Rick Hill: Back From the Blind to Save Montana?

It appears that Montana Republicans will have yet another choice in the 2012 Gubernatorial race as former US Representative Rick Hill is emerging from a decade-long retirement to announce his candidacy on Monday, November 8.  Hill joins the list of GOP candidates, former Montana Senate Minority Leader, Corey Stapleton of Billings and Ken Miller, former Montana State Senator of Laurel.

With no shortage of pride, Hill mentions in the Gazette article announcing his impending announcement, that he is a “fixer”, and  he “knows how to work a room”.  Although rumored to have been voted the meanest congressman by congressional staffers in one term and runner-up in the other, he claims to know a lot about leadership.

As a lifelong Montana voter, I found it a bit offensive that in defending his advanced age, he pointed to 72-year-old California Governor-Elect Jerry Brown.  Is there not a better analogy than a has-been life-long politician advanced by the brilliant voters in a bankrupt state? Maybe not.

Rick Hill’s surprising departure from Montana politics in 1999 came after his criticism of his opponent having no children (despite him abandoning his own after being unfaithful), revelations of “serious eye problems”, and rumors of yet another affair.  Dropping out of the race so suddenly led many to believe a scandal of huge proportions was plaguing Hill’s bid for re-election.  Since leaving politics, he has apparently obtained a faux-law degree from an unaccredited online university and been “active in many republican campaigns”.  A Helena Independent Record article mentions that many consider him the “Dean of the state GOP”.  Yes, he does remind me a bit of Howard Dean.

In an apparent attempt to appear technologically savvy,  Hill planned an electronic town hall meeting Monday night.  We were unable to locate any Republicans who had been invited to this meeting (which sources say is now cancelled) and considering there were supposedly 18,000 of them, that does seem odd.

After taking such a long break, enjoying his retirement and nursing his eyes back to health, perhaps Hill should set his sights a little lower.  At the very least, he would be well-served by avoiding any comparisons to the other ego-centric blowhard currently holding the office.  I suggest a strong dose of humility.  Montanans are tired of the typical old man politician and his elect-ability is questionable at best.

15 thoughts on “Rick Hill: Back From the Blind to Save Montana?

    • Indeed. I don’t see him being our nominee unless his ability to “work the room” extends to the entire state. I don’t see it. Montana is tired of the old man life-long politician character and from what I’ve heard, his past is scandalous. I’ve also heard he was bragging about all of the dems who had contacted him hoping he’d run because he was the most moderate of the current candidates…. like that is a good thing.

  1. It’s a little early to send him money, but I’ll vote for him all the way. Good man, had to leave the House of Representatives due to bad eyesight, has very strong support statewide from Republicans. He spent a lot of time this last year working for candidates.

    • While that may be, I don’t trust him. Look a little deeper, Mr Benson…. What was his actual eye diagnosis? What about his affair while he was in Congress that coincided with these “serious eye issues”? What about his history of being a cheater? I don’t really care what people do sexually but cheating requires LYING. Especially those who don’t learn from their mistakes. Please tell me why he is a better candidate than the other Republicans who have announced? Hill was notoriously difficult to work for and many party insiders DETEST him. I’m sensing an ugly primary yet again…..

  2. In all fairness your description of a potential nominee being “Montana is tired of the old man life-long politician character,” can be applied to the following.

    Ken Miller, Two terms in the Montana State Senate, 1 term as Chairman of the Montana Republican party. And a decade, if not more, being a member of the party’s leadership. Topped off by a decade, and probably more, as a member of the Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee. He has a longer list… but I hope you get my point. Unless we find a Joe NoBody… Then all we have are party insiders… Spin it how you want… but that is the truth!

    Corey Stapleton, two terms in the Montana State Senate, one term as chairman of the RLCC. His service on the YCRCC, etc…

    • In all fairness, both Miller and Stapleton have been in the private sector since their time in the Senate. Service to the YCRCC is not a paid position and I am certainly not criticizing Rick Hill for helping with Republican campaigns and conventions- that wasn’t what I was referring to. My criticism should have been more clear…. According to his bio listed in the Billings Gazette, his private sector experience ended in 1992…. which will be 20 years by the time he would take office. I’ve heard comment after comment about how people voted for Van Dyk not for who he is or what he stands for but because he was young and could bring fresh energy to the senate. They envision Roy- with his argyle sweater vests and salt and pepper hair, as part of the old guy politician crowd- someone out of touch with real Montanans. While I don’t believe that is the case with Roy, perception is reality for the sheep. The Montana GOP had plenty of victories last week for younger political newcomers, which contributed to my suggestion about Montana being tired of the old man life-long politicians.

      I’m not suggesting a political nobody by any means- I think some experience is required. I’d primarily prefer someone without so much hypocritical family values baggage though- I’ve never heard anything suggesting that Ken Miller or Corey Stapleton are liars or cheaters. Draft dodging, affairs, abandonment of wife and children, etc…. those are the stories I hear about Rick Hill. But, that is just my two cents. There are plenty of people who know far more about each candidate than I will ever know, so I appreciate you weighing in. I’m not saying Hill is a terrible guy, I just hope he isn’t the GOP nominee.

  3. Stapleton is too young, Miller is too conservative to win in MT. The only one that is good on the stump and has the funds to win is Rick Hill. Maybe Hill/Taylor Brown could win….

    • So you think that Miller is more conservative than Stapleton? And why is Miller too conservative to win in Montana? By the time the governor took office, Stapleton wouldn’t be much younger than Obama was when he became the POTUS. I don’t think youth is necessarily a drawback in the current climate. I don’t think we need a governor who is elderly and infirm. Taylor Brown-although I like him- is by far the least experienced of the lot- he has only been a state senator since 08….. one session.

  4. ok, I got a call about about the phone town hall. There’s 1 out of 18,000. I hung up, being appalled at starting to campaign so soon. I want to enjoy the holidays!

    • I wonder who the other 17,999 Republicans are…. It is indeed early, but the reality is that the battle for 2012 begins on November 3. Those who wait longer reduce their ability to raise enough cash. Bullock is able to continue to raise money that can be used in either a re-election bid or if he runs for governor- without being a declared candidate. Republicans who wait do so at their own peril.

  5. Let’s nip this one in the Bud. We don’t need another fake Republican!!

    These are the real issues of this man who calls himself a “tea party” Republican but does not pay much attention to the Republican platform, not to mention the Constitution. He is a pretty polished and experience showman, but what about the heart of the man? Shouldn’t that be what matters? He is a politician. Is that what we need? NO!!! We need statesmen who reverance the Constitution and the Republican platform. Lipservice Republicans are repulsive and devastating to our state and nation. This is what has put us in the shape we are in!
    People, DO NOT fall for this empty show biz!

    I took the liberty to put labels on his unconstitutional and socialist votes.

    Take a look for yourself. I don’t think we want this man at the helm in our state.

    Congress 105-1

    1. Extension of rural multifamily rental housing loans, guarenteed by the taxpayer. Please show me where this is listed in the enumerated powers of the Constitution. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it. HR 28
    2. Build more prisons. HR 30. We need to use capitol punsihment or other deterances to keep people out of prison. We don’t have enough money to educate our kids, but we choose to lock people up to the tune of $100,000 per year. If a body can not control the disease within it, it will die.
    3. $20 billion spending for socialist programs. HR5
    4. Auto pilot federal spending. HR 1469
    5. He opposes withdrawl from UN. HR 1757
    6. Spending. FEMA, Peace keeping in Bosnia. Disaster relief. HR 1871
    7. Most favored nation trading status for China. HJ 79

    Congress 105-2

    1. Opposed constitutional disclosure of intelegence spending. HR 1775
    2. For Federal block grants. HR 1818. Where is in the enumerated powers? Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
    3. He opposed eliminating the national endowment for humanities. HR 2107
    4. Opposed eliminating sugar loan subsidies. HR 2160. The Constituion does not allow for charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
    5. Opposed eliminating of market access programs. Subsidising overseas advertising for big corporations. HR 2160
    6. Opposed eliminating export subsidies. HR 2159
    7. Opposed eliminating population controls and foreign aide. HR 2159

    Congress 105-3

    1. He favored VA/HUD appropriations. HR 2158 The constitution provides no provision for charity. People are to give freely if they choose. Government has nothing to give unless it takes it from someone first.
    2. For foreign aide. HR 2159
    3. For a global crime court. H.Con res 137
    4. For dismissing Dornan election fraud. HR 355
    5. For IMF Bailout. HR 3579
    6. Dissanster assistance to Bosnia. HR 3579. If people or organizations choose to be charitable, great. Government has no provision for charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
    7. For more federal involvement in public schools, stealing the local schools autonomy. HR 6

    Congress 105-4

    1. For super pork. HR 2400
    2. Monkeying around with the 1st amendment. HJR 78
    3. For food stamps etc. S 1150
    4. Against 150 billion in tax cuts. HJR 284
    5. Opposed Elimination of corporate welfare. HR 4101
    6. For Agriculture subsidies. HR 4101
    7. For funding welfare for women, infants and children (WIC). HR 3874 Again, no charity. Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it.
    8. For taxpayers subsidizing trade with China. HJR 121

    Have ya had enough? There is more

    Congress 106-1

    1. Voted against Clinton impeachment article. HR 611
    2. Voted for wild and scenic rivers land grabs. HR 193
    3. For more AG subsidies. HR 1906

    Congress 106-2

    1. More support for China. HJR57
    2. Opposed slight farm aide cut. HR 2606
    3. Supported corporate welfare. HR 2606
    4. Supported more foreign aide. HR 2606
    5. Opposed transparency in campaign dislcosure in Doolittle campaign finance legislation.
    6. Supported assult on 1st amendment and free speech. HR 417
    7. Supported more Ag subsidies. HR 1906
    8. More Federal Education subsidies, removing local autonomy. HR2
    9. For Federal Education grants. HR 2
    10. For labor/ HHS / Education spending. Where is does the Constituion address education? Either amend the constituion or abide in it, we can not continue to ignore it. HR 3064

    Congress 106-3

    1. For small business admin. corporate welfare. HR 3843
    2. Opposed 2001 budget by conservative action team. This bill wanted $270 Billion in tax cuts.
    3. Supported HUD expansion. HR 1776
    4. Supported providing TV for “underserved areas. HR 3615
    5. Supported funding for disabilities education. HR 4055. Note: Veterans need to be taken care of under the well funded department of defense.
    6. Supported monies for more land grabs by Feds. HR 701
    7. Supported permanent normal trade status with China. HR 4444

    Congress 106-4

    1. Automatic funding of the welfare state. HR 853
    2. Opposed disclosure of intelegence spending to Congress. HR 4392
    3. Supported the welfare state mother load. > 7% spending increase. HR 4577
    4. Assault on the seconf amendment. June 21, 2000, Roll call 308.
    5. More Ag subsidies. HR 4461
    6. Foreign aide giveaways. HR 4461
    7. More normal trade relations with communists. HJ 103

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