Montana Politics

Some Questions I’d Like to See Someone Ask Steve Daines

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Before Steve Daines was chosen to be Roy Brown’s running mate, he was a bit of a political activist, starting up a non-profit corporation dedicated to issuing $1,000 rebates to every Montana taxpayer, and stripping the state of its surplus. He ran some ads and even had someone build him a web site about the cause.  Now that he’s a candidate, Mr. Daines seems to no longer want to be associated with that cause.

A comparison of the the sites offers an interesting contrast. On July 13, 2007, the site opened with a personal letter from Steve Daines, featured a picture of Steve and his wife, and had an “About Us” biography page that was awkwardly only about Steve, not his wife.

Today, the page is still there, but has changed just a little bit. The opening letter, while unchanged, otherwise, is no longer signed by Steve or Cindy, though it still contains this line:

As a 5th generation Montanan, a father of four, and businessman from Bozeman, I was taught that if a customer is overcharged, two guiding principles should be used in response:

They’re still collecting money, and taking personal information, though, and the site still offers a platform for candidate Daines to attack Governor Schweitzer.

All of this makes me wonder about a few questions:

  • Given that when the Democrats called Give It Back a “phony front group” for a gubernatorial run Daines responded by saying he had no intention of running for office, shouldn’t Montana voters be concerned about his honesty and his willingness to follow the law?
  • Given the Daines is currently a candidate for office, running against Schweitzer, is it legal for him to solicit funds from anonymous donors to fund a site that attacks his political opponent?
  • Isn’t it time for Daines to reveal who supported his effort and helped pay for web and radio ads?
  • Does Roy Brown agree with Daines’ hardline position on state surpluses?
  • Is this site totally independent from the Brown campaign?

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a 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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