Montana Politics

Your Republican Party: Nominees for Office of Political Practices

The Republican Party of Montana has once again shown its contempt for the political process in Montana, nominating two candidates who exemplify the party’s attitude about law and order for the next Commissioner of Political Practices.

Scott Sales, Republican from Bozeman, nominated Brad Johnson, less than a year after his arrest for a serious drunk driving charge and following an incredibly ineffective tenure as Secretary of State.

Nominated by Republican Robert Story was Edwin Jonas, as Marnee Banks reports, has some ethical baggage that would make him a perfect choice for the Republican Party:

According to court documents filed in New Jersey and Florida, Jonas has been accused by his ex-wife of violating attorney ethics in those states. Jonas spoke with us on the phone this afternoon and said those allegations are untrue and are part of an ongoing divorce settlement.

It seems that the Florida Supreme Court sees the matter differently. When they also suspended Jonas’s license, they accepted the ruling of New Jersey, whose ruling:

constitutes conclusive proof of misconduct and respondent is guilty of engaging in conduct intending to disrupt a tribunal and engaging in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

What did Jonas do? He tried to cover up a plan to secretly sell assets and hid his funds from his wife offshore:

Respondent and his wife, Linda Jonas, were married in 1974 and
divorced in 1990.  They had three sons, ages 14, 9, and 8 at the time of the
divorce.  Linda Jonas filed a motion with certifications in post-dissolution
proceedings alleging that respondent was secretly selling assets and hiding
his funds in the Cayman Islands, where he planned to remove himself and
the parties’ two youngest sons.  In one of the certifications attached to Ms. Jonas’ motion, the parties’ oldest son indicated that respondent had told him
about his plan and had called it “Operation Mitch,” a reference to a scheme
to hide assets in the Cayman Islands which was carried out by a fictional
character in the book and movie, “The Firm.”

Is it terribly surprising that the Republicans couldn’t come up with two better candidates than Operation Inebriation and Operation Mitch?

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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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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