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Klindtwatch: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

If nothing else, you have to give Republicans credit for chutzpah. They assume that voters are so dumb that they will believe anything said to them. The latest affront to logic and the electorate? The Republican Senatorial Committee running an ad in MIchigan, attacking Senator Debbie Stabenow for requesting $5,000,000 for the Saginaw Chippewas.

The RSCC, known locally for its hard-hitting, issues-based ads featuring an actor playing Jon Tester’s barber, is running the cartoon ad (you know, so their voters get it) on their web page, which is loaded with interesting information about the Saginaw Chippewas. Things like:

“The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Is One Of The Wealthiest In The Nation, Making More Than $200 Million From Its Business Operations.” “The Saginaw Chippewa tribe is one of the wealthiest in the nation, making more than $200 million from its business operations, especially the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich., about 150 miles northwest of Detroit.” (Catherine Strong, “Michigan Indian Tribe Establishes ‘Embassy’ In Washington,” The Associated Press, February 20, 1999)

“The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Has Pulled In More Than $1 Billion Since 1994 From The Soaring Eagle Casino And Hotel – One Of The First Indian-Operated Casinos In The United States.” (Louise Knott, “The Native American Connection: Casino Cash Revitalizes Modern Indian Culture,” Lansing State Journal, March 26, 1999)

What RSCC ad fails to mention is the role of our very own Senator, Conrad Burns, who according to the Congressional Record was Charlie McCarthy to Stabenow’s Edgar Bergen on the Senator floor:

“Don’t you think the (Saginaw Chippewa) tribe should be given high consideration from the Department of Interior for this grant during the fiscal year 2003?’’ Stabenow is quoted as saying.
The next line, according to the Congressional Record, came from Burns:
“Yes, I agree with distinguished senator from Michigan,’’ Burns said, adding, “the subcommittee was pleased to learn that the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan is eligible, willing and capable of taking advantage of this innovative program during the fiscal year 2003 funding cycle.’’

So, the Republicans are criticizing a Democratic Senator from Michigan for seeking questionable appropriations for a Michigan tribe, and believe that Senator Burns should get a free pass? They sure do:

Burns campaign spokesman Jason Klindt agreed.
“Conrad’s only involvement was fighting for an earmark that came out of his committee,’’ Klindt said. “It’s about time that someone made Debbie Stabenow own up to the fact that it was her request, she pushed for it, and suddenly she has a case of amnesia.’’

At least they’re entertaining. If the best national Republicans do in this election is to try to smear Democrats in their web of corruption, we might have a chance of taking back the Congress. They have no agenda, a failed foreign policy, and are mired in graft and wrong-doing. Let’s hope that Republicans keep underestimating the intelligence of the voters and repeating this nonsense. The more they say, the better we might do.

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.

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 wish the Montana Democratic Party would run ads for Lindeen and Tester like the ones the Lamont campaign ran against Joe. They are good, not creepy or sleazy, just really good and informative (for typical voters anyway) as well.

  • And lest we forget, sen. corndogburns was the FIRST, yes, the first senator to ever introduce a bill to sell off public lands! It was a few years back. And the Repubes needed a dumbass to float that trial balloon. Well, what better dumbarse than Corndog hisself! You see, that’s how the Repubes work. The first intro an idea knowing that it won’t go. But over time, they soften up the public with repeating the stupid idea. The public becomes used to hearing it. Take social security for example. It’ll be back on the table over and over and over again.

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