Montana Politics

It’s Time to Decide, Senator Walsh

Senator Walsh:

It’s time for you to make a decision–not one with the input of party officials, your “most trusted senior aides,” or your campaign staff. You need to decide if you believe you are the best candidate to defeat Steve Daines, and, perhaps, more importantly, if you want to be that candidate. Frankly, I’d completely understand if you’d rather not be that candidate.

The paralysis of the past two days has only added fuel to fire of story that should have burned out days ago–and Montanans who want to prevent Steve Daines, the most conservative member of Congress in Montana’s history, from spending six years in the Senate, need to know who they’re going to back.

All the constructive advice you’re receiving doesn’t change the fact that, ultimately, the choice to go on or drop out is up to you. You’ve earned that, and we respect your judgment to make the right choice for yourself, your state, and your party.

You’ve received absolutely unfair criticism and harassment from a press obsessed with a relatively trivial matter that’s easy to editorialize about. You’ve probably received criticism from people who are more interested in furthering their own agendas than in protecting yours. And you’re probably angry, understandably so.

But you need to make a decision about this campaign. Either way, I know that you’ll fight for the people of this state until the end of your term, because that’s the kind of person you are and the kind of person you’ll continue to be.

If you decide to run, I’ll support you. I know many people will. If you decide not to seek re-election, I’ll thank you for your service to the state and its people. You put your life on the line for us in Iraq and your reputation on the line for us in the Senate. You’ve shown that you’re a man of courage and conviction. And you’ll continue to serve this state and its people after you make your decision.

I support you, Senator Walsh, but it’s time to decide.


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  • Ever helpful, I’ve written a letter of resignation for Sen. Walsh:

    An Open Letter to the People of Montana:
    It is with very deep regrets that I’ve decided to withdraw my name from the 2014 Montana senatorial election. I’m thankful for all the support so many of you have given me. It was my privilege to have gone this far with you in trying, alongside Sen. Jon Tester, to bring Montana values to the U.S. Senate.
    I will continue to serve at Montana’s junior senator until my term expires in 2015 or until Governor Bullock asks me to stand down.
    I’m withdrawing because it is obvious that an indiscretion of mine while I was attending the War College a few years ago is going to be a large distraction in the upcoming election. It is no longer possible for me to talk about issues that are important to Montanans while constantly having to defend myself against attacks based on my indiscretion.
    I hope a replacement for me will be named very soon. We Democrats need to put up someone for Senate who will be able to effectively oppose the toxic, backward-looking positions of the Republican candidate.
    Highest regards,
    John Walsh, Senator

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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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