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Actually, the Auditor’s Race Isn’t About Obamacare. It’s About Competence Versus Radicalism

I certainly hope today’s disappointing story about the race for State Auditor isn’t the last comparative profile we can expect from the Lee Newspapers before the race. Headlined Obamacare’ the focus in Lindeen vs. Skees auditor race, the piece never delves into any other subject—despite the marginal connection between the Auditor’s office and Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the story seems to have bought into the single reason that Derek Skees imagines himself to be qualified for the Auditor’s position: that he imagines he will singlehandedly stop a federal law—from an office with no lawmaking power.

Here are some other factual details about Mr. Skees that might have been mentioned in the article.

  • Even the rabidly pro-Republican Montana Chamber of Commerce endorsed Monica Lindeen for Auditor.
  • He actually signed a lunatic pledge that endorses nullification of federal laws, including the possibility of dissolution of the Republic.
  • He has endorsed consolidating Montana schools into 60 districts.
  • He brought 23 bills to his first session in the Montana Legislature, including advocacy for nuclear power in the Flathead and guns in our schools.
  • He was publically mocked by Republican Representative Ken Peterson for presenting an absolutely idiotic bill to reduce the size of the Montana Supreme Court.
  • He told a candidate forum that he opposed Social Security.
  • 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’s involved with the conspiracy-minded and downright reactionary John Birch Society.

The media doesn’t need to slant the news, but Jesus, they need to tell the whole news. The race for Auditor features an experienced leader who has effectively run the office for four years and a radical who runs around the state wearing a Confederate emblem, speaking to the the John Birch Society, and writing bills like one that would have limited the power of police seize weapons from criminals.

Context matters. The whole story matters. Just because the only issue Derek Skees pretends to understand is Obamacare doesn’t make it the only, or even an important issue in the race for Auditor. The qualifications, positions, and experience of the two candidates is what really matters—and this story didn’t address any of that.

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.

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.

1 Comment

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  • I’ve never met Skees or Lindeen.

    But Lindeen needs to go, due to her involvement with Gov. BS –

    When the Schweitzer family Consigliere Walt Schweitzer turned into a political liability, he (Gov BS) simply called up Lindeen and told her to give him a nice job in her office at about $90k per year – and of course she did it.

    I now look forward to a spirited defense of Lindeen here on that one, because corruption is acceptable as long as he/she has a (D) behind their name, right ?

    In fact, this isn’t a new subject on this blog, is it;

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