How far right do you have to go for the Montana GOP?

The website is titled Excellence in Voting. It quotes other sources, like the The Glacial Group, which targets Montana RINOS. They are both Montana faux news sites from the far right (although a website or any additional information on The Glacial Group is nowhere to be found*).

But if the names on the targeted list are considered RINOs (Republican In Name Only), it speaks volumes about the direction of the Montana Republican Party.

Rodney Garcia, a pro-coal, state representative out of Billings is listed. He’s the fellow who said killing socialists was a Constitutional right. Republican stalwarts Walt Sales and Nancy Ballance are considered “left-wing.” (Maybe once or twice they voted for a moderate, bipartisan bill.)

There are other names on the list — Bruce Tutvedt, Frank Garner, Denley Loge — all conservative Republicans. Their names are filed under this heading:

The following is a list of left-wing/moderate/RINO Republicans that should not be elected to office in Montana.

The Glacial Group says its mission “is to support present and future candidates for political leadership positions in Montana who are Constititonalist Patriots.”

Some of the other websites promoted by Excellence in Voting (motto: Demanding Excellence from All Montana Public Servants) are the Northwest Liberty News (motto: PICKING THE LOCK ON THE SHACKLES OF TYRANNY) and the Montana Daily Gazette. While the sites are a mix of Alex Jones conspiracy theories and pro-Trump talking points, they also rank Republican candidates. For example, not just content to bash RINOs, the Gazette endorses Cliven Bundy-style candidates like Jim Buterbaugh and Theresa Manzella. Of the Manzella race for state senate, the Gazette says:

This race is especially important. Few left-of-center Republicans are more prolific in their dishonest misrepresentations of themselves as conservatives as is Manzella’s opponent, Nancy Ballance. Her campaign literature, in extreme dishonesty, paints Manzella as a liberal. Voters need to understand the amount of false advertising present in this particular campaign.

First, I’ve never heard Ballance described as “left-of-center” and second, I’d like to see the literature that paints anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-vaxxer Manzella as a liberal.

Coming soon to the Excellence in Voting site is the Montana Hall of Shame. It will be interesting to see which conservatives are tarred and feathered in that column.

If the Montana Republican Party moves any farther to the right, it’s going to fall off the edge of the Earth.

(*UPDATE: I did discover one thing about Excellence in Voting after taking a closer look at the site. The treasurer is listed as Ray Thompson, undoubtedly the same Ray Thompson who started the Semitool semiconductor manufacturing plant in Kalispell and sold it in 2009 for $364 million. He’s a well-known conservative Christian in the Flathead and beyond. Here’s a Flathead Beacon/Mother Jones article about him loaning his jet to the Tea Party Patriots.)





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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • When people like Skees and Downing are too much for you, there’s this podcast bunch. Essentially teabaggers who can’t go full sociopath.

    Montana Values Podcast
    Will the real RINOs please stand up!

    • I was not aware of these podcasts. Thanks, Doug, interesting. I listened to one and will listen to more as time permits.

      • And on the other hand.

        Bullock-Cooney team, one in the same. Bullock based on policies from presidential run and vetoes.

        This is for 2019 only. Blocked 36 Republican-sponsored bills, including an effort to reduce prescription drug prices (Senate Bill 71) and an anti-abortion measure (House Bill 500). He also vetoed bills that would have exempted some Social Security benefits from state income taxes (Senate Bill 217) and given telecom companies property-tax breaks in an effort to promote rural broadband development (Senate Bill 239). Bullock also allowed seven measures to become law without his signature, letting his 10-day deadline to either sign or veto them expire. Among that number were measures requiring the state health department to share data with legislative analysts (House Bill 433) and preventing homeowner associations from adding new covenants without property owner consent (SB 300), SB266 revise tax to promote new business and economic activity, SB329 extension of state coal leases, SB330 authorize sports gambling, House Bill 262 consumer protection and fund transfers, HB394 property tax appeal process, HB482 agency reporting on financial assistance to tribes, HB487 include hydropower in renewable power supply, HB534 increase penalties for fifth DUI, HB735 campus free speech.

        Furthermore, Supports sanctuary cities. buy back for assault weapons, climate plan includes quickly transitioning to clean energy such as wind and solar power, setting emissions-reduction targets for federal agencies and the military, and reengaging in global climate efforts, keep Obamacare and modify, reverse Trump’s efforts to weaken automobile fuel efficiency standards and instead seek to strengthen them, opposed to the deployment of military forces along the southern U.S. border to enforce immigration policy. reverse the so-called global gag rule, which blocks U.S. aid funding to foreign organizations that perform or advocate for abortion services, reverse 2017 tax reform, opposes Trump’s expand the wall on the U.S. southern border. would rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, would end Trump’s use of tariffs, negotiate new trade agreements that “expand markets for American businesses,” blames “decades of governmental incompetence” for Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis, increasing aid to the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, rejoin the Paris Agreement.

        Forces the state to a Montana Supreme Court decision to support Bullock circumventing the land board review for easements because no definition as a land purchase. More lost revenue in perpetuity for leases for mineral rights owners and no future development of oil, gas or minerals.

        Attorney General Candidates that when directly questioned if they would continue Montana’s fight against Washington State’s push to stop building a coal terminal, they responded they would not support this fight. More lost revenue for Montana, including schools and jobs.
        This indicates no support of the Keystone pipe line. Keystone now blocked for approximately 10 years with the help of Obama and Tester. Keystone was slated to start last month but a Montana Obama appointed judge has blocked it again.

        Montana Department of Revenue, said that based on estimates of costs supplied by TransCanada, the company will pay about $80.3 million in total Montana property taxes in its first year of operation. Of that $16.3 million will go to the equalization fund. The university system will get another $1 million. The rest — about $63 million — will be divided among the counties and school district within the counties, as well as other tax districts like fire, cemetery and soil conservation districts. Lost revenue for 10 years now. You figure it out.

        UC Berkley Kathleen Williams, what more do I need to say. Montana’s AOC? Mouth piece for Chuck Schumer Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. Much the same as Bullock, who is looking for that cherry job in the DC swamp.

        Melissa Romano, I won’t go into the misfortune there.

        • Quite a lengthy comment. Thoughtful and puzzling at the same time. So much speculation of political shifting suggests a possible
          recognition of a major change coming.

  • Those stupid, neanderthal, unenlightened, regressive republicans!

    Don’t they know that truly enlightened, “progressive”people support the following:

    -murder of unborn children up until birth, and even after birth
    -denial of the scientific fact of biological sex. Heck, if a 55 year old man thinks he’s a female and wants to use the lady’s room with your daughter, you’re an intolerant bigot if you disagree. Off to the reeducation camp, comrade!
    -Borders and immigration enforcement are “racist”. We must have open borders! Who cares if the people coming in were killers in their country of origin!
    – Door to door gun confiscation of AR-15s. Just ask Beta (not a typo) O’Rourke, who Biden wants to appoint to his cabinet.

    This is just one of many components of the platform of the Democratic party 2020! Isn’t it great! This is “progress”! The right to life, border protection, and the second amendment is for unenlightened regressive morons. We’re “Progressive”. We know what’s right for you fools! Vote blue in 2020!

  • Pete,
    I am a longtime Bitterroot resident who is agonizing over voting Dem or Republican in the primary. Manzella is running in my district, and the idea of having her as my state senator makes my head explode. I vote straight dem in the general election, but sometimes vote for the lesser of two evils in the repub primary as there is slim, slim chance that the Dem will win the general in my area. Still, there are a couple of candidates in the Dem primary that I am excited about, but am unsure they are “a lock” to win. What to do? What to do? Thoughts?

    • It’s a tough call, Chris. I don’t think I’ve ever crossed over to vote Republican but that’s because there are usually important, contested primaries on the Dem. ballot. There’s an example of this on the Ravalli County Democratic ballot: Margaret Gorski (a great candidate!) and who would be facing Manzella or Ballance (hopefully) in the general election, has a primary opponent by the name of Timothy Gibney. He is actually a Republican shill. We don’t want him to win the primary, although I don’t think he will. Still… And unless you can get a bunch of people to cross over to the Republican ticket, you’re swimming upstream. I’d say just let the chips fall where they may in the Republican primary, and hope that Ballance wins, and do everything you can to support and advance Democratic candidates in your district. That’s my humble opinion.

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