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Scum-sucking dogs: a compendium

It’s not an exhaustive list by any means. It’s mostly from messages I’ve received in my email inbox over the last couple of weeks from conservative candidates and causes.

I subscribed to Rep. Greg Gianforte’s various sites when he was running in the special election so I could keep track of him. Now, I get email requests from every far-right candidate and organization soliciting funds or peddling right-wing schwag.

Let’s start with Debra Lamm, chair of the Montana Republican Party, and her fundraising appeal:

Sadly, Democrats hate our President more than they love our country.

No, Ms. Lamm, the reason we hate our President – and hate is such a strong word, as I tell my grandkids – is because we love our country.

At least we love its potential at home and as a world leader: one that could advance diplomacy and peace, or clean energy and environmental sustainability, or human rights and gender, racial and economic equality.

I suppose we could just get behind hollow phrases like “Make America Great Again” and then do absolutely nothing to advance forward thinking policy at home or abroad. Anyone paying attention is aware that we are going backward, not forward.

There’s this email, too, also from the state GOP. I guess it’s supposed to be satire.

From: Chuck Schumer
To: Jon Tester
CC: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders
Subject: Good job Jon!

We can’t thank you enough for supporting our obstructionist agenda. Elizabeth, Bernie and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much we appreciate your steadfastness devotion to our liberal agenda and for putting Montanans last!

  • Thank you for joining us to shut down the government twice so we could try and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
  • Thank you for throwing words around like border security when you don’t actually support Building the Wall. Genius. I think you have Montanans fooled!
  • Thank you for voting against tax cuts and denying Montana families a paycheck increase.
  • Thank you for your support for the Iran Deal even though it means they can still develop nuclear weapons and our national security is at risk. You put Obama’s foreign policy first and that’s all that matters.
  • And finally, thank you for voting against Trump 79% of the time and voting with me 91% of the time. Who cares if Montanans overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump – we know better.

You are a loyal soldier for the liberal Party and our obstructionist agenda, and you have really fooled Montanans.

Keep up the deception!

Chuck, Elizabeth, and Bernie

I could discredit this deceit point-by-point but besides being chock full of what this administration terms “Fake News,” Tester can hardly be described as a liberal. He’s a pretty moderate guy who has had 12 bills signed into law by Trump. That’s 12 more, I believe, than Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

Then there’s the “voting against Trump 79% of the time while voting with Schumer 91% of the time.” So, for a whopping 170% of the time, Tester is voting the wrong way. Impressive.

Also, since there is no disclaimer, most of the uninformed constituents this is pandering to will actually believe this is a real letter and take it as gospel, not some alarmingly feeble attempt at humor.

Another contender for top scum-sucking dog is Republican U.S. Senate candidate and immigrant hater Troy Downing. He, too, is going after Tester — from his fundraising email:

Last week, Jon Tester voted AGAINST a bipartisan measure that would have cut off funding to sanctuary cities.

First of all, it was hardly a bipartisan measure. The vote was 54-45 (it needed 60 votes to pass) with four spineless Democrats siding with the GOP. Thank you, Sen. Tester, for your vote allowing cities to make up their own minds in shielding immigrants from ICE’s (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s) Gestapo tactics. Downing’s tirade continues:

Jon Tester filed for re-election this week. Illegal aliens and entrenched left-wing special interests are rejoicing that their favorite son Jon Tester will try again to represent them for 6 more years.

Jon Tester constantly talks about wanting to improve border security, but when it comes time to actually vote on it, he votes the way Chuck Schumer tells him to.

Help put an end to sanctuary cities! Chip in today, and let’s finally send liberal extremist Jon Tester home!

There’s that Chuck Schumer reference again. He may be eclipsing Nancy Pelosi as the GOP’s top outrage inciter. And how does one chip into Downing’s campaign? By buying a cool MAGA-like Troy Downing cap — “GET YOURS TODAY!”

An interesting aside: I haven’t received any emails from Downing primary opponent Matt Rosendale. Which Trump-humping millionaire is the Montana GOP hierarchy supporting? Maybe Rosendale just forgot to ask for the email list.

By the way, Sen. Steve “Backdoor Man” Daines is on the same anti-immigrant/sanctuary city kick. From Daines’ fundraising plea:

Kate Steinle’s name became well-known after her tragic death in 2015. The 32-year-old was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco while she was walking with her father. Kate’s death was particularly devastating since it could have been prevented had San Francisco enforced our nation’s immigration laws. San Francisco, however, is a sanctuary city.

A tragedy, yes. But the defendant was found not guilty as the jury ruled it an accidental shooting after “Garcia Zarate found the gun and it accidentally discharged, the bullet ricocheting off the ground at the pier frequented by tourists before striking the woman.”

Maybe Daines should be focusing more on gun legislation than immigrants. Yeah, right.

However, top billing for scum-sucking dog goes to Jeff Laszloffy, head charlatan of the Montana Family Foundation. Not sure what kind of Christian discriminates against transgender people but Laszloffy asks:

Is your church collecting signatures for the Montana Locker Room Privacy Initiative? It’s as easy as manning a table in the foyer for a couple of Sundays. Many churches across the state are doing just that.

The petition is all about a nonexistent problem: transgender folks supposedly sneaking into bathrooms and locker rooms to get a peak at boys or girls.

Laszloffy also released a “poll” that says 62 percent of Montanans support the initiative. There’s no mention of who did the poll or the methodology but I’d love to see some links to the polling firm. I imagine the question went something like, “do you want men showering with your teenage daughter?” Anyway, there was a plus or minus 4.62 percent margin of error, says Jeff.

It’s the Commander-in-Chief who has fanned the flames of bald-faced lying and misinformation. A quick, recent example is from his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he proclaimed his first 12 months in office are “the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.”

Granted, Democrats aren’t above using a little hyperbole in their messaging but for God’s sake, we shouldn’t resort to the kind of misinformation and propaganda that’s used by the right. We don’t have to. We can beat them on the issues.

Facts instead of fiction would be a good start in our national debates. Until then, the duplicity employed by the right is beneath contempt.

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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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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