Montana Politics

Quick Takes: Political Practices in Suit, Corruption in Ravalli, Ravndal in Broadwater, and Bohlinger in Retreat?

I have to say I’m pretty excited about Ronald Murray’s decision to file a lawsuit against the Commissioner of Political Practices over the latter’s decision to pursue claims against Murray for his involvement with dark money specialists American Tradition Partnership in 2010. Getting one of those candidates on the stand with the choice of either telling the truth about campaign coordination or risking perjury charges will represent a great start towards cleaning up Montana elections.

The TEA-fueled train wreck that is Ravalli County took another curve at full speed yesterday, with County Treasurer Valerie Stamey accusing Commissioner J.R. Inman of corruption and threatening to call in the FBI to investigate. While there is some dispute about whether or not Ravalli County recognizes the authority of the FBI, there is no disputing that the TEA Party commissioners there seem to have appointed someone there as capable of being treasurer as they are of being commissioners.

We won’t just have Ravalli County to kick around, though, if Townsend’s most patriotic man, Tim Ravndal, wins his bid to join the Broadwater County Commission. Ravndal, who was savaged (fairly and memorably) by a Broadwater County resident this July, would no doubt declare the sovereignty of his county as his first act as commissioner.

Former Republican Lt. Governor John Bohlinger will seriously consider dropping out of the Senate race if John Walsh is appointed by Governor Bullock:

Bohlinger says that if Bullock picks Walsh, Bohlinger “would give serous thoughts to withdrawing from the race.”

Bohlinger says the interim appointment would give Walsh the power, name recognition and fundraising ability of an incumbent, making it almost impossible to defeat him in the election.

Perhaps it’s just me, but those sound like excellent arguments to appoint Walsh, given that Steve Daines is the real target.

Meanwhile, Corey Stapleton continued to campaign on his Facebook wall and Ryan Zinke, a man running for the US Congress, is pouring over his Facebook likes and bumper sticker contest submissions.

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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  • You forgot to mention the Chickens are coming home to the GOP to roost.

    Didn’t Re-Rinse Pubis say he was sending people to the RNC state office to fix things for the GOP months ago? Looks like even he lost control here.

  • Isn’t the Baucus nomination hearing this week, or is it next week? We shouldn’t have to wait too much longer at least.

    It seems like Stapleton is chugging along quite nicely. I don’t think there’s too much bad press about him, is there?

    • What are you, his spokesman? Daines swallowed the entire teabag! Shutting down the government, costing a mere ten billion dollars, is reason enough to can this fool doncha think?

        • Greg, don’t get me wrong. I like what you write. It’s just that I’m a wee bit older than you and have a different perspective on things. Peace brother. BTW, how long did you teach in China? Sounds like a very interesting experience. I have no love lost for the Chinese though, after what they’ve done to Tibet.

              • p.s. My favorite movie? Children of a Lesser God. Ever see it, Greg? If you haven’t, I would recommend it. Says a lot about teaching kids who don’t speak English. I have a copy I’d be glad to loan you.

                • You can’t beat William Hurt! Why won’t that guy make more movies? That’s a great movie, and I was actually able to download it for free in China, and I also got it at the Missoula Public Library a couple times.

                  In the last few years they really started cracking down and you couldn’t buy many fake DVDs on the street or get movies much online anymore. Hollywood must have had an affect on them.

                  They still had a lot of crappy action and disaster movies you could get for free though, you know, the kind with a washed-up Dolph Lundgren. Those were quite popular there. And you’d never walk past a DVD stand without seeing Titanic or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I saw several buildings with large pictures of Audrey Hepburn on the side advertising something.

                  Interesting place.

                • I had a friend whose parents were both deaf. Hence, his first language was ASL. English was to him a second language. And that made life very interesting for him. He always had a tendency to write deaf. He was most comfortable speaking ASL. And English was at times hard for him, especially written English. So, whenever he wanted to write something important, I had to proofread for him. Now THAT was quite interesting. There is basically no syntax in ASL. Whatever works, works. It’s simply total communication. I had to translate to English, and then add the syntax. Great language. I love it.

  • Skipping right past Larry’s response (Greg was asking about Stapleton, not Daines), the answer is Yes, Greg, Stapleton is moving forward and he is doing a good job of organizing the Republican Youth to work for him. He will be one of the primary contenders in the primary and if I had to pick a winner right now, I think he would pull it off.

    The left should be worried about Stapleton. He is young, a veteran that actually served, he is well liked by the younger Republicans and he is moderate enough to pull some of the moderate and independent vote. Yes, he has at times turned right at more wingnut leaning events, but he continues to stay moderate in his issue statements.

    If he can pull a primary win against Zinke, the race will get interesting. At this point, Lewis has more money (Lewis is a fundraiser animal – no argument) but if Stapleton wins, he will have an amazing amount of money to work with. Don’t discount Stapleton just because you are focused on Zinke and the Wingnuts.

        • I will make the same reply about Stapleton that I did about Daines. No one on this website is going to vote for Stapleton (well, maybe Craig…). Attacks on Daines or Stapleton won’t gain any traction here because you are preaching to the choir. Further, I would posit that most here have no idea what traction Stapleton has made with the right leaning voters.

          Just once I would like to see a post about WHY I should vote for someone instead of trashing the opposition.

            • Come on Don, why don’t you save your defensive shitty attitude for me instead. Moorcat expressed what he would like to see, he was not telling you what to do. What I have learned from many of his comments all over the blogs he fully supports the right of the blog owner to write about what that owner wishes. Don’t be so defensive. Now you claim to be in possession of Walsh communiques on his positions. Why not share? Many are not so blessed with that knowledge.

                • “Javert may also be used as a verb, referring to the act of relentlessly chasing someone or something.

                  “I won’t stop. Do you understand? I won’t let you go.” – Inspector Javert ”

                  by Islington December 10,

                • Oops! Corky Stumblebum stumbles out early this time, perhaps to rest up for his NEXT run at losing something! Stumblebum, the teabrained perpetual candidate!

                  Montana Cowgirl [email protected]_Cowgirl 1h
                  GOP insiders say Corey Stapleton plans to drop out of the MT Congressional race. #mtpol


                • Nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes. And Zortman/Landusky. I have spent the last twenty-five years of my life fighting the corporate fascist bastards here in Montana. When our water is gone, what’s left to protect?


              • Maybe you should ask the Walsh campaign for them.

                Snide insinuation aside, I’m certainly not lying about having received them. Maybe you should direct your concern trolling to the media more interested in the Bohlinger circus act than reporting on the issues.

  • Not to mention a Quarter of the People in Montana either work for the Government or are directly linked to contractors working for the Government or receive federal help at Hospitals, school districts, and in agriculture. Stapleton is not only clueless, he is dangerous to the economy of Montana as a whole.

    Timber and coal each only represent 7% each of gross product in our state, whereas Tourism, Agriculture, and government services represent more than 3/4 of our states wealth Corey is more than willing to destroy those aforementioned industries incoming tax monies and wealth for our citizens.

    Stapleton also continually is hawking two Industries that have continually ruined public landscapes, water, and air wherever they go also; which is Oil and Natural Gas production.

    The reason they are not drilling on state land is because we charge 16.67% whereas the Federal Gov only charges 1920’s royalty rates of 12.5%. Thats why all of a sudden our ranchers are having trouble finding range to graze on, that isn’t being gobbled up by these mineral production leases.

    Right now ranchers and farmers in eastern Montana are complaining about these corporations polluting range land they enjoyed grazing on for a hundred years…. while Daines try’s to push through a bill, that extensively keeps those long standing Agricultural families from complaining to the Government for redress. To cut off the voices of Montana families that need grazing rights to survive. He is hoping to pin a $5000 fee on petition to redress, something the Government has been allowing to petition for free. Daines wants to make it to expensive to complain about Oil and Gas company pollution.

    Are Short term profits more important than long standing revenue to the republicans? You bet it is, and the GOP don’t care at who’s expense they destroy a profitable renewable resource for the people that profit from it, because little folk donations are never gonna fill a candidates pocket as fast as lobbyists for Oil and Gas will.

    Once the Oil and gas is gone, will the cattle industry be extinct as well? Good chance it will for a bevy of Ranching families in eastern Montana. Will hunting and fishing disappear, Count on it and tourism will be horribly curtailed, as tourist hunt for spots untouched by dirty industry.

    Stapleton just like Daines, doesn’t give a crap anymore for the Ranchers of Montana because he is getting the big cash donations from Mineral companies for his campaign.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, 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.

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