It’s Time for California’s Troy Downing to Stop Blaming FWP For His Misdeeds

One thing is certain about California’s Troy Downing: when his absurd, vainglorious bid for the US Senate is challenged by the little people who perhaps don’t appreciate his concern about the “noveau riche” or his 2,000 vine personal vineyard, he’ll throw anyone under any damn bus available rather than accepting responsibility for his own actions.

As the Montana Post first reported in August of 2017, Downing has always had very questionable residency status for a Senate candidate. As we noted then, Downing was telling a local news outlet that Fallbrook, California was home in 2015, and the candidate only offered a series of vague claims about just when he had come to Montana.

It seems the Montana Post wasn’t the only group watching, as FWP wardens and the Department of Revenue noticed that the Californian was hunting in Montana as if he were a resident. From there, Freddy Monares at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has done some excellent reporting showing that Downing was still taking tax breaks for a primary residence in California.

All that sets up a majestic court filing from Downing who is desperate to get out from under these charges in time to lose to Matt Rosendale in the Republican Primary. Rather than accepting responsibility for either willfully breaking the law or ignorance of it, Downing blames almost every other person possible for his misdeeds. The Chronicle reports that Downing blamed:

  • his past accountants.
  • The FWP warden who didn’t tell him to adjust his returns.
  • Montana law which requires a person to actually spend 180 consecutive days in the state he purports to live in.
  • “The Orwellian, Big Brother” FWP for enforcing residency requirements.

Downing’s laughable attacks on law enforcement and game wardens are nothing new; they’re part of the constant barrage of criticism directed at government agencies by Republicans to delegitimize them and Downing’s assertions that multiple accountants are to blame hardly offers a compelling reason to elect someone running on his business acumen.

Most of all, though, Downing’s refusal to simply accept responsibility for his own actions best illustrates that, while he may visit here once in awhile, he’s not learned that one of the ways Montanans measure each other is their commitment to personal responsibility.

It wasn’t the deep state that broke the law, Mr. Downing; nor was it your accountants who made mistakes. We know–just as you know–that it was a rich non-resident who fell in love with Montana and all it had to offer, but who just wasn’t willing to pay the cost to be here.

And now he’s trying to buy his way out of accepting justice and willing to smear everyone else to get away with 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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