Quick Takes: Rosendale Gets TEA, Daines Gets an Audience, Wittich Gets Paranoid, and More

On Thursday, Matt Rosendale announced that he had received the endorsement of the TEA Party Express. It seems that Rosendale has solidified the conservative wing of the party and many of its leaders. The only question seems to be whether that will be sufficient to overcome Senator Zinke’s well-financed campaign and flexible ideological positions.

You really have to read this story by Charles Johnson about State Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich. Faced with charges of campaign violations by Commissioner Motl, Wittich offered a simple answer in a motion before District Court: the charges against him are the result of a massive conspiracy conducted by Governor Bullock, Commissioner Motl, State Senator Bruce Tutvedt, former Commissioner Jim Murry, and 20 other people.  It looks like the Clown Prince of Dark Money wants to entertain us all just a bit more before the justice he so richly deserves is served up to him.

Representative Daines made national news this week for his support of creationism, when Mother Jones reported that he’s not only held a fundraising event at a creationist museum, but believes that creationism should be taught in public schools. A truly horrifying article in Macleans suggests that the position Daines is taking isn’t one without supporters:

A national poll, conducted in March for the Associated Press, found that 42 per cent of Americans are “not too” or “not at all” confident that all life on Earth is the product of evolution. Similarly, 51 per cent of people expressed skepticism that the universe started with a “big bang” 13.8 billion years ago, and 36 per cent doubted the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years.

That audience is potentially quite a bit larger than the one he found in Drummond, where four people showed up for “Coffee with Your Congressman.”

Over in Ravalli County, there’s more fighting about what it means to be an actual Republican, this time in the primary between Senator Scott Boulanger and Representative Pat Connell. Boulanger, it seems, believes that Connell is a secret Democrat. While Connell is certainly not a Democrat, he does understand what’s wrong with the Republican Party and how dangerous their ideology has become:

“Adult life is not the same as being a toddler where you can throw a fit and hope for the best,” Connell said. “Life is about resolving our differences in a rational way. Maybe that’s called compromise. I don’t know.”

Connell can’t say for sure what’s caused the rift in his party. He thinks it comes, in part, from the fear of the current Washington administration and a 24-hour media that delivers mostly sound bites and very little detail.

“I can tell you that there’s no question in my party today there are an awful lot of folks who believe you have to be ultra-conservative to be a Republican,” he said. “I will tell you that the road to dictatorship is paved with political purity.

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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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.


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  • This is a sad, sad state of affairs.  Not only does the next, possible, Senator from Montana want creationism taught in our public schools, I see that our neighbor to the south is axing the updated national science curriculum.  Apparently, the Wyoming Board of Education doesn’t like any reference to climate change or its connection to human activity.

    Great to see moronism being advanced to the next generation.


  • *”Flexible ideological positions”! that shit made my day.  You can fool some people sometimes thinks Stinky Zinke.

  • Finally a Rosendale hit piece.

    I was thinking based on your several posts you were an exclusive Zinke stalker.

  • @Jim Barrent  Couldn’t agree more.  “Flexible ideological positions.” haha! This will surely come back to haunt Zinke if he does manage to make it out of the Primary Election.  No one – Democrat or Republican – wants to vote for someone that flips and flops on the issue of choice. And in Montana – also the issue of guns.  Things keep looking better for the Democrats in this race.

  • Just like a dog coming to his food at night, you guys rally around elections. I’d feel better about the human condition if you had to be coerced or deeply fooled. But you sink your heads in voluntarily. It’s all you want, validation via elections. Nothing else matters.

  • Interesting.  There are a lot of quite conservative candidates in this race, though, who are going to split the vote, otherwise I’d say Zinke is in trouble.  Thanks for the candor, Swede.

  • Pete Talbot  
    Rosendale and Stapleton?  pretty equal voting records with Rosendale being a bit more conservative than the latter.  Craziest candidate wins right>

  • Brown has a great idea there, and Democrats will avoid him like Cliff Claven at a party. Democrat leaders too want to privatize Social Security, the only thing stopping them the immense popularity of the program. They are a far bigger threat to SS that Republicans, who fall on their swords when they go after it. So it is that right around the midpoint of the boom bust cycle, we hear privatization talk. Watch yer back. Obama might spring it on us.
    (Google “How Monica Saved Social Security” by Robin Blackburn to find out how incredibly close Clinton was to springing privatization on us, even to the point where they had discussed the number of digits we would have in our account numbers and data entry time involved.)

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