A Troy Downing Update: He Hasn’t Been a Montana Resident Long

After my post about Troy Downing this morning, a tipster sent along something I didn’t discover in my brief research today. It turns out that Mr. Downing, who has been very vague about how long he’s lived in Montana, was calling Fallbrook, California home just over two years ago.

From Fallbrook.org on April 2015:

An avid aviator, golfer, snowboarder, hunter, fisherman, and father of four, Downing enjoys a quiet family life in Fallbrook. One of his greatest passions is the ongoing cultivation of his home vineyard which now boasts 2,000 vines.

And, in a fascinating claim from someone who takes a personal taxidermist along with him on hunting trips, has a 2,000 vine vineyard, flies a personal Russian fighter jet for fun, and lives at the exclusive Yellowstone Club:

One might expect that a family as successful as the Downings would live somewhere more posh – but they chose the same town the rest of us did – Fallbrook.

When asked what he loves about Fallbrook, Downing said, “the seclusion and separateness. It’s nice to have land without the price tag, you don’t get the “Robb Report” crowd or the nouveau riche.”

I’ll leave it to others to evaluate Mr. Downing’s assessment of his role inventing the Internet as we know it, but his own words make it clear that he has certainly not been a full-time resident of Montana for very long at all and telling the truth about that is probably the best option for his long-shot candidacy.

During the 2016 race for the House, there was a lot of attention paid to Ryan Zinke’s residency status and a newspaper in California reported he was a resident there. It will be interesting to see if anyone in the media pushes Mr. Downing to establish the duration of his residency here in the state, especially given his campaign rhetoric about being so well-positioned to represent Montana values.

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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    • Yeah, most of us old folks…left the moment we received our diploma…leaving room for the crowd who could afford to get jobs here….. I still call Montana home… and realized it shaped my character…Visit Bozeman as often as possible. Keep up the good work. Just think…what a bastion of liberal, independent and union people…lived in the western part.

  • ” …you don’t get the ‘Robb Report’ crowd or the nouveau riche,” Downing said of his Fallbrook, Calif., home. And I’m sure he won’t find any of that action at the Yellowstone Club.

  • Given his expertise in building storage units, perhaps Downing should retire from politics and instead save the nation by building bomb shelters, some at highway robbery prices that would qualify for the Robb Report (which can be spelled with only one “b”).

  • Out of curiosity, how many years must someone live and vote in Montana before you no longer label and criticize him or her for being an out-of-state or “not from Montana” candidate? Is it 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30+ years? Or, do you consider anyone not born and raised in Montana, regardless of length of residence in this state, unfit to serve in office and deserving criticism?

    • Nope. I think I spell it out pretty clearly in the posts.

      Mr. Downing is running around the state saying that he better understands Montanans better than Senator Tester, which is a fascinating position for someone to take when you could count the number of times he’s voted on Jon Tester’s fingers.

      He wasn’t a Montanan two years ago. In his own words.

  • You haven’t been clear, Don.

    You’re criticizing Downing for his brief residence in Montana. You have recently criticized Gianforte and Rosendale for their out of state upbringing and gave them the negative monikers “Maryland Rosendale” and “New Jersey Gianforte”. Gianforte has lived in Montana over 22 years. Rosendale has lived in Montana 16 years.

    Based on Bryan post, he believes Mike Mansfield was unfit to serve at Senator of Montana because he wasn’t born in Montana.

    So again, how many years must someone live and vote in Montana before you no longer label and criticize him or her for being an out-of-state not from Montana candidate?

    • You should direct your observations about Mr. Rosendale’s residency to both Judge Fagg from Billings and the Super PAC that Ryan Zinke ran. Seems more effective for you to direct your concern to members of your own party.

      And my criticism of Mr. Gianforte was not based on his place of birth but his worldview that matches some of the worst of Jersey. I always felt he displayed the values of the Sopranos. Turns out I was right.

      • Don, you used a lot of ink these past few years with your cartoons and posts criticizing Republican candidates over their out of state residency before moving to Montana. I am looking forward to your equally harsh condemnation of Democrats running for US Congress who moved to Montana from other states. Recently announced John Heenan moved to Montana from Pennsylvania. Another soon to announce Democrat moved to Montana from Colorado barely 12 years ago.

        • I didn’t realize I was a cartoonist.

          And we have a deal. As soon as you publish (under your name) criticism of Secretary Zinke, his SuperPAC, and Judge Fagg for their wholly inappropriate criticism of Matt Rosendale’s residency, I will retract my criticism of Mr. Downing.

          Even though he’s only ever voted in Montana three times.

      • Bryan, looks like you may not have many options (or possibly no options) when it comes to voting for a Democratic candidate in the upcoming US Congressional race. Billings attorney John Heenan is a Pennsylvania native and the second soon to announce Democrat is from Colorado.

    • I’m pretty sure Troy Downing was a regular in Big Sky in late 1990s before he signed up for the military after 9/11. Wealthy people like him rarely live in town year ’round.

  • I’ve seen Downing around Big Sky since the late 90s. It’s a small town. It’s not like he just got here. Apparently, he made a fortune with Yahoo! on the startup. And…I’ll repeat… his house is in Big Sky near the town center, not in the Yellowstone Club. And yes, I’ve seen his fighter jet fly over. He donates flights for charity auction at our local school. He signed up for the military after 9/11 and flew missions in Middle East. Don’t see that every day from a millionaire. Interesting guy. Worth a look as a candidate.

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