Ken Miller Campaign Above the Law


In a blunder only a true idiot could make, the Ken Miller campaign robo-called the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices office yesterday.  Automated, or “robo” calls are illegal under Montana law.  When confronted about the calls, Miller said he thought that former Attorney General Mike McGrath had declared the law “unenforceable”. Hmm.  I suppose I would consider Montana’s law prohibiting homosexuality unenforceable considering it has been held unconstitutional, but I’m pretty sure when your campaign is stupid enough to call the COPP, which is already investigating a complaint alleging rampant campaign finance fraud in the Miller campaign, that you deserve to be prosecuted.  In reality, McGrath did not declare the law unenforceable anyway, in 2004, he issued a press release reminding campaigns that such activity was illegal.  Commissioner Murry has referred the case to the Lewis & Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher.  Although robo call cases have not be prosecuted in the past, Gallagher did not rule out the possibility.  Most likely, the Miller campaign will be sent a letter warning that such campaign activity is illegal.

Earlier this week,  Ken Miller asked that the campaign finance fraud complaint alleged by a former campaign employee be dismissed because he believed the uncertainty could cloud early voting.  The political practices office declined to dismiss the complaint and says the investigation will continue.

Call Ken Miller’s cell phone number (406) 670-8318 and ask him why he believes he is above the law.  Then ask yourself if someone this dull is suited to serve as Governor of our great state.

UPDATED: Honest Abe or Smarmy Swindler: Who is the Real Ken Miller?


A Pinocchio costume may be more appropriate

In the nick of time, about a week before absentee ballots are mailed, the Great Falls Tribune today broke shocking allegations of GOP Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Miller‘s corrupt campaign finance practices. View the Office of Political Practices complaint here. According to the Tribune,

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ken Miller’s former chief fundraiser on Wednesday accused Miller’s campaign of misreporting funds, accepting campaign donations over the statutory contribution limits, accepting anonymous donations, and failing to disclose certain campaign expenditures.

Ken Miller’s utterly laughable response appeared in today’s Billings Gazette:

“We’re obviously viewed as a threat and seen as a front-runner,” Miller said in a telephone interview. “I think for the most part people will see through it.”

Miller, the tea people favorite, bills himself as the honest, Christian conservative.  In fact, his own campaign website humbly mentions,

 It has been whispered that Ken Miller is “too honest for politics”.   Ken Miller is guilty as charged.

In his latest campaign video, Susan Smith, wife of legislator Cary Smith and co-founder of the delightful group “Safe Community, Safe Kids” extols the many virtues of Mr. Miller.  According to Susan, who “knows Ken to be a humble, God-fearing man”, Miller believes in traditional family values and the sanctity of life.  She says “he is a man in whom we can trust”, that he believes in the Constitution and would uphold it.  One supporter mentions how she and her husband met Ken Miller at a parade in which he was donning an Abraham Lincoln costume.  All very interesting.  Watch the campaign video here.

According to Kelly Bishop, who served as his campaign finance director from January until April 14, when she resigned, she found at least $14,000 in campaign contributions that were not reported in Miller’s C-5.  Bishop said she left the position with the Miller campaign after seeing practices within the campaign that made her sick to her stomach. She claims that numerous anonymous donations and credit card transactions were not reported properly, that Miller accepted donations over Montana’s statutory limits and that Miller wasn’t reporting payroll taxes.  This directly affected Bishop’s pay as her salary was commission based on the total fundraising receipts she generated. Bishop said:

“I inquired about it in March, I brought it up to Ken and (his wife) Peggy at the time.  They said it was none of my business and I was not to worry about that part of the campaign.”

Naturally, Miller denies her allegations and throws Bishop under the bus states,

 “My family, campaign staff and I hold no ill will toward Mrs. Bishop, but are saddened by her decision to attack our campaign with frivolous, untruthful accusations. We’ve run an honest campaign and are confident that the (Commissioner) will agree.”

In response, Miller said, “We’ve run an honest campaign and are confident that the COPP (commissioner of political practices) will agree.”

“We kind of got blindsided. Unfortunately, she’s not being truthful.”

These allegations cast serious doubt not only on Miller’s integrity, but on his ability to govern our state.  Even if these discrepancies are proven to be unintentional, how on earth can we trust him as Governor of the state of Montana?  The Miller campaign is usually the first to lob nasty allegations at the other candidates and party insiders have long, borrowing Ken’s word, “whispered” that Miller mismanaged funds as State Chairman of the Republican Party.  Perhaps this is simply political karma.

These allegations will surely come as a disappointment to Miller’s base- the conservative, Christian, constitutional segment of Montanans.   In a crowded (7 way) Republican Gubernatorial campaign, this is likely the end for the Miller campaign.  For the family values conservatives, I would suggest donating to the Corey Stapleton campaign and for the mermaid/insurance/lobbyist/quitter lovers out there, Rick Hill.

Bishop’s sudden departure isn’t the only shake up within the Miller camp, his former campaign manager William Mutch’s tenure with the sinking ship was similarly brief. One can only imagine why Mr Mutch abruptly left the campaign, especially after stating on the campaign website that his entire career had culminated on that moment.  I tend to be especially critical of religious hypocrites, remember Harris Himes? I can only imagine how disheartened Miller’s supporters are right now.   I think it is time Ken Miller finds a new costume for parades, Honest Abe doesn’t seem fitting.  Might I suggest Pinocchio?

Yellowstone County GOP Chair’s Smear Machine Targets Innocent Candidate for Governor


“I am blessed with a great deal of energy, which I use to help our community elect Republicans.”- Jennifer Olsen.

But only SOME county Republicans apparently…. Jennifer Olsen, co-founder of Montana Shrugged Tea Party Patriots and current chairperson of the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee has recently leveled baseless accusations against a rival GOP Gubernatorial campaign.  You may recall that only a few months ago, Ms Olsen was the administrator for the Ken Miller for Governor Facebook page, but it now appears that she has either abandoned the group of green-shirted morons in favor of the Neil Livingstone campaign or she was simply thrown overboard.  Now acting as Livingstone’s unofficial spokesperson on the Montana political blog rounds, commenting as “Drill Baby Drill”, she can be found typically lauding the many virtues of Mr Livingstone.  While I take no issue with her loyal support of her favored candidate, I am disappointed and frankly appalled that the leader of Yellowstone County’s Republican Central Committee has chosen the incredibly un-classy- and public- route of accusing a rival campaign of creating a depraved anti-war website featuring pornographic photos of Mr. Livingstone when literally ZERO evidence supports her claim. Check out her comments below, which were made on this Montana Cowgirl post.

Keep drilling, Ms Olsen. Perhaps you will eventually discover reality.

You may also recall this video clip featuring Ms Olsen.

I’m a Uniter, Not a Divider!

Ms. Olsen shockingly offers no evidence to reinforce her claims that the Stapleton for Montana Governor campaign was involved in any capacity in the creation of the pornographic anti-war website.  Stapleton, former Montana Senate Minority Leader raised more money than the other GOP candidates for Governor last quarter, while the other campaigns, including Livingstone’s, continued to struggle.  Perhaps the Montana Republican Party should ask whether it is in good taste for Central Committee leaders to smear rival GOP campaigns.  *On a side note, Olsen’s attack on the Stapleton campaign should be enough evidence for most Montanans to support his bid for Governor.  After all, he is obviously not enough Teatard to pass muster with the Queen of the Tea People.  I suggest making a donation immediately.

One is left to wonder why a world-renowned international security and counter terrorism expert (Mr. Livingstone) has not determined the source of the website.  Perhaps he designed it himself.  After all, it does depict him in a dominant and quite flattering manner. Also perplexing is that Mr Stapleton, a former naval officer, would be accused of making a site devoted to exposing war criminals.

Unfortunately for Ms. Olsen, Screwingamerica.com is actually registered to David Lambon.  Perhaps the guilty culprit is the dude in the photo below, who does vaguely resemble Mr.  Livingstone’s lucky lover in the pornographic cartoons.

His domain information is all available here…. In the future, I advise Ms Olsen to conduct even a minimum level of research before making such wild allegations.  Tin Foil Hat Warning: Perhaps she believes the Stapleton camp is in bed with Mr Lambon (not literally, we hope).  This isn’t likely either considering the site was created in 2008 and hasn’t been updated since 2010. All porn images on the site are of a homosexual nature.  It does appear that Ms Olsen intended only to throw some mud at Stapleton, hoping to slow the campaign’s momentum in an effort to assist her candidate.  Livingstone is a smart guy, I suspect he will quickly distance himself from the Olsen train wreck as Ken Miller did.

Thinking Republicans in Yellowstone County (I know there are some) would best question Ms. Olsen’s ability to lead the Republican Central Committee in the state’s most populous county in such an important election year.  All candidates should be highly uncomfortable with the chairperson of the county GOP inventing elaborate stories about candidates she opposes.  Hotly contested primaries are contentious enough without party leaders involving themselves in libelous claims.  Ms. Olsen should step down from her position and offer everyone involved a sincere apology.

Gallagher Enters Ken Miller’s Echo Chamber of Green Morons


GOP Gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller bills himself as a state’s rights advocate as he naturally mentions his role model,  much beloved Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  Governor Brewer is perhaps best-known for her anti-immigration stance and willingness to dramatically oppose the federal government…. but only on issues that suit her.  For instance, Brewer recently launched an assault on a voter- approved medical marijuana law in her state, asking a  federal judge to strike down the law based on an arbitrary fear of federal prosecution of state workers administering the law.  Upon filing the lawsuit, she ordered the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services to reject ALL applications for dispensaries although they were allowed under the state law.  The judge has dismissed the case.

From the Missoulian:

“I look forward to the day that I can stand with Gov. Brewer on this battle with U.S. immigration and say, ‘Gov. Brewer, I’m sorry that we didn’t have a governor fighting the fight with you, but we do now.  I’m here and we’re going to stand with you’.  Then when we do that, she will be here on our issues on wolves or whatever that may be.”

One can certainly understand why Ken Miller would incessantly speak of Governor Brewer considering Montana’s current immigration problem is nothing short of a crisis.  Each day numerous, possibly even millions, of Canadians sneak across the Saskatchewan and

That's right Canadians, Ken Miller wants you to stop sneaking into Montana.

Alberta borders of Canada to give birth on Montana soil to instant American citizens. Likely, many of them are violent criminals, looking for the land of the free, the nation with the highest incarceration rate on the planet. They come in search of a better (albeit shorter) life free from the annoyances of the ever-so tricky metric system.  They take jobs from hard-working Montanans and are threatening the economic and social future of our state… right?  Does Ken Miller have any idea what the role of Governor entails?

Miller recently named Bill Gallagher as his running mate.  Gallagher is perhaps best known for being ousted as Chairman of the clown show now known as Montana’s Public Service Commission.  He is as inexperienced as Miller is ineffective.

 “It is with exceeding pride and joy that I join the Miller for Governor team. I do it because it gives the citizens, the voters, the families, and the businesses of Montana a very clear choice and an opportunity to send their message and stamp their message here in Helena and on the Executive Branch.”

These interesting announcements have come on the heels of the departure of Miller’s much-acclaimed campaign manager, William Mutch, who took an exciting post with the Colorado Springs Home Building Association amid rumors that Miller’s campaign is on its last legs.  Time will tell whether that is indeed true.  If his last quarterly filings are any indication, Miller is having fundraising troubles…. even in light of receiving the coveted James Knox endorsement.


What is higher, human body temperature or the IQ of the average Ken Miller supporter?

An Alternate Path to Defeat: Democrat Files for Montana GOP Governor


The Montana GOP is going to need a bigger tent to fit all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor.  Yesterday, former state transportation director Jim Lynch announced his candidacy in the already very crowded field. Lynch, who lost a Senate race as a Democrat in 1994 and has been a member of Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer‘s  cabinet since 2005 insists he is actually a Republican.  In today’s Billings Gazette, he says

 “I’m probably like most Montanans,” he said. “Most of my views are Republican. I’m a Republican. I’ve never voted for a Democrat for president in my life.”

Although he claims he is running to “pave the way for economic development”, it appears he simply needs a job after Governor Schweitzer asked him to resign under very questionable circumstances.  The governor claimed the DOT’s  hiring of Lynch’s daughter potentially violated nepotism laws but rumors have circulated for some time that Lynch was also under investigation for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to buy an airplane, violating Montana’s constitution.  Shortly before Lynch resigned, a district judge also ruled that the DOT had violated the Montana Environmental Protection Act in approval of the mega-loads plan with an insufficient environmental assessment. Considering the hiring of his daughter took place four years ago, it does appear there may be more to the story.

Sorry Lynch, I don’t think you are like “most Montanans”.  In fact, you may have even more baggage than Rick Hill. Ironically, Lynch was rumored earlier this year to be pondering a Democratic run at Governor, but apparently further fracturing the Republican Party was a preferable path to defeat. Fourteen have filed for candidacy thus far:

Republicans:

–State Sen. Jeff Essmann, Billings. Essmann crafted the unpopular SB 423, which essentially forces medical marijuana patients to seek black market medicine.

–Bob Fanning, Pray. Fanning is an anti-wolf activist.

–Ex-U.S. Rep. Rick Hill, Helena. Ahead in fundraising, behind in morals.

–Neil Livingstone, Helena. Livingstone’s campaign is essentially broke, but he has the means to buy himself name recognition.

–Jim Lynch, Kalispell.

–Ex-Sen. Ken Miller, Laurel.  Ken Miller was sent by God to run for Governor….. again.  His campaign is rather peculiar.

–County Commissioner Jim O’Hara, Fort Benton.

–Ex-Sen.Minority Leader Corey Stapleton, Billings.

–Drew Turiano, Helena, self-published sci-fi author

Democrats: Attorney General Steve Bullock, Helena, and State Sen. Larry Jent, Bozeman.

Independent: Robert Coate, Bozeman.

Libertarian: Ron Vandervender, Cascade.

No party disclosed yet: Ronald Lassle, Helena.

Is Lynch a Republican or a Democrat?  With his “grandiose sense of self-importance”, he perhaps suffers  from a cluster B personality disorder, like Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Many afflicted have a shifting morality, they are always ready to shift values when necessary.

 

“Running on Empty” Speaker Jeff Essmann Runs From Constituents


Earlier this week, I received several invitations to the Billings stop of the “Running on Empty” bus tour by Americans for Prosperity.  Slated to speak at the event were Sen. Jeff Essmann (author of the infamous “black market” marijuana bill, SB423), Rep. Tom McGillvray (who at at an RLCC fundraiser stated that Montana was wasting its money on meth prevention as our real problem in Montana is medical marijuana) and Rep. Krayton Kerns, who pretends to be more constitutional and liberty-minded than he is in reality. The guest speakers were greeted by far more protesters than conservative supporters. Someone in the crowd called McGillvray a “commie”, Kerns was asked if he’d returned his federal farm subsidy welfare check and the cowardly star speaker, Jeff Essmann, couldn’t be bothered to attend. Prior to the event, representatives from the Ken Miller for Governor campaign were overheard calling to warn others of the opposition. Why are so many candidates for governor afraid of their constituents?  Opponents of McGillvray and Kerns outnumbered supporters at least 3 to 1 although some reports indicated that over 100 protesters attended while 20 or so were friendly.

Where’s Essmann?

Essmann may have been home analyzing the results of the recent solicitiation letters he sent to constituents as he explores a potential Gubernatorial bid.  Oddly enough, he omitted authoring SB423 in the lengthy resume’ he included in the letters.  He has repeatedly claimed that droves of his constituents begged and pleaded for a repeal of Montana’s medical marijuana law, so it does seem strange that he didn’t mention let alone herald that particular accomplishment. Perhaps he was using medical marijuana. Oh yes, that’s right, he has never done such a thing…. or has he?    Perhaps Essmann was home proposing legislation for the biggest tax increases in Montanans’ lifetimes.  Oh, never mind.  He already did that! Maybe he was providing statements to police, hoping to ensure a newly unemployed cannabis caregiver would be charged with a violation of the dreaded “privacy in communications act”.  Yeah, he already did that too.  Perhaps Essmann was out looking for Rep. James Knox, word on the street is that he’d like him to be his lieutenant governor.  Unfortunately for Essmann, Knox is apparently planning to leave the state, presumably taking his $733/mo in health benefits, compliments of Montana taxpayers, with him.

Anyway, back to the Americans for Prosperity event.  I wasn’t in attendance, but reports of McGillvray and Kerns being loudly booed were consistent.  One Republican politician- who actually lobbied Essmann and company to abandon plans for repeal in favor of thoughtful legislation during the session- left early because he was uncomfortable with the number of union thugs shouting down the speakers.  He said that he was not there to support the speakers but to support the local effort to elect new leaders who understand the need to live within our means and recognize that over-regulating is not the conservative way. Josh Daniels, an outspoken advocate for patients’ rights as well as a member of Patients for Reform, Not Repeal , said  “Overall it was a sad showing for them.  As a libertarian I do agree with the general concept, but the MT Tea Party is working for a nanny state with the LDS church on cannabis regulation.”  Mr. Daniels held a sign that read “SB423, Welcome Back Blackmarket”.

The Bozeman and Helena stops on the bus tour Thursday afternoon were also attended by a sizable group of protesters.  Friday’s stops include Kalispell, as well as the liberal university city of Missoula.  Similar events in Florida last week drew smaller than expected crowds. Perhaps Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the libertarian Koch brothers, should do a little research on their prospective speakers. I’m pretty sure that a speech by Republican Representative Mike Miller wouldn’t have drawn such opposition.

Most of those in attendance cited the need for jobs in Montana.  Note:  McGillvray, Kerns and Essmann all voted to eliminate the thousands of jobs in Montana’s medical cannabis industry.  Times certainly have changed since the last conservative bus tour stop in Billings. When then-GOP chairman Michael Steele brought the “Fire Pelosi” bus tour to Billings prior to the 2010 elections, hundreds of smiling and cheering supporters attended the event and I don’t recall seeing even one protester.  If only we had known then what sort of fools we were electing to represent us.

Montana Governor 2012: Social Media Contrasts


4&20 blackbirds  recently posted “Social Media and Montana’s Road to 2012…. or Your (sic) Doing it Wrong”. Although I disagreed with a few of the blogger’s liberal-leaning critiques, the bulk of the post was funny because it was so true.  The post suggests that successful use of social media includes the following:  engaging friends, eliminating staff posting (create your own posts), making posts personal yet using a filter(ask Weiner about this), utilizing creativity and wit (if available), and researching Montana’s candidates who have been successful in promoting themselves in today’s technological age (like Mike Miller and Ellie Hill) The blogger also discouraged candidates from following too many people and posting anything resembling something from the Facebook wall of James Knox.

Recent research has suggested that in predicting elections, social media presence is at least as important if not more than the amount of money raised by candidates. Now that the governor’s race in Montana has been elevated to Politico’s most competitive in the nation,  I decided to examine the use of social media by a few of the GOP’s Gubernatorial candidates. I’ve included promotional videos for each candidate, links to their social media accounts as well as an opinionated unbiased assessment of overall performance.

Rick Hill 

Viral ads: Hill’s campaign has been fraught with controversy thanks to a scandalous past brought to light by a concerned conservative friend of Ken Miller, prompting Mermaid-gate and our third most-viewed post of all time.   Hill’s Mr Rogers-esque promotional video betrays no signs of his wild side, so thank you to whoever was responsible for compiling the sleaze (yes, Nancy Davis, I’m talking to you), effectively making Mr UN seem just a little more electable/desirable than he likely is in reality.  I will leave the family values comments to the Miller camp.   Twitter: Hill has yet to master the art of the tweet and tends to primarily post links to his own campaign’s promotional posts, which is not a recommended course of action, especially because his promotional material is so uninteresting.  Facebook: Hill is off to a slow start, although this is his…. third start? His former Facebook group “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” peaked at well under a hundred folks and his handlers changed course a couple of times as a result.  Long-time lobbyist Hill earns an easy grade of Fail for his inability or unwillingness to engage his followers.  His posts are boring and receive very few, if any comments.  I can’t determine whether his posts are his own or from his staff, but let’s just hope they were written by staffers.  There would then be room for improvement.  Overall: Hill’s filter, if applicable; is far too fine to allow any effective engagement let alone posts that demonstrate any level of creativity or wit.  This campaign- even with the added excitement of the mermaid- is utterly soul-less. Verdict: Over the Hill.

Neil Livingstone:

I perused Livingstone’s website and was only able to find a number of national news interviews about terrorism and a dreadfully boring interview by Montana Shrugged so I decided it was in Mr Livingstone’s best interest that I not post a video at this time.  Should his campaign provide us with a promotional video, we’d be happy to post and assess it however. Twitter:  Neil’s tweets comprise an interesting combination of terrorism discussion, cooking/recipes, and political commentary- some of which even is relevant to Montana.  His filter appears to be working properly and his tweets are somewhat frequent.  His recipes offer a glimpse into his personal non-national-terrorism-expert life although many Montanans still may be unable to relate- Morel popcorn, anyone?  Facebook:  This account could use some work.  Livingstone should probably link his Facebook to his Twitter and blog to streamline posts among the outlets-  otherwise it appears that his Facebook account is more of a recipe repository than a Gubernatorial campaign page. I’d also suggest posting more links and statuses that relate specifically to our state. Livingstone’s personal wealth alone makes him a contender but he faces many obstacles in gaining name recognition beyond political junkies and terrorism buffs- if terrorism buffs actually exist, that is.  Nearly a year remains before primary elections in Montana.

Ken Miller:

Viral AdsThe only shocking- or even remotely energizing- component of Miller’s video is found within the youtube view counter-  there have been 1,217 views of this gouge-your-eyes-out-boring piece.  Miller’s overall presentation is dull as is the content.   Twitter: If the Miller campaign has a Twitter account, I’m not aware of it.  This is probably for the best as successful tweets require a level of spontaneity and authenticity that would be difficult for a fledgling Tweeter like Miller to pull off. Facebook: Staff/TEA people regularly post as Miller on his campaign site, as evidenced here.  He engages followers minimally and generally refers those who have questions or comments to his cell phone.  He seems to be doing a good job at physically traveling around Montana as evidenced by the plethora of photos posted from each location on the campaign trail but to me he seems a bit reluctant.  Miller’s supporters compensate for his lack of energy, however.  In fact, one of them sent out this ambitious campaign donation solicitation, complete with a conspiracy theory theme.  Overall: Before utilizing the above-mentioned filter, his campaign should instead employ the use of spell-check.  Considering his lengthy political history, I’m rather surprised by his selection of a rabid tea person as a campaign site administrator.  Engagement with voters is important, even when the issue at hand isn’t one Governor Jan Brewer supports- Miller failed to effectively respond to medical cannabis patients’ questions at a recent event at a gun shooting facility- his wife Peggy instead forcibly interfered with the video recording of his responses.  Miller has much to learn in the world of social media, but with God on his side, he should have no problems.

Corey Stapleton

Viral Ads: Stapleton’s piece is by far the best and I love that it isn’t bloated or ego-driven. This edgy promotional material is consistent with earlier photos released by his camp and it is apparent that he has employed a team of talented individuals to head up his marketing. This video was released last night, but already has over 100 views on youtube and more on Facebook. Twitter: Although Stapleton’s tweets are interesting-  like this one: “Gov Schweitzer wants to sell MT’s coal to China and solve their energy shortages. I want to sell MT’s coal to America, and solve our own.”, they are infrequent.  There is room for improvement here- more in numbers than content.  Facebook: Over 4000 people “like” his page compared to Hill’s paltry 345 and Miller’s 1017.  Little investigation is required to determine why he has 4 times the number of Facebook fans either-  his wall is a pleasant mix of thought-provoking questions and statements with a few personal touches here and there. Stapleton seems accessible and his friends appear engaged.  Stapleton isn’t afraid to make controversial statements and the ensuing debates with his friends are polite and rational.   Overall: Stapleton wins. He appears to handle his own social media (or he’d likely have far more tweets under his belt) and I thankfully wasn’t able to locate any post likely to be written by James Knox.  Friends are engaged, posts are witty, creative and a bit dangerous.

Ken Miller’s Tea Stain


In case anyone was wondering whether naive GOP Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Miller was an independent thinker or just an extension of the tea people, we’ve recently seen confirmation that Jennifer Olsen, of Montana Shrugged infamy is the administrator of the Ken Miller for Governor Facebook page.  In case some weren’t aware that Miller had given her the keys to his campaign page, she put all questions to rest in several Facebook comments:

In a race already so crowded, one has to question the thought process behind the near-perennial candidate’s move, especially considering the local tea peoples’ propensity for  hypocrisy- and now THIS.

After the most recent-and so successful (where’s that sarcasm font?)- legislative session, led by the Tea people-backed Republicans, Gubernatorial candidates best be putting some distance between themselves and the tea people.  After all, the legislature was only able to muster a 14% approval rating.  From the looks of comments on the latest Gazette piece on the Tea people’s quest to attract city council candidates, tea people disapproval appears to be at an all-time high as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ken Miller’s Gubernatorial campaign, one of his biggest fans has created a series of videos.  Here’s a taste.

Rick Hill: Campaign Negativity is Only OK When its MY Choice


Mermaid-Gate a dirty democrat trick?

A full 12 days after the Mermaid-gate scandal arose, Rick Hill decided to respond….. by pointing the finger- or is it a FIN- toward anyone other than himself.  Posted on Hill’s Twitter account was a link to the following statement, with the words “responding to anonymous attacks on my family”.

Campaigns are tough.  After a while you expect the nasty attacks and the anonymous charges.  It goes with the territory.  But I’ve learned that the best way to deal with shady attacks like this is to hit them head on.

So let me quickly respond to the latest anonymous email and blog attacks.

Thirty-four years ago, I had a difficult marriage and went through a rough divorce.  That’s the reality.  Like any Montanan who has ever gone through one knows, it was unfortunate for everyone involved.

Since that time I’ve been blessed.  My wife Betti and I will have been happily married for 28 years this June.  We’ve raised three great boys.  And we’ve been graced with 7 grandchildren.

My family is my foundation. So it’s disappointing that they have to put up with twisted anonymous attacks from 30 years ago… and it’s disappointing for them to hear the same recycled Democrat dirty tricks that didn’t work when we won my first race for Congress.

But unfortunately this kind of stuff is par for the course in today’s politics.  And that’s exactly what people are sick of.  With so much at stake this election—a soft national economy, job losses here in Montana, a growing debt, and a government takeover of healthcare—Montana needs this election to be about big things, not little things.

So that’s where my campaign is going to stay focused: on fixing Montana’s business climate to achieve the job growth we need; standing up to federal overreach into Montana’s affairs, and fixing our broken education system.

Montana has big challenges we need to address.  And even bigger opportunities if we get them right.  See you on the campaign trail soon.

First of all, nobody attacked his family.  This is about RICK HILL’S indiscretions, not his family.  This may be the first time that Hill didn’t beat his opponents to the punch in going negative.  “High Country News” posted a story about him from in 1996 called “A scrappy Republican tries to cut down a green Democrat”…..  from the story:

Rick Hill was so far behind in the polls last winter that his two Republican primary opponents said Hill wasn’t even a contender for Montana’s one seat in the House of Representatives.
So Hill tried something. He went negative.
He attacked his Republican opponents, who both complained he was being nasty and unfair when he called them tax-and-spend liberals in bad disguises.

But the strategy worked. Hill rallied in the final weeks of the campaign and won the primary with 44 percent of the vote, eight points more than his closest opponent.

In an article in the November, 1997 edition of Time magazine, called “The Secret GOP Campaign

Two weeks before the 1996 election, Democrat Bill Yellowtail was in a neck-and-neck race for Montana’s only House seat when a TV ad swooped out of the Big Sky. “Who is Bill Yellowtail?” it opened. “He preaches family values, but he took a swing at his wife.” Yellowtail lost. A year later he’s still trying to figure out who really took a swing at him. The ad’s sponsor was a nonprofit group with a do-gooder name, Citizens for Reform. But the deeper mystery was how the organization knew to air a domestic incident more than 20 years old. Republican documents obtained by TIME help piece together this puzzle. What they point to is the possibility that G.O.P. candidates and groups that purport to be independent may have broken election law by coordinating their strategy.

Citizens for Reform was really a shell for Triad Management Services, a firm based in Washington that matches conservative donors with candidates and causes. In late September, a Triad agent huddled with the campaign of Yellowtail’s opponent, Rick Hill, and figured out how to help. According to a Triad memo, Hill needed a “3rd party to expose Yellowtail” on “wife-beating.” Citizens for Reform launched its ad a couple of weeks later, sparing Hill the indignity of playing the mudslinger. It was a turning point in the race, and it appears to be a prime example of the new dirty word in the financing of elections: coordination.

Clearly, Hill is upset that someone attacked before he could.  After all, he is the one who typically goes negative.  How dare someone beat him to it.  He may consider carrying on a humiliating affair a “little thing”, but I’d bet his ex-wife would disagree.  Perhaps more damning than the actual affair however, were his ex-wife’s statements about living with constant emotional abuse from Hill claiming he ridiculed her about her looks and lack of education.  The marriage and eventual divorce may have been rocky, but the ex-wife came forward with these allegations only after Hill attacked his opponent on his lack of family values when he had a little issue with his own. 

To this day we don’t know where the email originated, but the evidence still points to the Miller camp.  It has tea party written all over it. As for the  “anonymous email and blog attacks”, no bloggers attacked him.  We simply posted the email.  We aren’t exhibiting any  “The same recycled Democrat dirty tricks that didn’t work “.  In fact, all signs point to someone farther to the right of Hill, not the left.  In addition to that, whoever was responsible apparently learned from reading Rick Hill Campaigning 101.  

Washington Post: Rick Hill, Weak Candidate


Cowgirl has the story:  According to the Washington Post…….

Republicans aren’t totally sold on Hill, who notably attacked a female opponent in the late 1990s for being unmarried and without children. But even a weak GOP candidate could put up a tough fight in this Republican-leaning state. And once the state’s legislative session ends, some fresher faces could jump in on the GOP side.

 

Who knew Montana had mermaids? Rick Hill did.....

As if the dramatic stories flapping around about Hill’s extramarital affairs with tailed ladies of the sea weren’t enough….

 

Hill may have raised more cash than the other GOP candidates thus far- after all, he is a former US Congressman- but something tells me the MONTaliban members dominating the right wing these days won’t soon forget about Hill’s character flaws.  Rep Ken Peterson wouldn’t likely associate with someone so far out of the mainstream and oh my…. what would the rough and tough proponents of the Cowboy Code of Ethics have to say about this?

The majority of donors to Hill are shady and scandalous lobbyists, moderate ex-legislators, wealthy insurance executives, and reluctant Helena insiders.  Hill has yet to issue any statements in response to Mermaid-gate but the exposure may have played a part in some prominent members of the “moral majority” (which is neither) making contributions to Ken Miller- notably, a couple of the masters of propaganda pillars of the community, Rep David Howard and Jeff Laszloffy (Montana Family Foundation).  Republicans may be wise to distance themselves from the elderly Hill as there are a number of  far superior GOP hopefuls in the 2012 Gubernatorial election.

H/T Montana Cowgirl

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery


Rick Hill has a new campaign Facebook page.  You may remember, his initial group page “A lot of folks for Rick Hill“, didn’t attract many folks at all (it peaked at 78).  It appears that Mr. Hill has responded to bold branding pieces fresh from the Stapleton campaign in an attempt to compete, creating the new campaign page featuring a new Stapleton-esque photo.  Currently, Stapleton’s campaign Facebook page has around 1700 fans compared to Hill’s 31, Ken Miller’s 859, Livingstone’s 66 Twitter followers, and Jim O’Hara’s 70 Facebook fans.

Corey Stapleton released this photo weeks ago.

Hill’s version:

As a younger voter, Stapleton’s new photo definitely appeals to me- the bio is an eye-catching display portraying him as youthful, fresh and hip- a sharp contrast to the elderly (over the) Hill who has suffered from health problems for the last decade.

I’ve been criticized in the past for giving the numbers too much credit.   I do find it odd that we are expected to accept polling results yet supporters utilizing social media aren’t considered credible indicators.  I realize that calling a candidate out for copying his opponent is probably a little petty, but so is leaking a “rumor” to politico.com that an opponent was considering dropping out of the Gubernatorial race to run against fellow republican Steve Daines for US House when there has never been any evidence suggesting such.   In the past, Hill has gone dirty early, attacking his opponents in primary elections as well as generals.  This seems to be more of the same.  One would expect Hill to be polling higher at this point- after all, he was a 2 term US House Representative.

UPDATE

Thanks so much to Chuck Denowh, who mentioned that Rick has been using that photo since January. Apparently we just didn’t see it since his “A lot of folks for Rick Hill” group closed up shop after few folks showed any interest.  Didn’t see it on his website either, but I’m sure it was widely distributed.  Again, thanks Chuck!  Not going to post the retraction he requested however.

Chuck Baldwin: Carpetbagger or Called by God?


Is Baldwin a political opportunist or was he called by God to move his family to Montana?

Montana newcomer Chuck Baldwin, the pastor who ran unsuccessfully for US President in 2008 on the Constitutional Party ticket, recently declared that the prospect of running for Governor of Montana is “so thrilling, I just get goose bumps.”  Baldwin said “There has to be a governor who is willing to put his life on the line to defend the constitution.”  That brings up an interesting point actually. Baldwin would enter an already crowded  race, joining Corey Stapleton, Ken Miller, Rick Hill, and Jim O’Hara on the GOP ticket, Dave Wanzenreid for the Democrat party, and Ron Vandevender who is running as a libertarian.  Baldwin has been critical of the both the Republican and Democrat parties, calling them “two peas in the same pod” so I assume he’d be running as a Constitutional party candidate.  As far as I know, however; the only candidate in the race thus far who was actually “willing to put his life on the line to defend the constitution” was Corey Stapleton, who spent more than a decade in the US Navy.  Perhaps the statement was an endorsement.   After receiving a direct message from God, Baldwin moved nearly 20 family members to the Flathead valley last summer.  Declaring Montana the “tip of the spear” in the freedom fight, Baldwin abandoned his Pensacola, FL  flock  in favor of the more freedom-minded Montana folk. While I’m sure Chuck Baldwin is a fine man, I have yet to see that he is capable of running an organization or city let alone running one of the largest states in the union.  I often do agree with Baldwin, but I don’t think  Montana is ready to elect a 9/11 truther who believes that a breakup of the US is inevitable, regularly appears with conspiracy wackjob Alex Jones, and preaches about new world order and FEMA death camps. Baldwin said:

So, living or dying, we intend to circle the wagons around the State of Montana and fight to our dying breath for the right of that State to live free!

Last I checked, Montana wasn’t at war.  Baldwin’s rhetoric is passionate and dramatic, but lacks specificity. I’m not denying the possibility of a calling from God, but many may doubt his claim- Montanans are skeptical of outsiders.  I’m happy he and his family moved to Montana and that they are freedom-loving Christian patriots- his influence could strengthen conservatism in Montana. If however, he runs for governor after so briefly residing in our state, suspicion will override all respect I have for his ideals and I will view him as a political opportunist who thought Montana’s voters were prime for picking.  In addition to that, it may guarantee a Democrat governor.

Montana GOP Candidates Pick Up Early Endorsements


Gun Owners of America announced this week they are endorsing Steve Daines, a Republican who recently announced his bid to unseat US Senator Jon Tester from Montana.

GOA endorses Steve Daines for US Senate

“In this race for United States Senate, we’ve found a pro-Second Amendment candidate with real leadership skills in Steve Daines,” said GOA’s Vice-Chairman Tim Macy.

Steve understands that protecting the Second Amendment is not just about gun control—it’s about control.  Elitists in Washington want to control our economy, control our ability to protect ourselves and our families and, in effect, control every aspect of the lives of Americans.”

"I'm a Republican for Rick Hill" says AJ Otjen

Gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill picked up an endorsement from liberal Republican Agnes Otjen this week. “AJ” Otjen ran unsuccessfully (as a self-described “Teddy Roosevelt Republican”) for Montana’s GOP nomination for congress earlier this year, gathering just 6% of the June primary vote. Otjen may be best remembered for her 2008 vote for Democrat Barack Obama.   She agreed that this was the very same reason she voted for Barack Obama, who ironically enough has been described recently as “too far left” by European leaders.  Hill has told friends that several Democrats have been encouraging him to run for Governor in 2012, because he “would be the moderate in the field”, although Hill’s more recent statements have attempted to court conservatives. About Hill, Otjen said “I believe Rick will build a broad coalition and focus on the things with which we can all agree.” Hill has joined former state senators Ken Miller of Laurel and Corey Stapleton of Billings in what is expected to be a crowded field for the open seat. Democrat Brian Schweitzer is barred from running again due to term limits.