Democratic Challengers to Burns

A great post by Wulfgar about the lack of specificity among the Democratic candidates seeking to unseat the Senator for the Saginaw Chippewas, Conrad Burns. He highlights one of the problems I am having in choosing a candidate to support–I don’t really have a great reason to support one of the front-runners based on the information they have given me.

The real catch, of course, is the balance between idealism and pragmatism. Based on what I know, Paul Richards is the candidate I should support, but I know that he is less electable than Tester or Morrison. But I refuse to support a candiate just for the sake of electing a Democrat. I’ve held my nose and voted for Max Baucus–only to find myself disappointed each time.

So, can someone convince me that Tester or Morrison are more than “better than Burns”? That’s a pretty low bar, and I think Montana deserves more.

Feel free to respond here or drop an e-mail.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • I share you feelings about Max Baucus, but what were the alternatives, Taylor? Sometimes it makes sense to choose the logical candidate and hopefully that candidate will also share many of your views and opinions. I mean if you are driving a 77 Pinto and you had a chance to upgrade your car, it wouldn’t make sense to pass up that opportunity just because the new car doesn’t have a sun roof and cup holders.
    I looked for two attributes when I selected a candidate; I wanted a candidate that had a realist chance of beating Conrad Burns and best represented my liberal ideology. I chose John Morrison. As a liberal, I consider the corporate domination of our society to be the primary issue facing us today. John Morrison is the only candidate that has a solid track record defending the people’s interests against the corporate interest. He took on big tobacco twice (I-149 and the tobacco settlement) and won! He also prosecuted, what I believe is, the largest securities fraud case in the history of Montana which led to the restoration of retirement accounts belong to many Montanans. He has done extensive work protecting the elderly from fraud and creating numerous opportunities for people to get insurance; people who otherwise would go uninsured. He created the CHIP program that provides insurance to 11,350 children a month.
    The United States senate is controlled by corporate corruption and greed, Conrad Burns is a prime example of this. John Morrison can not only beat Conrad Burns, but his history of battling corporate abuse leads me to believe that a victory for Morrison is a victory for the progressive movement.

  • Andy, I’m almost begging, here. Why aren’t these things you enumerate posted at John Morrison’s website, (with citation, of course)? Excuse my foul mouth, but the only guy who’s going to beat Burns is the one who can grab this campaign by the balls and make it squeal. “This is what I got and Burns got nothin'”. Richards is doing that. Tester is moving that way. Morrison seems to want us to reward his accomplishments, which are indeed worthy. But the election in ’06 isn’t about what you’ve done; it’s about what you’ll do, and how you’ll do it. John needs to come down off the mountain, roll up his sleeves, and punch Conrad in the mouth (figuratively speaking, of course). Then, and only then, is he in the race. Not one minute before.

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