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Montana Politics

Baucus for Senate: 2012-2014

I intended to write on this yesterday, but MT Cowgirl beat me to the punch.  I encourage you to over there and read the analysis.  Cowgirl digs deep into how Dean Folkvord, owner of the Wheat Montana company, has contributed his money over the years.

Even though MT Cowgirl beat me to the punch, I’d still like to contribute a bit of analysis.

As reported, Baucus will be spending $25,000 on radio ads to tout his work on payroll taxes.  Whether the extension of the payroll tax cut is a good thing in the first place is debatable – think, “Social Security.”  But that’s neither here nor there.

Max’s pick as surrogate for his ads (Dean Folkvord, a strong Republican) isn’t all that surprising.  He’s playing the same cards he’s played every time he’s run for re-election (excluding 2008): run to the center (or further), embrace some Republican policies (the payroll tax cut extension not being one of them), and think “me first.”

Although Max’s Glacier PAC helps fund progressive groups around the state and although he fought strongly for Tester in 2006 (remember, 2006 and 2008 were good years for Democrats), Max is usually thinking “how do I get myself re-elected?” That’s why, two years out, Baucus is hosting fundraisers all across the state and buying media.  He knows 2014 will be tough year for him and he probably also wants to dissuade Governor Schweitzer from a primary.

You have to think that Baucus starting his bid for re-election this early irks some Democrats, including Jon Tester, Steve Bullock, and our congressional candidates who need the money and the cheap airtime.  Baucus’ strategy eats up valuable space and money that the rest of our Democratic ticket needs. It also risks tying our ticket to a fairly unpopular Senator.

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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M. Storin


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  • Agreed, let’s focus on making sure we get Tester and Bullock in. The last thing any dem needs is to remind the public that Max is a member of our party.

  • This will probably get bleeped, but I must say it anway. Mini Barfus is an ASSHOLE who has singlehandidly destroyed the Dem party in Montana! I'm done with the fool who couldn't even put the word Democrat on his sign! He can take his groupies and go back to the ranch! And you can quote me on that. The dude is BEYOND senile!

  • In criticism of American journalism, this is called the "now it can be told" syndrome. Yes, Max is a schmuck. We've known for years that he's a schmuck, and now that it is apparent to everyone that it is so, we admit it and move on to a new schmuck. Got a name yet? I doubt that Schweitzer fits the bill, as he does not attend meetings. He runs them. Congress not for him.

    • I've been as critical of Baucus as anyone, but I'd have to say that's an unfair criticism. He's probably done more to raise money for other Democratic candidates in Montana than anyone else ever has.

  • Don-Let's clear things up a little bit,the only big donations Baucus donates are to candidates outside of Montana. See his annual federal report. He sends money to Democratic Senate candidates and some House candidates around America, like Harry Reid and the like, as well as large donations to other states' Democratic Parties, such as the New Jersey Democrats to which he donated I believe $20,000. In terms of "helping Montana democratic candidates raise money", he provides little help in that regard. He does make occasional small donations to legislative candidates ($120 which is the maximum), for whatever these are worth (not much). Friends of Max Baucus and Glacier PAC do a lot of work, and mostly it is either helping 1) out of state candidates or 2) Max himself.

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