comments aren’t the only place I’ve heard these whispered remarks, but they’re fun to pick on because of the excessive exclamations remarks and the phrase "mutual guise," which only exists in the Inferno. The comments are never definitive, never specific, and never supported…just the kind of sleazy politics that we don’t need here in Helena.

If you’re responsible for this rumor campaign, shame on you. If you’re running for office tomorrow, twice the shame. As Dante said, "Far below, the fraudulent are placed and suffer most."

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-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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Welcome to the nightmare my wife and I have endured for the last couple of months… I have been arrested, my wife and I have suffered a truly ugly rumor campaign initiated by the Mayor and the person my wife is running against, and others in town have had to endure the same kind of treatment. Besides the fact that this kind of activity is expressly illegal, it is morally and ethically wrong – not that it would stop people like the idiots sitting in City Hall here. I guess a part of me was hoping that this kind of… Read more »


The exact same comment is being left on other unrelated stories on the I.R website. It seems like a poor campaign strategy to me.

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