Montana Politics

I wonder if they go hunting together?

No, not Troy Downing and Donald Jr.  From prairie dogs to elephants, those two will shoot anything. This is about a Missoula candidate who is stumping for Downing.

It’s heads-up for folks living in Missoula’s Senate District 49. Here’s a map of the district. The incumbent is Democrat Diane Sands. Sands served in the legislature on-and-off since 1996. To say Sands is a well-respected member of the that body would be an understatement.

Candidates from the Republican, Libertarian and Green Party have filed to run against her.

I used to thrill at the site of Chase Reynolds zigging, zagging, spinning and running over people on his way to the end zone. He was a running back for the Montana Grizzlies from 2006 – 2009.

As a Grizzly, he rushed for 1,500 yards as a junior and senior, breaking UM’s single-season touchdown record with 22 in 2008, then tying it as a senior in 2009.

Pretty good stats. He then played in the NFL for six years on special teams for the St. Louis/L.A. Rams.

Does that make him a good candidate for the Montana Legislature? Unfortunately, no.

Shift gears to the U.S. Senate race and it’s hard to tell who’s the farthest to the right. Trump-loving candidates Downing and Auditor Matt Rosendale are vying for top hard-right credentials but Judge Russ Fagg and Doc Albert Olszewski don’t lag far behind. Downing could be the most regressive of the bunch, though.

Here’s the email I got from Downing today:


Former University of Montana Grizzly and NFL running back Chase Reynolds is one of the newest supporters of Troy’s bid to unseat Jon Tester!

Chase hasn’t been keeping up with the news. Downing, of questionable Montana residency, is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s choice. This lends credence to Downing’s anti-government, anti-science, anti-public lands reputation. Downing isn’t too fond of immigrants, either. From an earlier Montana Post story on a Downing fundraising plea:

“Jon Tester voted AGAINST a bipartisan measure that would have cut off funding to sanctuary cities,” said Downing.

First of all, it was hardly a bipartisan measure. The vote was 54-45 (it needed 60 votes to pass). Sen. Tester voted to allow cities to make up their own minds in shielding immigrants from ICE’s (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s) Gestapo tactics. But 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!”

Yeah, right – “liberal extremist Jon Tester.” The liberal extremists I’m aware of don’t share that view of the Senator.

There’s also Downing’s hunting license fiasco, ergo the headline for this post. He’s headed to court on May 23 to answer to the charges. What does Reynolds think about Downing’s questionable license acquisitions? Will he be hunting with Downing?

If Chase is really supporting Downing, then he doesn’t represent the majority of constituents in SD-49. A great running back doesn’t necessarily translate to a good state senator, and backing Downing raises some serious questions about his judgement.

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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