Following today’s primarily Republican press conference announcing an initiative effort to block the scourge of anonymous dark money in Montana politics, the press had to look no further than Republican operative Jake Eaton to find an opponent to clean, open elections:
Jake Eaton, a Republican consultant, calls this is a “solution to create a problem,” and says that members of Montana Base are hypocritical, trying to hide the truths that dark money ads reveal.
You remember Mr. Eaton, right? He’s the Republican Executive Director who led the effort to disenfranchise Native Americans, college students, war veterans, and the elderly back in 2008. The person judge Donald Malloy mocked mercilessly in one of the most entertaining court decisions I’ve ever had the chance to read. The person who helped lead Denny Rehberg to defeat in 2012.
Eaton is also a principal at the state’s worst political consulting firm, 47 North Communications.
And why might Mr. Eaton be especially interested in dark money legislation? He’s probably planning to benefit at both ends of the business—providing terrible political strategy and printing misleading attack ads. He and 47 North partner Dustin Frost took over a Billings printing firm devoted to direct marketing and mailing earlier this spring:
AlphaGraphics of Billings, a full service print communications company, is locally owned and operated by Jake Eaton and Dustin Frost. Founded in 1994, the firm offers a full range of design services, digital and offset printing, document services, signs, banners, vehicle graphics, finishing, direct marketing and mailing services.
No doubt AlphaGraphics will be “entirely independent” from 47 North when it produces campaign mailers, too.
Let’s recap. A conservative political consulting group with an ethically suspect principal buys a “direct marketing and mailing services” firm just as the last major dark money organization in Montana appears ready to vanish? And then volunteers to speak for secretive campaign donations and attacks?
We’re one meth house away from another PBS Frontline report.
Of course Mr. Eaton wants to work against the will of Montana voters and sensible members of his own party. It’s in his financial interest to do so.