Montana Politics

Republican Response Shows Walsh Was the Right Choice

If any Montana Democrats doubted that appointing Lt. Governor John Walsh was the right choice, the apoplectic and astonishingly hypocritical response of the right wing should make it clear they see Senator Walsh as a real threat in 2014.

The Montana Republican Party, fresh off creating a phishing site inspired, no doubt, by their party’s efforts to deceive potential Democratic donors, repeated the same tweet criticizing John Walsh somewhere between 13 and 301 times today. I guess what they lack in creativity and consistency, they make up for in dogged determination.

Montana Senate President Jeff Essman, who has apparently forgotten his secret caucus orchestrated by the Republican family values champion Jason Priest and himself during the last legislative session, attacked Governor Bullock for neither calling every voter in Montana and asking her opinion nor letting the GOP the candidate of their choice:

One of those GOP leaders, Montana Senate President Jeff Essmann, criticized Bullock for what he called an “arrogant and high-handed” approach to picking Baucus’ replacement.

“Instead of doing what would have been easy, setting up an open and transparent process to listen to the people of Montana, Gov. Bullock ducked and weaved so that he could fulfill his duty and complete a backroom deal that was hatched in Washington to benefit Washington, not Montana,” Essmann said.

The notion that the Walsh appointment was some kind of D.C. conspiracy dominated Republican criticism today, no doubt because a party so committed to the interests of East Coast elites can’t imagine any other scenario. It’s a problematic narrative, though, given that those same entrenched D.C. elites were soon seen actually trying to influence the Montana electorate—on behalf of Republicans.

Noted Montanans like the spokesman for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the National Republican Senate Committee, and other D.C. insiders immediately jumped into the fray, making any Republican complaints about D.C. involvement as hollow as their criticisms of the Governor’s entirely legal and responsible choice.

In fact, the National Journal’s Adam Wollner reports that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads will open its 2014 campaign of sleaze with an attack on John Walsh:

American Crossroads, the Republican super PAC cofounded by Karl Rove, plans to welcome Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh to the U.S. Senate with an attack ad.

Crossroads reported to the Federal Election Commission that it has spent $138,000 on a TV ad opposing Walsh, a Democrat appointed to the Senate on Friday. Walsh is running to retain the seat this fall.

But wait, it gets worse. Among those attacking Senator Walsh today was Donny Ferguson, who led the widely reviled dark money American Tradition Partnership, authored the truly odious Montana Statesman, and violated just about every Montana election law he could during the 2012 campaign before landing back in Washington D.C.

So, spare us all the outrage and hand-wringing. There’s going to be a long, expensive campaign, all but certainly fought between Senator Walsh and Representative Daines. Let’s get over accusations of wrongdoing when none existed and focus on the issues that separate these two candidates.

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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  • “Instead of doing what would have been easy, setting up an open and transparent process to listen to the people of Montana, Gov. Bullock ducked and weaved so that he could fulfill his duty and complete a backroom deal that was hatched in Washington to benefit Washington, not Montana,” Essmann said.

    Geez, Assman. That’s stoopid even by PUBBIE standars! Would you mind explaining in detail the process you had in mind when your farted this?! You see, Assman, as much as you hate to admit it, the outcome would have been exactly the same! But for the record, and so that you don’t look like the complete buffoon you are, ex PLAIN that method in which the guv could have achieved the same result but kept your morons happy in the process! I really, really want to know! For I don’t think you have a clue as to what you’re farting about.

    So, Assman, or a surrogate, take a shot at my challenge, or forever look the fools you are! Hey, I have a great idea! Maybe you could bail out family values dude Jason priest for help! Ya never know!

    Or maybe craigy would like to take a shot at it. I seriously doubt it though. Hell, even CRAIG ain’t that dumb!

  • Like it was gonna be someone else. Listen GOP we told you who it was gonna be from our side. the man was the obvious choice.

    Stop whining and show us what Daines has to beat this guy, I mean we all know on the left side of Politics…. Steve has Nothing special to offer Montanans. But hey we giving you a chance to show us different!

    You were hoping Bolinger was your Tim Fox…….. Bwahahahaha

    • Funny, Don never writes about, say, Tester, because he’s in office so who gives a rat’s ass. Tester could be an ax murderer, but winning elections is all that matters.

      This is bankrupt. You folks are why I say Democrats are the problem. I am so happy you got your Walsh guy appointed, like that deal wasn’t cut six months ago.

            • Well, there’s lots of grist for you mill in that clip, for it implies that there IS a difference between Dems and Pubes, and your the dude that endlessly says ther IS none. I thought you might like it. That’s why I posted it. Have at it.

              • It’s pointless. You don’t listen. I have never said that there is no difference between the parties. I have said repeatedly that because of differences in psychological makeup of their respective bases, that different marketing strategies are used for each. It’s very important for Democrats, for example, to feel intellectually superior to Republicans, and so that is how they are approached. Republicans, on the other hand, are manipulated by appeals to their authoritarian personalities.

                But the parties essentially pursue the same policies, repackaging them as needed. For instance, “WMD’s” in Iraq became “preventing a massacre” in Libya, and “Romneycare” became “Obamacare.” Same product, different packages. On some issues, like Keystone, where there can be no subtleties and where dissent is not allowed, you are simply ignored, as there is no choice. It’s a done deal no matter which party is in power.

                The Walsh selection is a long-shot, but seeing how Tester got his sorry ass reelected, I am prepared for any outcome there. Montana politics are vile and dirty and corrupt. Always been that way.

                Are you getting it at all?

  • The single issue that Montana’s D’s and R’s agree on, sadly, is the Keystone XL pipeline. Walsh, Daines, Tester, Bullock — they’re all for it. The rest of us D’s are dismissed as a bunch of hippies.

    Only Dirk Adams opposes it. For this reason I’m supporting him and hope he gets the nomination.

    • I oppose it, too. I think it’s bad for Montana. That being said, I don’t expect that I will ever find a candidate who lines up with my views 100% of the time.

      Adams isn’t a viable candidate–and his track record has some serious holes. It’s nice that he’s positioned himself as some sort of liberal champion, but where has he been in the last twenty years?

      • If I had a nickle for every time some Democrat laid down his arms without a fight, I’d have perhaps $10. Not only do you not agree with him, but you are so afraid of the other party that you would let him have his way with you no matter what because he is a D.

        That is the problem, you know. No accountability.

      • To me the XL pipeline isn’t merely one issue among a number of others. It’s part of the most serious issue facing our planet

        To be wrong on the environment, if you’re in a position of power, is very dangerous to all of us. And not just those of us in Montana.

        And it’s not just making an intellectual error, something we all do. It’s knowingly repeating lies put forward by Big Oil and Coal. It’s gambling with our lives for a temporary political advantage.

        • So, the choice is Walsh, who will support it, or Daines, who will support it. My contention is that we’re better off with Daines, as you guys are not snoozing when the R’s are in office.

          • Voting in Daines because his position is the same as the MT D’s on the pipeline doesn’t follow.

            Voting for Daines, hoping to bring about a constructive Democratic reaction, would be very foolish.

            • It plays out like this: Walsh wins, votes as a Republican on critical issues, and Democrats snooze. this is ow you have treated Tester and Baucus, giving them a pass.

              Daines takes office and Democrats suddenly wake up, opposing him at every turn.

              Two bad choices, the latter the better one, you know, lesser evil and all that.

      • You can’t be a one issue person nowadays the Rich and powerful conservatives are attacking from all sides…. I admire Dirk on Keystone, but the other issues are just as pressing if the GOP take away the rights of Americans to Vote or speak freely. I take a general .

  • Yeah Don, what were we thinking. I mean the current adm. wouldn’t dare involve themselves in any political hanky panky.

    Take for instance the IRS scandal, just conjecture. Fast and Furious, eavesdropping on a FOX reporter, and making up a bullshit story about Bengazi as to not effect the upcoming election.

    Pure as driven snow on this one.

    • Geez, Swede, you bought the whole enchilada, dude! I suggest that you need to think outside the box for a change, the FROOTloop box! How can you debate someone who makes up their own “facts”? You can’t.

    • I think you’re right about Bengazi, that it was an inside job – to what end I do not know. Speculation is that it was to advance Romney’s candidacy, but it is not clear to me how that is achieved. The whole of the Libyan affair is a disgrace, a very popular leader murdered in broad daylight – in Mafia terms, that is known as taking a s*** on your enemy’s doorstep and then demanding a roll of toilet paper. It’s a manifestation of naked power, done to demonstrate to other countries what happens when you cross Wall Street/London. Libya had plans to sell its oil in a different currency, Qaddafi was also shaking down the banks for repayment of the $2 billion he was forced to put up in the matter of Lockerbie, which was not his doing. Bombs away.

    • Thanks. I haven’t watched Fox News today, so it was nice to get a recap of the same stories they haven’t been able to prove for almost half a decade.

      Just because your confirmation bias makes your supposition that this was an inside deal doesn’t make it so.

      • When does anyone ever “prove” anything? This merely exposes you as a black/white thinker. For the rest of us, there is evidence, but rarely proof.

        • Mark, you have about a month left to file for office.

          Put your money where your mouth is and save us your moral and self-righteous indignation.

          Bag of winds will be most effective in the legislature, which is why I filed to go there.

          Join me, and let’s give ’em hell together.

          • I ran in 1996, and lost. With contributions limits so low at that time, the best way to control the place was to be sure that there were always a fresh set of rookies there to be steamrolled by the professionals. So they ushered in term limits.

            And sure enough, the 1997 legislature was the one that got steamrolled at the very end by Goldman Sachs, Racicot and Montana Power, and passed electrical deregulation. It went through without hearings or proper procedure.

            And I had to face facts – had I won my race, I too would ave been steamrolled.

            Anyway, “moral self-righteous” blah blah, I can’t help but notice that it is OK to be moral and indignant and self-righteous if one is also loyal to the party. People don’t mind being criticized, but goddammit, say something true and you’ll catch hell. I wish you luck in your race, but understand that Montana politics is elephants having sex …

            • No problem, I love quitters. The more authors that get frustrated and quit because the world isn’t handing them their dreams on a silver platter, the more money I make.

              I love it when politicians quit, as so many inWashington are doing now. Thank God this old guard Baby Boomer mentality that so screwed our planet and their children’s future is going as well. Another 20 years and all of you will be dead or in the home and we can finally roll up our sleeves that you folks were too argumentative and incompetent to do anything about.

              It’s the sense of entitlement that you older folks have that makes your kids turn their heads in disgust whenever you bring up how unfair the world is.

              Then why didn’t you do anything about it?

              Baby Boomer Generation – sandwiched right between two that had to do all the work.

              Thanks for everything.

            • So are you a little indignant then?

              Listen, face facts, like I have: There are no answers to be had in the political system. The only possible avenue to change is ground level organization. I worked the entire decade of the 90’s in Montana on environmental issues. The enviros have the system pegged – they knew the politicians were bought, adn so sidestepped that system and used the courts. And won. That’s why your boys Tester and Baucus have so busy making it illegal to sue their financiers. But hey – they’re Democrats, right? Lesser evil?

              The best and most powerful organizing that ever went on was organized labor, which your Democrats have shitcanned too. With labor behind him, FDR had the power to do the things he did.

              We don’t have ground-level organizing now. What the hell is your point? You’re going to be one guy, and you won’t even be able to trust your own party, as too many Republicans run as Democrats, given that there is no accountability.

              So lecture me some more, why dontcha.

  • My son write a fairly good piece about the tar sands for his first shot at blogging. After seeing the devastation of what fighting for Oil does to places like Vietnam and Iraq. We both feel America is kinda going through the same battles now without bombs. the Tar sands is something far more toxic.

    By the way Don he has always liked your site. whenever he gets leave which is usually just a lot of showers, sleep and reading the internet, he reads you.

    • Today I learned that Vietnam was about oil.

      The Keystone oil will be refined in Texas and exported, by the way. The US does not need it, but Texas refineries are running short of crude.

      • Vietnam was about Oil and Rubber. It was about protecting the French Economy so we could continue to get those products cheap. and you didn’t know that? Jeez?

        The Oil refineries in Texas are owned by the Chinese and the Saudis now…. so where the hell have you been Mark all this time? Ye of so little information and lots of dumb Colorado Opinion????

  • like usual my comments are being censored by Don. So time for more cat and mouse. Cant censor people just because you don’t like their opinion Donnyboy. Especially with Larr Vags pottymouth on all your sites.

    • Cat and mouse? Nah, more like hide and seek! YOU still hidin’ behind cutsie names and seeking to get a rise outta folks! Sad, so sad, Pathetic really. You know what they say, cutsie names equals cutsie little fella! Are you a cute little fella? Jus’ wonderin’.

    • For the most part, I delete your comments because of the assault on the English language they represent. If you were to post something substantive without a juvenile slur included, I’d be happy to let you post.

      Your choice.

  • Hey Don,

    Both this larry Vagg and the other idiot are using porn for their websites, and it is probably the same guy. I believe you can safely rid us if their vulgar selves considering they are just GOP operatives? Just saying!

  • I recently read this piece at LiTW.

    I don’t believe that John has very much experience or understanding of life outside outside of the military, therefore it is my opinion that he is not a good choice for this era we are living in because of that…

    I understand that there are people who cling to the belief that John Walsh is Montana’s last best hope of keeping the senate in Democratic hands. I strongly disagree and am willing to back that belief up with a list of reasons if anyone wants to hear them let me know because this post has been in the making for over a week already.

    I think that most people understand that Denise Juneau and Monica Lindeen are natural first choices here, but their jobs are so crucial to our well being and that the parties who want to derail our public schools and the health insurance expansion that was able to get through the U.S. Congress after something like 80 or a hundred years are so well funded that the timing just does not work now…

    BTW, it’s not R reaction that determines whether the Walsh appointment is the right choice. Rather the voter turnout will. The projected youth vote will be dismal this time.
    I think Carla Augustad has it right about Denise Juneau and Monica Lindeen. Both would have been much better. Previously I thought Walsh would be a shoe in. No more. The lastest poll from January data has Daines ahead by 14 points. BTW James Connor’s latest is worth a read as it touches on Bullock’s appointments.

  • Amazing, excellent site shape! How extended have you ever been blogging and site-building to get? you create blogging and site-building look uncomplicated. The actual look of your website is fantastic, not to say the information!

  • Maybe we can get Zinkster and Walsh the wash in office!!! a military duo for some super funtime in DC backing the US military industrial complex. It wont cost us a dime or another young soldier, we can trust em!!!

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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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