Montana Politics

Republican Candidate for SoS, Desperate for Attention, Manufactures a Crisis

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This is rich. One of the Republican candidates for Secretary of State, Scott Aspenlieder, desperate to get his name in the newspaper is claiming that there is a “failure of leadership” at the Secretary of State’s office because two unnamed voters in Yellowstone County did not receive primary ballots for each party and because a county elections official in Broadwater County efficiently corrected an error while professionally doing her job.

John Adams reports in the Great Falls Tribune that this eminently unqualified Republican wants an audit of the entire absentee ballot system in Montana because of these errors. Along the way, he attacked Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, because that’s what candidates desperate to get attention do.

Unfortunately, as Adams notes, the county election official disagrees. She told the Tribune that the state had no involvement in the error:

Broadwater County election officer Rhonda Nelson said the error on the 11th precinct ballot was between her office and the private contractor who printed and mailed the ballots.

“There was no state involvement in this error,” Nelson said. “There was nothing that the state should have done or could have done differently. The error was entirely between the software company and my office.”

Now, this is certainly not the first time a Republican running for office will let facts get in the way of a little publicity for a campaign. It’s also unsurprising coming from Aspenlieder, who opened his campaign by attacking public employees and teachers, along with people who live in Montana’s rural communities.

It’s just sad that Republican candidates can’t come up with a positive agenda for Montana’s future. Hell, Patty Lovaas might actually be the best Republican candidate in this field.

Update: Of course, it’s hard to blame Aspenlieder, given that media accounts don’t even list him as as a candidate.

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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