Burns and His Supporters: No Idea How Sleazy They Sound?


Perhaps Burns and his supporters are so used to sleaze that they have lack the ability to even discern when something sounds inappropriate. A Billings Gazette profile of the retiring Senator says a lot about the way Burns and his cronies view the world:

Surrounded by dozens of Semitool employees, the high-tech company’s founder and chief executive officer made the strongest sales pitch he can for U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns’ re-election…

Burns told Semitool workers at the first Semitool site he can still win the race even though he’s trailing in the polls – with the help of voters like them.
“It can be done,” Burns said. “I need your vote, come November 7.”
Thompson pointed to a computer that Semitool has set up for workers to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election if they haven’t already.
“I’m not telling you how to vote,” Thompson said.
“Well, yes I am,” he said, laughing. “Give him your vote.”

It gets worse:

Semitool machinist Russ Lucas, who once worked for Ross Perot’s company in Dallas, said afterward he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans. He’s still undecided in the Senate race…

The machinist said he trusts Semitool CEO Thompson’s judgment.
“I think Ray’s a pretty good judge of character,” Lucas said. “He knows a lot more than we do about the situation.”

And then the delusional one offers this insight:

Burns said he hates the direction Montana politics is heading and deplores the “character assassination” that he believes Tester and Democrats have unleashed on him.
“They drug Phyllis into this story on character assassination,” he said. “Then they attacked our kids.”
That infuriated him, Burns said, but he won’t resort in kind.
“We’ll fight back on his (voting) record – not against Jon Tester,” he said.

Maybe Burns should tell the RSCC or his own ad people that. To be honest, I’ve been pretty sure that Burns is running against Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer, and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga.  His ads certainly have been issues-based, too.

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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  • So, seriously, I am not a person with a love of litigation. It makes me a bit queezy actually to think of, but isn’t this an inkind corporate donation? I mean, the boss said

    “I’m not telling you how to vote,” Thompson said.
    “Well, yes I am,” he said, laughing. “Give him your vote.”

    If that is not assistance, I don’t know what is. I would not favor ‘litigating’ this kind of thing as that would be counterproductive, but it just goes to show…

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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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