By now we’ve all been deluged by the somber mantras of ads in the Republican Senate primary that Matt Rosendale and Troy Downing have flooded the public square with.
You know, the go-to talking points that government needs to be run like a business, vote for me because I mean business and I am a businessman (not ever woman). The image to be burned into the eyeballs of voters is one of a hard-nosed businessman, with an accountant’s visor focused on the bottom line, rooting out waste fraud and abuse and whipping lazy, recalcitrant bureaucrats into a level of efficiency found only in the sacred private sector.
You get the picture.
But it seems that these two fellas in particular (don’t get me started on the Willy Hortonesque ads of Russ Fagg or moon shot auras of Dr. Al) have a nasty problem with certain elementary facts, primarily geography, like where they live. You’d expect a shrewd businessman to actually know where they live, or where they operate this thing they operate called a “business.”
Let’s take Matt first. We’ve heard, from him, that he’s an experienced, realtor, wildly successful out in Maryland. Turns out after he struck it rich and headed west he became a Montana rancher (note not a bona fide cowboy). Unfortunately for him while finishing up the paperwork on one of his deals, somebody else he now says, mistakenly checked a box which enabled him to qualify for a nifty tax break given to citizens of Maryland. The problem is that at the very same time he was claiming to be a resident of Montana, fundamental that you can’t be a resident of two different states at the same time. The old saw is that no job is finished until the paperwork is done. Do we really want such a businessman to be our United States Senator? One who doesn’t bother to check and re-check the bottom line, apparently doesn’t know where he lives and lamely blames his own negligence on some staffer?
And now we turn to ‘ol Troy, the suntanned California winery owner, part-time denizen of the elite village of Big Sky and tough as nails businessman. Seems that Troy wanted to join in our hunting heritage so much (it looks good in political ads) he claimed for years to be a full-time resident of Montana and qualified for the much cheaper Montana hunting and fishing licenses. Now to be fair, he managed to get his trial for such possible chicanery moved until after the primary so this may be speculation, but he has cleverly exposed the existence of a deep state cabal of wildlife biologists in the stodgy Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department that is out to get him.
However, a few questions remain, when he was picking up those licenses, was he, as a resident of Montana paying income taxes in this state? And, did he pay those taxes at the same time he was getting the licenses or did he cleverly file Montana taxes later and amend them to apply to those years? You’d think a fella with such investigative and deductive skills would know enough not to get into trouble in the first place – California wine country or Big Sky, tough to confuse those two places, but its possible and time will tell.
Bottom line, for all you voting business people out there, do we want either of these birds to be strutting their plumage in the US Senate when neither of them really knows where it is that they should migrate home to?
I mean business.