Montana Republican groups are so desperate to get the Green Party on the ballot here in Montana that they’re once again relying on an out-of-state outfit to scam Montana voters into believing they are signing grassroots petitions to give the party ballot access.
If you run into some signature collectors in Helena, Bozeman, Missoula or other towns where they have been reported to be working, be sure to ask them who is funding the effort. It’s not Montanans; it’s the Washington D.C. based right-wing Club for Growth, who filed their form to form a committee for minor party qualification at the Commissioner of Political Practices Office on February 6.
You might be familiar with the Club for Growth. The right-wing front group that stands for the destruction of unions, gutted environmental regulations, and privatization of public education has been the single biggest funder of Matt Rosendale’s campaign for higher office and announced in July that it had already raised $250,000 for his 2020 House bid.
Their effort to qualify the Green Party is little more than a cynical ploy to maximize the value of their dark money operation: qualifying Green Party candidates who might siphon off one or two percent in close races almost certainly is more affordable than running expensive ads trying to convince people that Matt Rosendale is actually a rancher or that Steve Daines won’t give himself another massive tax cut.
Signing a petition to get the Greens on the ballot isn’t demonstrating support for more voices in our political system; it’s empowering Republicans who want to gain the system the same way they tried to do in 2018 before they got caught breaking signature gathering laws.
Back then, Republicans broke almost every campaign reporting regulation imaginable in their effort to elevate the Greens and went as far as nominating a Republican to run in one of the primaries.
This time, they’re sure to be more careful, so we must remain vigilant. Let your friends know not to sign off on these petitions, which not only undermine Montana elections but the efforts of real grassroots efforts in the state to collect signatures.
You don’t have to take my word for it that these efforts are dishonest. The Montana Green Party posted the following on their Facebook page today:
We have been receiving notice that there are people falsely collecting information on behalf of the Green Party. As of this moment, we are still in legal battle with a lawsuit against the state of MT, and in such a state are not collecting, nor have we hired or asked for volunteers to collect information this 2020cycle.
Keep in mind that for the last few years there are individuals who seek nothing more than to smear our name and mission by using very rude and impractical methods, in these cases impersonation to degrade our cause. This is an ongoing effort led by plants from the mainstream parties who wish for nothing more than to end any resistance to the two party corporate duopoly that dares toe the line.
Any individual acting in rude or suspicious behavior claiming to be collecting information on our behalf is not affiliated with our name or mission. Please report to us any information or incidents that occur.
Friends don’t let friends sign sham petitions for the Green Party. Let’s not let Matt Rosendale’s friends from the D.C. swamp interfere in yet another Montana election.