Daines and Gianforte Supporters Issue Terroristic Threat to AG Candidate, DPHHS Workers, and Law Enforcement Over Vape Ban

It’s far past time for the Montana Republican Party and its leaders to denounce the lawless violence of the anti-government, militia movement in this state before someone gets killed.

The latest in a long line of Republican-supported extremists are Deanna and Ron Marshall (a candidate for House District 87) of Freedom Vapes, who lost their minds this weekend following the news last Friday that the state would begin its enforcement of a ban on flavored tobacco products following the expiration of a temporary stay issued by a Ravalli County judge.

In a series of posts on Deanna Marshall posted her plan to begin “armed resistance” against enforcement of the ban, a photograph of a $10,000 gun, a M82 Barrett sniper rifle that can only be described as a weapon of war, and a series of attacks on Attorney General candidate Raph Graybill, who is spearheading the governor’s legal effort to keep candy-flavored nicotine out of the hands of children culminating in his logo with a red circle crudely drawn over it.

It’s chilling stuff, meant to intimidate and threaten those who would enforce the government’s order and represents just another step in the escalation of rhetoric and violence that have for so long been tolerated by the Republican Party in Montana.

I’ve attached some images of the posts here.

The Marshalls are hardly anonymous members of yet another Ravalli County fringe group. As photos below show, they meet regularly with Republican leaders, boasting on Facebook of invitations to Greg Gianforte’s home and their meetings with other Republicans like Steve Daines, Matt Rosendale, Ted Cruz, and Republican AG candidate Austin Knudsen.

Photos below:

And that is precisely why Republican leaders like Gianforte, Daines, Rosendale, and Knudsen must speak out against this dangerous set of the threats and condemn those who would use tactics of intimidation and threats to law enforcement officers and government workers charged with inspection and enforcement of the law.

While Gianforte has both taken money from and donated to white supremacists, Rosendale has spoken at militia rallies, and Daines has given interviews to militia media outlets, perhaps the greatest onus falls on Knudsen, who is running to be the person who oversees Montana’s legal system. He must demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, even if it means alienating an influential potential Republican supporter.

Reasonable people can disagree about how the government regulates vaping. I, for one, commend the governor and Graybill for protecting Montana kids but understand that others disagree. What is clear–what must be clear, though–is that we cannot tolerate members of society issuing terroristic threats because they oppose changes in the law.

It’s far past time for those who have enabled and empowered dangerous anti-government sentiment to fester in the Montana GOP to speak up and condemn it. It’s time for Republican leaders from Gianforte to Knudsen to stand up for the rule of law.

And it’s time to hold them accountable for their failure to do so.

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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  • I had never heard of an M82 Barrett, so I looked it up. It shoots a .50 caliber bullet. As one enthusiastic owner described it, if shot into someone’s torso from any distance less than a mile, “it will rip the person in half.” I’m always thrilled to see large caliber weapons in the hands of militant GOP wackos.

  • So Tester says don’t build the wall like he knows how the meth gets to Montana and a lady was found slumped over the body of her daughter in her vehicle in September in Butte, Montana. An autopsy determined the baby died of suffocation, and blood tests showed Nickerson had methamphetamine in her system.

    I think I will stay with Daines and Gianforte and you guys keep up with your hate and lies. Good luck.

  • Your a complete tool, and everything in this blog, post whatever you wanna call it is a lie, they are not extremists, they are not making terroristic threats and your an idiot to even think so. How can you make these conclusions without knowing them or even talking to them? so many things are taken out of context and without any understanding of these people and because of you, painting them in a negative light. YOU’RE LIES are going to hurt them. But that’s probably because your the typical, left wing , “everyone should think and act like me” nut job.

    • Seriously, man. “Your” is used to indicate a possessive. “You’re” is used to mean “you are.” You managed to get that wrong all three times. That’s some third grade content you might want to work on.

      Perhaps more important, though, explain how I took “armed resistance will begin at my stores” out of context? What did it mean?

      • Grammar nut confirmed. Dude it’s the internet no one other than a teacher or lawyer cares that much about super good grammar.

        How bout I rip all your lies to shreds instead.

        You said the restraining order against the flavor ban had expired, it has not, it is still in effect until the JUDGE renders a verdict either killing the ban or letting in continue. That means that Graybill, the DHHS and Bullock are actually doing something unlawful, and unconstitutional by acting like dictators and trying to enforce it anyway. There’s a reason we have a court system in place.

        Where in ANY of those photos does it say ARMED resistance? All I saw was resistance against tyranny, there can be resistance without violence ya know. Look at Martin Luther, he resisted without violence and firearms and changed everything.

        You added the ARMED part because they shared photos of firearms, big woop, you realize this isn’t California right? It’s Montana, we Montanans kinda love our guns here so yeah there’s gonna be photos of guns on many peoples pages, so again I say, you are a tool.

        And I wanna say it again

        WHERE does it say “armed resistance against tyranny at my stores” ? None of those photos show it, all she said was “there will be resistance at my stores” so there’s another lie YOU started.

        Maybe you need new eyes?

        • No, actually, I think people who can communicate care about grammar.

          Literally look at the comments on the photos and then tell me where I am lying.

          Deanna Marshall wrote in a comment on her own post that “armed resistance will begin at my stores at 1pm on Wednesday.” It’s right there, and it has been since the post went live.

          It’s right there. Looking forward to your apology for calling me a liar.

          As for the TRO issue, I’ll put my faith in the analysis of someone who graduated from one of the top law schools in the country over someone bravely posting under a pseudonym online.

          • Sure believe what ya want I know the TRO is still in effect cause you can find it in the ravalli county court sites, also not gonna apologize for anything, I stand by what I said. You are a tool and a liar. And here’s a fun thing to note just for the sake of argument.

            In montana it’s Illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or even have anything related to vaping, so this “ban on flavors so the children can’t get them” is stupid in the first place. Why not ban the sale of flavored alcohols while we are at it cause they can be “marketed to children” to.

            • Great talk. If you can’t even manage to acknowledge a simple fact, how can we possibly have a discussion on a subject?

              It’s indisputable that Mrs. Marshall said there would be armed resistance at her stores. Indisputable.

              If you can acknowledge that, I’m happy to discuss the rest with you, but what would be the point if you’re unwilling to admit you were wrong about a basic fact?

              Your move.

      • Is that all you have? Grammar errors? Your lies and misleading comments about someone that don’t even know are telling of your bias and single mindedness. Why don’t you just call up the stairs to grandma to bring you some lunch and get back to your video games. You are a nothing burger and always will be.

  • Smarty pants Inglish teachur.
    But let’s talk about FRAUD! That photo of mountains in Mr. Stache’s Facebook feed is the Teton Range in Wyomin and Eyedeehoe; it’s not even in Montanny!
    Fraud by the state gummint. Tis’ a sin to covet thy neighbor’s possessions … even their mountains.

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