Steve Daines Endorses General Skees. Does He Support His Agenda As Well?

Republican “candidate” for State Auditor Derek Skees raised an entirely unimpressive $1,280montana_02 from individuals in his last campaign finance report, which isn’t entirely unsurprising given his unorthodox and even secessionist views. What is surprising, however, is that almost half of that total came from the Daines family in Bozeman, with Republican House candidate Steve Daines and his wife each contributing a maximum donation of $310 for the race.

Can we assume that means Mr. Daines approves of Mr. Skees and his rather unique political viewpoints? It seems like a bold move to support a candidate who:

  • opposed Social Security.
  • supports a sales tax in Montana.
  • is involved with the extremist John Birch movement.
  • believes in a state’s right to allow slavery and human trafficking.

Surely an Internet entrepreneur as skilled as Mr. Daines could outsource a Google search to Asia before deciding to contribute to a candidate’s campaign.

It’s certainly troubling that someone who wants to represent all of Montana believes that someone as dangerous as Derek Skees would make a good choice for auditor. It seems fair not only to judge candidates by the company they keep, but by the candidates they support.

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.

Subscribe to our posts

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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.


Click here to post a comment

Please enter an e-mail address

  • How do you know that Derek Skees believes in a state’s right to allow human trafficking and slavery? I’m from Whitefish, so know the rest, but hadn’t heard about this part of his voting record when he was our Representative. Thanks for the work that you do, I enjoy your writing.

  • How many prominent Republicans — Bob Brown, for example — will endorse Skees for auditor?

    Daines also signed Grover Norquist’s no new taxes (no old ones, either) pledge.

    Will — have — any of the MT Democrats running for Congress say anything negative about Daines’ endorsing Derek and signing Grover’s pledge?

    • Many have already said something about Daines signing Grover’s pledge – myself included. I will be saying again in my Ballot post tonight. I may not be a “Montana Democrat” but Rob is and he has said it as well. ANY legislator that signs a special interest group’s pledge should be automatically disqualified for office. It is as simple as that. Any such pledge is a conflict of interest to the Pledge they HAVE to agree to when they are sworn in.

    • Hi James,

      I have spoken on many occasions about Daines’ pledges, including the Norquist pledge. Pledges are a bad idea. I do not sign them.

      I have not yet spoken about Daines’ contributions to Skees, but here goes: it is as bad as it seems, but it does not surprise me. Daines stands with the Tea Party wing of the Republican party, both philosophically and literally. Check out Havre and Red Lodge, among many interesting posts, on Daines also is a longtime Republican insider with boatloads of money. These are not his first contributions to the “team” effort.

      I have not spoken about this latest Daines headline because time is tight in these two weeks leading up to the primary and few people want to discuss Daines before the primary. I take on Daines in my campaign; just watch my “Trouble with the Truth” series at This post and your comment highlight that Daines’ conduct should be scrutinized now, before the primary election, so that voters can determine who the strongest candidate is to take on Daines in the general election.

      Best regards,
      Rob Stutz
      Democratic candidate for Montana’s US House seat

Send this to a friend