Not a Lot of “Folks for Rick Hill”


Rick Hill Fails to Rally the Base

Peaking at 78 folks, Rick Hill’s campaign Facebook group “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” has apparently folded only seven weeks after his announcement to run for Montana Governor in 2012, possibly due to a lack of folks. Lackluster support is proving to be a problem for the candidate who refers to himself as a “fixer” and “member of the Tea party before it even existed”.  Younger conservatives are distancing themselves from Hill at a rapid pace.

A closed group with the same name, created a month ago by Beth Yount Ries, remains.   She added another 24 people to the group, but only a handful of them are current members.  Notably absent are former members Rick Hill and GOP candidate for US Senate Steve Daines.

In stark contrast, campaigns for Hill’s GOP opponents feature strong and passionate support. Ken Miller’s Facebook group, Ken Miller for Governor ,  has hundreds of people “liking” it.  The group was created last summer.  Corey Stapleton‘s Facebook group, Corey Stapleton for Montana’s Governor 2012, was created most recently-after Rick Hill’s- and has a couple hundred fans.

Rumors are plaguing the Rick Hill campaign, ranging from infidelity to scandals of Conrad Burns proportions and some hope he drops out of the campaign to avoid embarrassing reluctant  supporters.   Hill, a long-time lobbyist,  has also faced criticism from  Tea party leaders and members who don’t consider him conservative enough and don’t appreciate his comments implying he was endorsed by them.  Mark French,  former GOP candidate for Montana’s US House Representative harshly criticized Hill’s voting record on the blog PolyMontana.

Prior to Hill’s announcement, he confided in friends that many Democrats had encouraged him  to run for Governor because he was more moderate than the other candidates.  Democrat Dave Wanzenreid of Missoula apparently believes Hill isn’t moderate enough as he also recently filed to run for the position.  Term limits prevent current Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer from running for reelection.

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16 thoughts on “Not a Lot of “Folks for Rick Hill”

  1. I don’t think using facebook is a way to measure actual support. Mocking facebook, for the sake of facebook is one thing. Using it as a barometer in Montana is simply not credible.

    I think the goal of all Republicans should be to build up our candidates. Not tear them down. I think that is simply pathetic. Democrats will have plenty of time to attack Republicans. We DO NOT need to help them. (Sorry, I can’t make my words big and red like you)

    • Rick Hill claims to be a “fixer”. Why can’t he fix his low number of folks? Anyway, Emma, great idea! You and the Rick Hill campaign can just continue to ignore the power of social media. Without Facebook, Obama wouldn’t be our President. Times have certainly changed while in the last decade while Hill was getting his faux law degree and playing lobbyist. If you want to kid yourself, go ahead and believe that Facebook is not a credible barometer.

      The goal of Republicans has nothing to do with building our candidates up- this is a contested primary. We can build up whoever survives after primaries, but our goal should be electing conservative candidates. Period.

      The sheer arrogance of Hill’s “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” group justifies any resulting criticism regarding his number of ‘folks’. If you don’t want anyone poking fun at your lackluster support, name your group “Rick Hill for Governor”. If you want to name to appear conceited and pathetic, name it “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill”. I’d make sure I had a LOT of folks lined up first though.

      My intentions aren’t to help Democrats attack Republicans- my intentions are to help conservative candidates get elected. Period. Hill appears to be trying to be everything to everybody. Dems think he is moderate. He says he is conservative. He alienates the Tea party by claiming to be one of them when he clearly isn’t. Who is the real Rick Hill? I think many of his supporters are more interested in a job than in what is best for Montana. I find it interesting that he has virtually no support outside of Helena…. but then again, the world’s largest social network is not a credible barometer.

      According to ABC news (link found here) “November’s elections, the candidate who more people “liked” on Facebook won in 71 percent of Senate elections. Twitter was even more accurate, with the candidates with more followers winning in 74 percent of elections.

      Facebook says it watched 118 races in the Senate and the House, and found 77 winners had more “likes” than their opponents did. Furthermore, candidates with twice as many fans as their opponent won by at least 3.9 percent.

      Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, were often better predictors of election results than how much money a candidate raised and spent, according to Facebook. In 42 of the races Facebook analyzed, the winner had more “likes” but less money”

      Fix that, Rick Hill!

  2. Said it before, will say it again, “folks” is an overused, overexposed, ubiquitous word in Washington. Watch for it from MT Senators, for example. It’s folksy, friendly, slightly condescending.

    Could be “voters”, “taxpayers”, “citizens”, “republicans”, or more simple, “people”. But it’s not, it’s “folks”.

    Kind of a William Jennings Bryan populist word, “folks” allows inferences by those listening to allow them to snuggle up comfortably as insiders, “just the common “folks” unlike those (whomever you’d like to marginalize)

  3. I do think that you are overlooking the fact that Rick Hill’s FB page has nearly 800 friends. I seriously doubt that you can fault Rick for the fact that his supporters apparently aren’t so socially-media savvy that they distinguish between the various pages.

    Rick’s support is broad and deep. Don’t underestimate his appeal. I would suggest that the quarterly finance reports may be more indicative of the potential of each campaign.

  4. If you are going to use the “who has more friends” argument, then in fairness you should use “apples to apples” comparisons, mention the time frames involved and reference Rick Hill’s personal FaceBook page that his supporters use to ‘friend’ themselves.

    Rick started his personal page the end of September 2010 (shortly before he announced he was running for governor) and as of today has 746 “friends”. This is the page Rick uses to communicate with his supporters and people who are interested in his campaign.

    Ken Miller had his personal web page up since at least 2009 and has 514 friends, most of whom were there before he announced he was running for governor. The ‘Ken Miller for Governor” group was started in June of 2010 and has 794 “people who like this”. It is fair to conclude many on Miller’s personal page and his Governor’s page are the same. In fact, both Hill and Miller have many of the same friends on each of their pages.

    Miller announced he was running for governor August 9, 2010 and has gathered 794 “people like this” comments over the SEVEN+ months his Governor’s page has been on line.

    Hill announced his candidacy three months later than Miller and has gathered 746 friends in the THREE+ months his personal page has been on line.

    These numbers are a far different and much fairer comparison than you have presented. These numbers also show that we have two candidates that are drawing growing interest from voters across Montana.

    It will be interesting to see what the first campaign financial reports show for dollars raised and number of contributors for each candidate.

    As long term committed Republicans, we expect people to be advocates for their favored candidates. But let’s at least use all the facts and use fair analysis when we offer support or criticism.

    • Wow, that is quite the scathing comment. It would, however; pack more of a punch if it was factually based- ironically, you accuse me of your own behavior. That is called projection, I’m sure you know what that is as well as why you do that so I will save my psych analysis for another time- after all, I have quite a few issues to address.

      “As long term committed Republicans, we expect people to be advocates for their favored candidates. But let’s at least use all the facts and use fair analysis when we offer support or criticism”. Actually, I’m not a long-term committed Republican nor do I have a favored candidate in this race. I do however have a least favorite candidate and I’m pretty sure you know who that is.

      “It will be interesting to see what the first campaign financial reports show for dollars raised and number of contributors for each candidate.” Oh? You haven’t seen the C5s yet? Stapleton and Hill’s are posted but it appears Miller’s is tardy. If Hill’s numbers weren’t higher than the other candidates, he would be truly pathetic as he did, although long ago, represent our state in Congress. Spending the last decade as a lobbyist/faux law student also likely provided him with some sweet financial hookups- you know how it is, you scratch my back, I will scratch yours, wink wink. There were no real surprises in the C5s though.

      “Hill announced his candidacy three months later than Miller and has gathered 746 friends in the THREE+ months his personal page has been on line.” While that is when Hill’s OFFICIAL announcement came, I was actually present at the convention in June where he told us he was running for governor. So, actually, he was sort of the FIRST one but he was the last to officially file. I’m not going to argue over such pettiness anyway- I never implied that the one with the most friends or the most money was the best candidate.

      “These numbers are a far different and much fairer comparison than you have presented. These numbers also show that we have two candidates that are drawing growing interest from voters across Montana.” To be actually fair, you would have perhaps said that these numbers show that we have THREE candidates that are drawing growing interest from voters across Montana. Your comments indicate that Miller is Hill’s only opponent but I know you are aware that there are three Republicans in the race, right? Darn, another one of those pesky FACTS you accuse me of ignoring.

      “It is fair to conclude many on Miller’s personal page and his Governor’s page are the same. In fact, both Hill and Miller have many of the same friends on each of their pages.” Sure, and since you are so worried about being fair, I will add that not only do Hill and Miller have many of the same friends on their pages, so does Stapleton. For that matter, so do I! Now to be COMPLETELY fair, I must disclose that on my personal Facebook page, I possess more friends than all candidates combined. I wonder if that would make me a better governor than them? Something to think about.

      “Rick started his personal page the end of September 2010 (shortly before he announced he was running for governor) and as of today has 746 “friends”. This is the page Rick uses to communicate with his supporters and people who are interested in his campaign.” I wonder then if he just created “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” because the name was so confident and clever. After all, he uses his personal Facebook to communicate with his supporters.

      And finally, “If you are going to use the “who has more friends” argument, then in fairness you should use “apples to apples” comparisons, mention the time frames involved and reference Rick Hill’s personal FaceBook page that his supporters use to ‘friend’ themselves.” First of all, you cannot “friend” yourself on a personal Facebook account. You can request friendship but it can be denied. You may actually be referring to the now defunct “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” group. In addition to that, I didn’t actually use the “who has more friends” argument. I simply presented information.

      I don’t care how many “friends” Hill has, that wasn’t my point. The group was created, and for some reason or another, Rick quit. I just presented one minor example that indicates his unreliability. He has a pervasive pattern of quitting and he always has some excuse- and he always neglects to mention the real reasons.

      My political agenda is solely to elect conservative candidates. I don’t work in the government, I don’t work in Helena and I have no intentions of ever running for office or working for the government. You see, my motives are pure, I’m not blindly following anyone. When I make a decision on a candidate, I will be the first to admit that- otherwise, I would look like all of you loyal and confused Hill supporters who are always quick to criticize my judgments yet never can make any argument as to why Rick Hill should be our next governor. In my criticism of Hill, I can assure you that there is no hidden agenda, I simply believe Montana deserves better.

  5. I am seeing a lot of nit picking at both my comments and in your overall rant but no substance, Montanafesto.

    I didn’t comment on Stapleton because you focused the bulk of your comments on Hill and Miller. So while you mention it, Stapleton picked up 202 “People Like This” since he started it in November of 2010. I will have to send Corey a Friend request to get access to how many Friends he has on his personal Facebook page. Corey is a good guy with a great future. It is worth noting that both Hill and Stapleton are on each other’s Friends List.

    You said, “I don’t care how many “friends” Hill has, that wasn’t my point.” You “don’t care”??? Well then you sure wasted a lot of time quoting sources and ranting about the importance of the number of ‘Friends’ the candidates had on their Facebook pages in December. Of course now that Hill is about to surpass Miller’s numbers I can understand why you no longer “care how many friends Hill has”.

    You were almost right about there being “no real surprises” in the recent C-5 Campaign Reports – Rick Hill raised $102,786 or over $37,000 more in the past two months than both Miller or Stapleton raised combined in five months.

    The “real surprise” is that Ken Miller who has a well known long history in Montana Republican party politics (former candidate for Governor, former State Party Chairman of the Montana Republican Party, former state Senator, etc.) and who has been raising money longer than Hill, barely raised $29,000 – the least amount of money of all three candidates. Corey Stapleton pulled in over $36,500.

    It is hard to use Hill’s former position as US Congressman as the main excuse for him out raising a very well known figure like Miller by over 3 to 1 when Corey, with less exposure, outraised Miller by 25%.

    A look at Rick Hill’s contribution list and Friends list shows he has a very strong following among young Republicans, strong conservatives and long time GOP party faithful. The smear campaign you are running isn’t going to change that.

    • It isn’t a smear campaign and I’m not trying to change anything but you are going to think whatever you want anyway. I post my opinions and visitors are free to disagree with any of my positions. I only moderate everyone’s initial comment and that is only to reduce annoying spam comments so anyone who wants to argue with me is very welcome to do so. I don’t hate Rick Hill- in fact, I voted for him in my very first election upon being old enough to vote. My family was very supportive of Hill in the past.

      When I replied to your comment, I didn’t have access to Miller’s C5 so I couldn’t possibly have noticed your “real surprise”- he apparently filed it late. And as far as Hill goes, I didn’t use his former position as an excuse- it is a fact. Most people in Montana aren’t like us. They don’t know or care about the chairs of either party. Unless a legislator is very controversial or representing a voter’s district or one near it, the majority of Montanans actually don’t know many politicians, if any at all. Considering Montana only has one US Representative, even one as forgettable as Hill has name recognition. I suppose I should believe that Hill’s dedicated supporters aren’t even aware that he was a US Congressman. You are right, his former position isn’t a good excuse. Maybe we should instead blame it on his classy affair at the Sip & Dip. Perhaps donors recall his pattern of quitting contested races. OR, maybe they remember newspaper articles about his first wife and how he psychologically abused her. Could it be Hill’s tendency to go negative? Speaking of that, I’m wondering how on earth he will be able to get away with calling either of his primary opponents tax and spend liberals. He may need a new strategy this time.

      You can criticize me all you’d like- mock my lack of substance, I don’t care. You call it nit picking but I call it complete. I simply addressed each of the concerns you mentioned in your comment. Forgive my efficiency! It is certainly more than I can say for your comments. You obviously missed the point of my post entirely. It wasn’t about Hill’s number of friends. It was the fact he used an arrogant name and continued his quitting pattern when his folks number didn’t balloon over night.

      Why is it worth noting that Hill and Stapleton are Facebook friends? By the way, Stapleton has 678 of them. Do you really believe that Rick Hill and Corey Stapleton are friends? Obviously my opinion doesn’t count but I don’t believe they are very close pals. I certainly don’t think it is worth noting that they are “friends” as I’d be willing to bet that their relationship is very superficial. Corey is friends with Ken Miller as well, but Hill is not. Is that worth noting? I’m pretty sure it isn’t.

      Worth noting is Hill’s lack of support in Yellowstone County though- I was surprised to see only a handful of Billings names. While I realize that both of the other primary candidates live in Yellowstone County, I still found it significant that only 5 or so had contributed to Hill. His support seems to be primarily the Helena area and is composed of a nice list of insurance execs, attorneys and lobbyists. That makes sense though- they likely all stand to gain in some way by Hill, a retired insurance exec, faux attorney, and lobbyist being elected governor. His “strong following among young Republicans and strong conservatives” is questionable although it does appear he has the GOP party faithful- the establishment RINOs moderates on board. Also worth noting is that AJ Otjen, a progressive Republican, recently stated that she supports Rick Hill for the same reasons that she supported and voted for Barack Obama.

      Rick Hill has a lot of baggage but not a lot of folks. Your Rick Hill defense tour isn’t going to change that either.

  6. It is a smear campaign when you make wildly exaggerated statements and personal attacks.

    There is no “pattern of quitting”. That is a lie you made up. Rick did not run for re-election for a third term as US Congressman because of a serious medical condition. This is no secret. Rick underwent eye surgery around the time he was first elected to Congress to improve his vision. This was before doctors had developed and perfected laser surgery. Complications from these procedures resulted in Rick’s eyesight gradually degrading to the point that doctors told him that he was in danger of going blind because the routine of airline travel back and forth to Montana and the volumes of reading he had to do were severely aggravating his condition. Bottom line – they told him if he didn’t cut back he would go blind until they could come up with a treatment that didn’t exist at the time. That was over 10 years ago and advances in medicine have returned his vision and allow him to return to and maintain his usual rigorous pace.

    Not running for re-election one time for medical reason s is not ”a pattern “ and any attempt to represent it as such reflects upon the integrity (or lack of integrity) of the person making that charge.

    You didn’t like the phrase “a lot of folks”? Well then too bad. No one else cares. It just makes you look petty. Grow up.

    Lack of support from Billings? B.S. Look at all three candidates C-5 reports. Miller has very few contributors from Missoula and not many from western Montana period. Same for Stapleton. That doesn’t mean they “lack support” from these areas. That means they, like Rick, found it easier to hold their first campaign fundraisers in their home towns areas. Expect all of them to expand their geographic base of contributors as they move around the state and hold fundraisers.

    I see you are trying to spin old worn out personal attacks as well. If you are going to insult Rick’s personal life then I DARE YOU to call his two boys and ask them how good of a father Rick has been to them. Ask them about their choice to move in with their father and have Rick raise them when they were young. Get their opinion. If you are going to make this race about personal attacks then you are opening up both Miller and Stapleton to attacks about their early lives and that will just give more fuel to the Democrats. Leave the sleaze to the Democrats.

    Finally, please don’t insult a lot of good conservative Republicans who have put their life and soul into supporting the party by calling them RINOs because they support Rick. You are not doing Miller or Stapleton any favors by portraying yourself (one of their advocates) as a Sleaze Meister.

    Rick, Ken and Corey deserve better than what you are shoveling.

    • The great state of Montana deserves better than what Rick Hill is shoveling.

      Oh my. I never intended to mention a third congressional run in the quitting pattern that you don’t believe exists. No need for it. Thank you Pogo, you did just inspire another post devoted to Hill and his quitting pattern. I will save my commentary for that time.

      You seem quite defensive. Perhaps you are emotionally and/or financially invested in the Hill campaign. You may want to check your blood pressure.

      I’m certainly not going to attack his personal decision resulting from a medical condition. That is, of course, only if that was the real reason. Something tells me there is more to the story- in fact, several people have told me the story. I will allow someone else to go public with it however, if they so choose. I’m surprised you used the volume of reading as a contributing factor to his decision however. Considering just a few short years later, he’d received his online faux law degree. Unless the online university offers auditory learning, I’d assume his online education did require some reading. I could of course be wrong though.

      Hey, we all make mistakes. There is however a big difference between Rick’s mistakes and those of others. He blames his on others. Obviously the qualities important to me vary from those important to you. I did not refer to all Rick Hill supporters as RINOs, but some of them are clearly aren’t very conservative. I didn’t refer to the entire party so please don’t make such wild allegations.

      That is wonderful that Rick Hill was a great dad. I never said that he wasn’t. I have no reason to ask his children how good he was to them, that does not mean he was good to their mother. In fact, he wasn’t. She said he emotionally abused her and constantly insulted her lack of education and appearance. Being a decent parent doesn’t necessarily translate to a decent human being. Hill’s past is fair game- everything I mentioned can be easily found in newspapers across the state. He made personal attacks on his opponent, which is also his pattern, or this would have never come to light.

      I must have hit a nerve. You say that “no one else cares”. Other than you, I assume? Well, clearly hundreds of Montanans do care as this post consistently receives an extraordinary number of hits. I can’t even tell you how many times that someone has used google to search “RINO Rick Hill for Governor” and ended up on this post.

      And I am opening Stapleton and Miller up to personal attacks? I haven’t expressed my support of either of them- Hill is historically the one to go negative- he usually attacks his primary opponents, doesn’t he? I’m not involved with any of the gubernatorial candidates so how could my personal criticism possibly be used to attack them? Who would do such a thing? I can only think of one person. I’ve never once portrayed myself as an advocate of either candidate- my intentions are pure, but you may want to check yours.

  7. You have a great blog despite your poorly grounded arguments against Rick Hill. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves in saying Tea Party advocates and young conservatives do not support Hill. I am both and know many who do.

    All three candidates would serve well and would be a vast improvement over the current occupant. Keep up the entertaining commentary, but stick to the facts. Otherwise, you will be no better than LITW.

    • LiTW won’t even allow me to comment. I allow anyone to comment, even when critical of me. Besides knowing many “Tea party advocates and young conservatives” who support Hill, please elaborate on which arguments you find “poorly grounded”. We are all entitled to our opinions but because you don’t share mine, I need to stick to the facts? Commentary is defined as a series of explanations or interpretations…. while hopefully based in fact, commentary is essentially opinion, no?

      You are correct that any of the candidates (although there are currently four Republicans with another rumored to be announcing soon) would be a vast improvement over the current occupant. I have yet to decide which candidate will have my support, but I can assure you it will not be Rick Hill. Let me guess, Scoop. You live in Helena?

      I’m glad you like the blog despite my “poorly grounded arguments against Rick Hill”, I invite your further criticism and hope you can set me straight.

  8. No doubt, commentary is opinion. I’m not here to school anyone. I just think good opinions are rooted in facts or truths people can identify. Does the fact that Rick Hill resigned as a congressman due to what could have been a debilitating condition make him a quitter? I think it makes him a good family man and public servant. Look at how many politicians cling to elected office when they are incapable or distracted from serving. My take is Rick was willing to step aside for the interest of the state, rather than his own self interest. We need more, not less than this.

    Born and raised in Great Falls. Married a farm girl from Plentywood. Live outside of Polson. I would almost rather be called a child molester than a Helena insider, but won’t take it personally. I do think I started it by comparing you to LITW. I should know better, as that was one of the lowest blows.

    Who is the fourth? And maybe fifth?

    • Fourth is Jim O’Hara, a Chouteau County Commissioner. Chuck Baldwin seems to be considering a run and rumors are circulating about Krayton Kerns as well. I apologize for assuming you were from Helena, most of those defending Hill are Helena insiders and your IP address also led me to that assumption- sorry for that. I agree that LiTW was sort of a low blow, but I’m a big girl and can certainly take criticism. In fact, I invite it.

      As for Hill, I’m not really referring to his reelection for Congress. I will spell it all out for you in an upcoming post. “Good family man” probably isn’t quite how I’d describe him, Scoop. I’m also pretty sure that “his own self-interest” was at play in the decision to leave Congress as well.

      Thanks Scoop, I do appreciate your comments. I’d like to know specifically why you support Rick Hill though, if you could elaborate.

  9. Pingback: Rick Hill Certainly Isn’t Waiting to Go Sleazy | Intelligent Discontent

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