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.