It must be frustrating for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill that a judge with a sense of respect for Montana’s elections stopped his effort to buy the governor’s chair, but that’s no excuse for attacking her for doing her job. After learning that the judge, Kathy Seeley, had issued a restraining order forbidding Hill from spending his ethically dubious and legally questionable donation, the Hill campaign responded churlishly:
“This is an unprecedented action taken by a partisan judge. There was no hearing, no briefs, no arguments, no notice, just an abusive order that will benefit Steve Bullock’s campaign. This is the kind of abuse that Rick has been describing to Montanans that is damaging our reputation and our economy.
If anyone is damaging Montana’s reputation, it’s Mr. Hill, who has spent the better part of two years trashing Montana in the media, falsely claiming that our schools, budget, and business climate are far worse than they are. Now he’s decided to trash our reputation by sullying our electoral process.
As for the accusation that Judge Seeley is “partisan,” that’s just a cheap shot attacking an excellent judge who is widely respected for her fairness and professionalism. It seems that the Hill campaign forgot that Judge Seeley even ruled against Governor Schweitzer, hardly the actions of a partisan judge.
Hell, even Tim Fox seems to have realized that taking the dirty money was a mistake, leaving just Rick Hill as the only statewide candidate willing to defy Montana’s tradition of reasonable campaign limits.
Just give it back, Rick. Do the right thing and stop this unethical display that cheapens your campaign and demeans the state.