While I suspect that Republican candidate for State Auditor Derek Skees would himself be more
inspired by another general, it seems that the words of Napoleon are most fitting for this most unusual candidate for statewide office. Napoleon wrote, “the great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means,” and no political candidate in Montana today better represents the divide between ability and ambition than Derek Skees.
Rather than an extended narrative about the reasons Mr. Skees is unsuited for the office of State Auditor, I thought I’d offer just a sampling of the arguments against his election.
- James Conner at the Flathead Memo offered the best introduction to Mr. Skees in his 2010 run for the Legislature. In the piece, Conner describes Skees as a Civil War history revisionist with a penchant for right-wing conspiracy theories couched as history.
- During his single session as a legislator, he offered 23 pieces of legislation—all of which died, despite massive Republican majorities. Among his priorities? Ending public input on nuclear power, allowing students to bring firearms to schools, and nullifying federal laws.
- He offered a bill which would give Montana the right to allow human trafficking and slavery if we wanted, because of the “traditional Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty.” Don’t believe me? Listen to the recording.
- He was publically mocked by Republican Representative Ken Peterson for presenting an absolutely idiotic bill to reduce the size of the Montana Supreme Court.
- Specifically, he sports Confederate clothing and believes that the Civil War was “an unconstitutional war declared by Congress and President Lincoln and involved Yankee Trader greed and Southern honor.”
- A high school journalist in Whitefish got Skees to admit that we should build nuclear power in the Flathead, that oil is a never-ending resource, that environmentalism is communism, and that “gays invented the idea hate language.”
- He told a candidate forum that he opposed Social Security.
- He supports a sales tax that Montana voters have repeatedly rejected.
- He worries about the dangers of human micro chipping.
- His keen sense of budgeting led him to believe the state of Montana was engaged in deficit spending, which was not only factually incorrect but unconstitutional.
- He was a featured speaker at the John Birch Society, an odious hate group which peddles conspiracy theories of the worst kind.
- He is connected to Rick Breckenridge and attended his white-power fueled Liberty Convention in 2010 that led to an FBI investigation of one of the key speakers.
- He may have generated the best letter to the editor of 2011, when Mike Donohue described a a rambling two hour Skees speech, saying that “the pain was so excruciating most of his audience were fighting off sleep deprivation.”
I think you get the idea.
Mr. Skees is out of touch with Montana voters, out of touch with even radical Republican values, and frankly, out of touch with reality. His inflated self-worth is only matched by his complete lack of knowledge and experience for the position. Frankly, it’s an embarrassment to the Montana Republican Party that he will be their standard bearer in this race.
Make the easy choice. For competent, professional leadership of the State Auditor’s office, throw your support behind Monica Lindeen.