Top Ten Things Not Worthy of Editorials Demanding Resignation in Montana

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Given that many of the Montana editorial boards have taken it upon themselves to decide political races in Montana by telling candidates to drop out based on concerns about ethics, I wondered what were some of most interesting actions taken Montana politicians not worthy of calls for resignation by the new guardians of public morality.

It seems to me that some of these might just be a bit more serious than allegations of plagiarism.

10. Having a relationship with a Super PAC that’s so transparently unethical that it was worse than a satirical effort to mock the abuses of Super PACs. Oh, and outing the Navy SEAL Team that killed Osama bin Laden before making a political career of blaming the President for it. And calling the former Secretary of State the Anti-Christ.

9. Having been caught red-handed in an illegal scheme to circumvent Montana’s campaign finance laws that was so egregious it got national attention.

8. Beating your wife and child in front of a law enforcement officer after repeatedly threatening to kill her.

7. Calling for a Civil War if the President of the United States is re-elected, posting vile racist observations online, then doing it again, then doing it again, and topping it off with hateful homophobic rhetoric. Oh, and calling for President Obama to be killed like Trayvon Martin was.

6. Calling for the arrest of federal workers carrying out the law in Montana.

5. Sponsoring a bill that would give the state the power to legalize human trafficking and slavery.

4. Driving on a highway for an hour and a half with a BAC of 0.24 and then claiming it wasn’t a violation of the law.

3. And in a personal favorite related blast from the past, obstructing justice in an investigation of vehicular homicide

2. Accepting an illegal donation of $500,000 in the weeks before an election. Hell, the Billings Gazette turned around and endorsed the guy.

1. Almost every part of Conrad Burn’s disreputable career.

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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.

10 Comments

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  • Yes but, Don, ten wrongs don’t make a right! Wishy Walshy CHEATED and LIED to get a promotion, thereby denying the opportunity to some guy that did it the hard way by doing the right thing. I’ve go no use for a cheater and a liar. Hell, he’s Pubbie material! Maybe it’s not too late for wishy walshy to switch parties! Ya never know. But he’s in the Dem party. Hell, it ain’t like he got a BJ from Monica. He screwed over his fellow troops! And that’s unacceptable. How would YOU feel if you were the guy who didn’t get promoted because walsh cheated? Walsh has no honor left. His is stolen honor. And now, he needs to fade away!

    • I’m not sure you get my point. I know you don’t like Walsh. I think you’ve made that clear. My point is that for the editorial boards in the state to swoop in and argue this was some grave offense when they’ve ignored horrifying actions by Republicans is just astonishing.

      • Don, sadly, I get your point. In fact, I’ve written about it for some twenty, thirty years now.

        But you see, they’re all gone now. All the greatest from the WWII generation who had great moral authority to lambaste these little fascist bastards have all died off. James Michener, Gore Vidal, Nathaniel Blumberg, and all the rest have passed on. No one is left but us to carry on. And it’s damned lonely business!

        Folks my age knew a very different America. In fact, I don’t even recognize this new America. It’s bizarro world to me. I mean, for example, who would have EVER thought that the jonh birch society would rise to prominence? No one could have predicted that.

        I would still recommend that every thinking American read the book that Michener wrote in response to the inchoate fascist movement in this country. It really is a remarkable, prescient work. Michener didn’t pull any punches. He calls out the fascists for what they are. And then, dares them to deny that he’s a true American!

        The book is called This Noble Land, My Vision for America. I would be glad to lend you my copy. I know that you love to read. It would be a great summer read for you.

        And as far as the newspapers go, they are complicit. They have aided and abetted the fascist movement in this country. They have willingly allowed these morons to equate treason with patriotism, and that is NOT a good thing. They readily allow their papers to print treason as if it were patriotism. But since they’re all corporate, it’s not going to change. I gave up on them long ago. Treason is NOT patriotism in any sense.

        But yes, I get your point quite well. I hope that you get mine. I’m old. Gone soon. And it’s up to intellectuals like you to carry on the work of the WW II guys. They were the real deal. My teachers, mentors, fathers, uncles, and friends. They ALL knew shit from shinola, and treason from patriotism.

  • Good post. This applies especially to the Missoulian editorial board. Certainly Mr. McGowan if you have time to editorialize about Netflix speeds in Missoula you can manage a semblance of consistency if not a level playing field for the elected positions which are supposed to represent Montanans in congress and the state legislature.

  • To quote Will Rogers, ‘I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.” So long as the Montana Democratic Party continues to fail at organizing and fails to do what is necessary to win elections at both the state and national level, Montana will continue to be a state ruled by ‘racist, misogynistic old white guys.’

    Anyone who believes that a New York Times reporter could find Montana on a map — much less be motivated to delve into the academic records of a senatorial candidate is a fool. The Republican Party plays for keeps — always. I’m willing to bet good money that the involved Times reporter (or maybe his editor) received an anonymous email with a neatly assembled package telling where to look and what to look for. There could also have been some carefully worded “encouragement” along the lines of “do a good job on this and there could be something more for you down the road.” Presto! An overlooked citation becomes a visible ‘hangnail’ that can be exploited.

    As for the three Montana newspaper editorial boards coming out with the same demand to step aside on the same weekend — well I’m really not much of a believer in coincidence. I am a believer in the power of cold hard cash and it’s potential influence on the management of outposts in a failing industry. Just a couple of seconds of idle musing is all it takes to think of several approaches a GOP PAC operative could take to assure simultaneous identical editorials without leaving even a trace of influence. Still turning that ‘hangnail’ into a severed artery.

    Where was the Democratic Party’s “opposition research” on Daines? How many years did he spend in Asia for P&G? What was his last geographic area of responsibility at Right Now? Just to give you an idea of where things could have gone…. there is a video deposition under oath of Neil Bush (yep, Babs’ and Poppie’s little boy and Dubya’s baby brother) that I’ve seen on television (I believe on the Houston CBS affiliate) going into detail regarding the many respectful gifts of female companionship he enjoyed while doing some light business in Asia several years ago. Just think of the possibilities.

    Who is running the Montana Democratic Party and why are they asleep at the wheel? If you don’t take the battle to the opposition then you can expect their sword in your sleep.

    Last rant: “Pride goes before destruction.” During the 2010 race between Dennis McDonald and Denny Rehberg, McDonald made a big statement about how he had decided not to accept money from the national party because the money came with professional campaign management. Mr. McDonald intimated that he would rather lose the election than have someone from Washington tell him how to run for office. Well he got his rather. He lost while riding away on horseback into the sunset.

    More recently, our illustrious Governor claims to have given Harry Reid a piece of his mind and pretty much doomed the Walsh campaign to going it alone without national professional involvement. I believe Senator Walsh told me his campaign manager once worked for Lloyd Bentsen on campaigns back in the 70’s and 80’s. That was another century and “A whole ‘nother country.”

    Sometimes you just need to humbly accept that gift horse, climb up in the saddle, and ride away in victory. But first, you have to torch a few castles.

    Idealistic integrity unaccompanied by the taste of victory just sucks the big one!

    • Excellent statement. The only caveat I would add is this: the Montana Democratic party is so fractured between the old school union based Democrats and the Progressive wings that I find it highly likely that it wasn’t a Republican tool making that phone call or email to the NYT. While the structure Dems have been crowing about the ‘civil war’ in the MT Republicants between the TeaPeeps and the moderates, they have ignored two things. 1) Disenchanted Republicants still vote for the R ticket, regardless. 2) Disenchanted Democrats, predominantly among progressives, fall back on the rationalization of being ‘disenfranchised’, and prove the point by *choosing* not to vote.

  • “Where was the Democratic Party’s “opposition research” on Daines?”

    Actually, let’s broaden that a wee bit further. Where is the research on Right Now Technologies? Hell, it appears to be some sort of giant money laundering scam! Get busy, searchers. There’s some very weird shit goin’ on at Giantfart’s playhouse! Just read what they do. THAT’S worth billions?? Not hardly. I’m guessin’ a Kockh brothers money laundering front group!

  • The MEDIA needs to DRILL down on who ‘tipped’ ’em on an obscure military paper…….ONLY a insider with
    a ‘beef’ with Walsh could know the arcane officer academic protocols. That ‘suspect’ would be an senior officer,
    somebody who served with Walsh and ‘knows’ the War College dynamics.

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