Montana Politics

Burns: Loved by CEOs and PACS

Great piece in the IR today by Mike Dennison about where our junior Senator’s money comes from. Here’s a hint: it isn’t from Montanans. When you look at the numbers in the piece, it sure makes Conrad’s good ol’ Montana boy routine seem even more tired.

So where do Conrad’s contributions come from?

  • 83% comes from non-Montana residents and PACS
  • $800,000 comes from people who list their occupation as CEO, president, executive or vice president of a company or corporation.
  • $600,000 from people living in or near D.C.

Now, I’m no expert on politics, but I suspect those people aren’t giving Conrad all that money because they like him personally. After all, he is a man of the people, right? What would he have in common with these CEOs? It might just be, that like Conrad’s old friend Jack, they expect a little something in return for their generosity–and if nothing else, Senators Burns has proven himself to be a man who remembers his contributors.

The article also notes that John Morrison has raised 55 per cent of his campaign funds from non-Montana residents and PACs, leaving Jon Tester with clear claim of having most of his support come from regular Montanans, the kind of people who can’t afford $2,000 contributions to a political candidate, and I suspect, the kind of people who will only ask that a candidate repay them with leadership, honor, and regard for his home state.

We’re all smart enough to realize that money is a big part of modern political campaigning. That fundraising comes with a price, though. I’m a lot more comfortable with a candidate who doesn’t need to rely on out of state funding, because what your neighbors (and we’re all neighbors here) think about you says more than any ad buy ever can.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • “and I suspect, the kind of people who will only ask that a candidate repay them with leadership, honor, and regard for his home state.”

    How politically niave of you, Pogie … and, God in heaven, couldn’t we use a whole lot more of that! Over the last 6 months, I have given at least twice as much to the Tester campaign than I have to any other candidate (or most combined) in my life. I think you’ve nailed exactly why. Tons of politicians talk about working for families and people … without ever seeming to know what “the people” really want. The current disatisfaction with congress should clue these idiots in: what we want aren’t meaningless resolutions and prettily packaged handouts, but rather honesty, integrity, and consideration.

  • Did you ever read the Harpers story “Jesus Plus One” about the political fratboy house in the capitol, and how Father makes their dreams come true?

    I believe that “Father” is Rev. Moon, but you can read the article somewhere online, I lost the address a couple of years ago. Senator Burns name was in that article and your mention of where his money came from reminded me of that story.

    I don’t know why.

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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.

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