Diane Smith’s Economic Problem

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Since announcing her candidacy for House, Diane Smith has generated a great deal of attention and the attention she is recieving seems to be on the rise.

However, she’s often viewed through two lenses.  Through one lens, Smith is the only candidate with the national ties, deep pockets, and fundraising potential to run a serious campaign against Steve Daines in the general.

Through another lens, Smith is, at best, a conservative Democrat and, at worst, a Republican in sheep’s clothing.

In all reality, I think Diane Smith may be a bit of both.  She probably is one of the better candidates we have when it comes to beating (or at least challenging Daines), but her rhetoric on some issues, especially the economy, may be too difficult for some to stomach.  She just may be a little too much like Sen. Baucus, and that’s not going to fly with primary voters.

At this point in the race, Smith seems to pass the smell test on social issues, but it’s a very different story when it comes to her views on the economy and business regulation.

There have been multiple instances during her campaign where Smith has blamed criticized government regulation for our sluggish economy.  Furthermore, her “Jobs Plan” reads like something that House Majority Leader John Boehner might sponsor:

We have created government systems too often designed to impede rather than promote these National assets. Small businesses are often encumbered with unachievable regulatory burdens and subject to small business lending requirements that can’t reasonably be satisfied.

James Connor nails it when he wrote:

Her announcement of candidacy promised to get the government off the backs of businesses. That’s consistent with a true blue Republican or a Blue Dog Democrat, but not with a New Deal Democrat.

Finally, if you take into account her contributions to Rehberg, Conrad Burns, and to plenty of Democrats (after the 2006 election) – Smith comes off as an oppurtunist.

She may have the national ties, personal money, and fundraising potential, but Democrats in Montana have better options when it comes to protecting consumers, the middle class, and staples of the Democratic platform, like Social Security and Medicare (although Diane Smith does claim she will protect both programs).

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M. Storin

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Informed Whitefish
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Informed Whitefish

smith served on the committee to work out the interlocal agreement between whitefish and flathead county as a representative of the county. the 2010 interlocal agreement she helped design was a document that was unacceptable to 100% of whitefish folks as well as 80% of the county residents who addressed city council prior to their vote. diane smith spoke in favor of the 2010 agreement and attempted to use scare tactics with her 'you may lose it all' nonsense. in addition to her financial support for rehberg and burns she also donated to the campaigns of 3 tea party members… Read more »

James Conner
Guest

I think Smith is best described as a social liberal and economic conservative. There is no place in the Republican Party for social liberals, so on that basis alone she's a Democrat by default. I see her as similar in outlook to Kim Gillan. Smith is a newcomer, and some of her history of financial support for the GOP is troubling, but I give her credit for running a savvy campaign. And, like Rob Stutz, she's shaking things up a bit, making the party regulars and hacks nervous, a good thing to do given the dismal track record of post-Pat… Read more »

Don Pogreba
Admin

Oh! That reminds me I meant to add one of your posts to the blog roundup this week. I will add it this afternoon!

Lega
Guest
Lega

You're completely right, James (as M. Storin points out in the above post). I think the Dem tent should be big enough for people like Smith. That being said, the economic policy of the Dem Party are very important to me, so I'm not sure Smith will be getting my vote.

True Democrat
Guest
True Democrat

Franke for Congress! She is a true progressive and voice of the people!

Don Pogreba
Admin

Why? What does that mean? I'm not suggesting I am against her, but I'd like to hear some actual reasons.

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

Read greenwald.

Moorcat
Guest

I admit to just now getting to know the Democrats running for the house. I have been primarily focused on the Presidencial race and the Senate Race here in Montana (I think the Governor's race is already over – Bullock will win it handily). In fact, it was just recently that I learned just how many candidates there were running in the Democratic Primary. Please excuse my ignorance if I manage to ask something stupid…

Moorcat
Guest

The author is absolutely correct about social progressives/fiscal conservatives. This used to be the core of the Republican party when I reached the age of majority (that is not completely accurate – social issues were considered none of anyone's business and simply weren;t discussed). Since then, the Republican party has taken a hard turn right toward religious intolerance, social regression and wingnut politics. The party has declared people like me leperous and have worked very hard to kick us out of the party. Moderate is a dirty word. Most people like me self identify as Independant now. That does not… Read more »

Turner
Guest
Turner

Moorcat, You'll have a chance to meet two congressional candidates at the Elks Lodge on April 13. Franke Wilmer and Dave Strohmaier will be at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, along with Baucus, Walsh, Lindeen, Juneau, Bucy, Laslovich and Vincent. And at the dinner I'm kicking off my campaign for Senate Dist.36 while Norma will be kicking off hers for Leg. Dist. 72.

Ya'll come.

Moorcat
Guest

I will be back in Dillon by then. How much does it cost to attend? I can certainly talk it over with Brittany.

Turner
Guest
Turner

There'll be an announcement about the dinner in Wednesday's Dillon Tribune. Tickets cost $22. Entrees are beef and chicken, but I forget exactly what they're called. Something a little fancy, I think.

I'm sponsoring a few younger people who're financially strapped. If you know of any, let me know.

TheHelenaInsider
Guest
TheHelenaInsider

Good luck to your campaign. Sounds like it'll be a packed house.

Turner
Guest
Turner

Thanks, whoever you are. It should be fun.

Rob Stutz
Guest

Hi Turner, I am also scheduled to be at the Elks Lodge. Please grab my ear if you see me.

Moorcat
Guest

It seems we will actually get a chance to meet in person, Rob.

Rob Stutz
Guest

Looking forward too it!

Turner
Guest
Turner

Sorry, Rob. We didn't know you were coming. Welcome! We'll schedule equal speaking time for you.

Rob Stutz
Guest

Thanks, Turner. I called right when the invites went out, so thank you for posting about it. Best, Rob

Montana Liberal
Guest
Montana Liberal

I find it extremely troubling that Diane Smith and Sam Rankin have both contributed to Republicans in the past. I also find it troubling that a large portion of Diane's income on her last financial report were "Information Requested" and her contributions based largely outside of Montana. She may be socially liberal, but that doesn't take away from the fact that her platform on economics and politics are very synonymous with a Republican. I am a huge Dave Strohmaier supporter, and advocate for him, because there is no doubting his Democratic ties and very liberal opinions. He is an LGBT… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

In your opinion, Dave Strohmaier is the best candidate, but I would point out that, like all opinions, it is your's alone. I personally like the idea of a social progressive/fiscal conservative and, given the polling being done in Montana, so do a butt-ton of other people. I do not know how I personally feel about Diane Smith or Sam Rankin because I have not done my due diligence in researching them yet but to dismiss them because they appear to be social progressives/fiscal conservatives does you and the rest of Montana voters a dis-service. I would also remind you… Read more »

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