Absentee ballots will arrive today in 140,000 Montana mailboxes. Hoping to influence outcomes in the contentious Montana Senate District 25 race between incumbent Republican Roy Brown and challenger Democrat Kendall “Tax Hike” Van Dyk, “Values Energy & Growth PAC” recently sent mailers to arrive immediately before absentee ballots. Loaded with distortions, misrepresentations, and outrageous lies, the mailer portrays Roy Brown as a “Big Oil” tycoon who seeks to murder trout, vitiate the Yellowstone River and otherwise rape the earth as he protects the interests of big oil companies. In reality, it has been 14 years since Brown worked in the oil industry and nearly 3 decades since he was employed by Marathon Oil- although in the ad, Roy was pictured wearing a “Marathon” label (and a poorly-Photoshopped one at that)on his shirt.
Note : all red text below was added by ME to point out the distortions and lies. Please click on image to expand to full-size.
A PAC is a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. Unfortunately, some don’t register their organizations with the FEC or the state and many that do register, don’t disclose their involvements. Just who is the group “Values Energy & Growth PAC“? Registered to a Bozeman Post Office Box, Christopher Cady of Bozeman is listed as the caliginous group’s treasurer. Other than that, little is known about this group. A Google search of the group’s name returns nothing of value and searching the Federal Elections Commission website also turns up nothing. Update: The group abbreviated as “VegPAC” (how appropriate) filed a C2 in Montana on September 30,2010. Although it provides little additional information, the filing claims intent to “support and/or oppose legislative candidates”.
Numerous 2010 Montana primary elections were potentially influenced by last-minute attack ads and mailers from difficult-to-track shadowy groups. In one such race, Montana HD 57 , Debra Bonogofsky was defeated by Dan Kennedy after voters received a mailer criticizing Bonogofsky’s failure to return the group’s survey. Bonogofsky is, according to Republican party insiders, a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and is listed as such on rinopoacher.com. Although she was one of only two Republicans in Montana to receive the endorsement of the radical environmentalist group Montana Conservation Voters (who has endorsed Kendall Van Dyk in the SD 25 race) in June’s primaries, she denies that she is a RINO and isn’t willing to surrender without a fight. After considering an illegal party change (Democrats entertained the idea of her running in the general election as their candidate, which says much about her “conservatism”), Debra instead launched a write-in campaign. It will remain to be seen if voters will regard Debra’s persistence as that of a sore loser-it is easier to blame special interest groups for a defeat than to look within.
If you have questions today as you are voting from the comfort of your own home, don’t hesitate to research further. Ask questions. Know your candidates. If you aren’t familiar, information is available on the voting record, issue positions, and group ratings for most candidates at Project Vote Smart. This year, absentee voters can also check the secretary of state’s website to make sure their ballots are received by the county.