Is There A Bigot Left in Montana the Rosendale Team Hasn’t Associated With? Where is the Montana Media On These Connections?

Back in June, I identified three ways Matt Rosendale could keep the race with Jon Tester competitive. One was Trumpian mendacity, a willingness to lie about things easily disproven and countered by the candidate’s own words and actions. We’ve seen that in his transparently false claims to be a rancher, his claim to support veterans despite repeatedly voting against them, and his suggestion that he’d “drain the swamp” despite campaign finance practices and associations that would make Art Wittich blush.

The past two days have seen another effort to construct a narrative that just doesn’t square with the facts. Rosendale has spent, as we have noted, two days of his campaign for the U.S. Senate claiming that Jon Tester is a bad, bad

If Senator Tester deserves breaking news coverage, why doesn’t Matt Rosendale, whose campaign has repeatedly chosen to make its affiliation with violent bigots public, deserve the same level of attention and scrutiny?
person because a campaign poster produced for Pearl Jam upset Rosendale. He called it “reprehensible and disgusting,” and his surrogates have gone so far as to suggest that the poster is somehow inciting violence.

But here’s the truth, even if the watchdogs in the Montana press won’t run it unless it becomes a Breitbart story: the Rosendale campaign has repeatedly associated itself with people whose words and deeds are far more troubling than a poster at a rock concert could ever be.

Consider today’s tweet from Team Rosendale:

Who’s Brian Kenat, you ask? He’s a confidant and former employee of Rosendale’s good buddy Senator Jennifer Fielder, and he is a homophobic racist who has advocated violence far more overtly than the Pearl Jam poster that caused Rosendale to have a dizzy spell for 48 hours.

As we have reported before, the Rosendale campaign has tweeted out photos of the candidate with Senator David Howard, who called for President Obama to be killed like Trayvon Martin was, called for a Civil War if Obama was re-elected, made racist remarks about Montana Indians, and argued that homosexuality somehow caused a terrorist attack, among many other crimes against civility and decency.

Team Rosendale also posted a photo with Tim Ravndal, who was actually kicked out of one of the most conservative groups in the state because he endorsed the murder of Matthew Sheperd in Wyoming.

Earlier this week, Rosendale met with Retired General Paul Vallely (far right in the photo and in life) who called for a coup against President Obama and who argued that the only reason Americans hadn’t risen up against him was their ““fear of a black uprising.”

Rosendale also, as we have reported, attended a political rally with Chuck Baldwin, a virulently anti-Semitic preacher who has also called for armed insurrection and who dreams of a white ethnostate. Oh, and he attended one of his church services, too, in addition to liking his page and his ministry’s page on Facebook.

And, just for fun, Rosendale also liked the Facebook page of Montana white supremacist Taylor Rose until at least October 2017, well after he was finally exposed by the Montana media.

This all leads me to question something fairly obvious. If Senator Tester, who neither saw nor approved the Pearl Jam concert poster, deserves front page, BREAKING NEWS coverage for potentially endorsing uncivil behavior, why doesn’t Matt Rosendale, whose campaign has repeatedly chosen to make its affiliation with violent bigots public, deserve the same level of attention and scrutiny?

I understand that this blog doesn’t have the sterling reputation of the good people at Breitbart, who mocked outrage about death threats against journalists, but maybe the people of Montana deserve to see the kind of people the Rosendale campaign associates with even if a blogger was the first person to report it. You don’t even have to name our site, but you should have to tell the whole truth, not just report trumped up hysterics from one side.

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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