If there is one certain thing about Montana politics in the next couple of years, it’s that the GOP primary race for governor in 2012 is going to be one messy, sordid affair–pun at least partially intended. While Rick Hill certainly has to be regarded as the front runner, with higher name recognition in the public and greater financial support from the Republican establishment, anyone who thinks that Corey Stapleton and Ken Miller won’t campaign viciously and negatively simply hasn’t followed either man’s career. This race is going to badly tarnish the reputation of whichever candidate wins, and Democrats would do well to let the Republican pack of candidates tear itself apart.
The fireworks have already started, and the first attack has landed on Rick Hill.
The Montanafesto blog has published an impressive collection of early 1990s articles about Rick Hill’s divorce and affair, neatly packaged by an a group calling itself “Montana’s Conservative Families,” an organization that, of course, doesn’t exist. Their e-mail attack on Hill was certainly understated, including this restrained passage:
We believe a Republican Primary is for nominating a candidate who EMBODIES CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL VALUES, like family and faith. We cannot allow a person with “Bill Clinton values” to be a nominee for the Republican Party for Governor.Please also remember that the Democrats–and their liberal big-mouth Governor and their environmentalist Attorney General (who will be the Democrat nominee for Governor)–are all praying that Rick Hill is the Republican nominee. With his womanizing past, they know he is easy prey.