Before Kendall Van Dyk met the Northern Plains Resource Council……… he was a Republican. “I was born into a Republican family and I spent more of the years of my life as a Republican than I have now a Democrat. ” Political opportunism at its finest. I bet his parents are thankful they don’t live in his district. It is one thing to become an independent but quite another to go so far across the spectrum to change parties- can a moral compass just disappear? This reminds me of the time Brian Schweitzer told me he was really a republican. The governor doesn’t care much about parties, I believe that. Brian Schweitzer is not a team player unless it benefits Brian Schweitzer. Regardless of Van Dyk’s claims, he is known in the legislature as being a hot-tempered whiner who plays for his own team. Whether or not you agree with Roy Brown’s politics, he is known by both parties as a consistent, even-tempered statesman.
“As the governor, I’m not going to allow out-of-state interests to buy up lands and restrict access to public lands and streams.”- Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana
What Governor Schweitzer forgot to mention was that he personally planned to buy up lands and restrict access to lands and streams as opposed to allowing out of state interests to do so. Schweitzer owns 670 acres of land up Mullan Pass- land that in the past was available for hunting and fishing. Shortly after being reelected in 2008, Schweitzer, citing vandalism, placed chains, locks and signs prohibiting access to the land. At least 4 signs grace the property- each reads “No trespassing. Jim Brenden no longer owns this ranch. Please respect my privacy. No hunting, fishing, snowmobiling or 4 wheeling. Do not enter.” Schweitzer said that if asked permission, he will most likely allow hunting, hiking, and snowmobiling although he fails to post a phone number or to otherwise direct parties who are interested in obtaining permission.
The federal stimulus provided $330,000 to upgrade the US Forest Service road providing access to the land. Schweitzer isn’t pleased that the road was improved- he preferred the remote nature of his property. It is good news for those angry with the governor’s signs, gates, and fences, however. Hoodlums wishing to retaliate can more easily poach his elk and throw their litter onto his land- of course neither behavior is advised. My suggestion is to call the Capitol to ask Schweitzer himself.
Want to hunt, snowmobile or picnic? Give ole Bri a call…
Governor Brian D. Schweitzer
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801
(406) 444-3111, FAX (406) 444-5529
Perhaps if he doesn’t answer, you could contact his pal Montana Representative Kendall Van Dyk, Montana’s own environmental super hero who single-handedly clarified stream access laws across Montana.
Liberal Hypocrisy: While Quietly Funding Sleazy New PAC, Montana Democrats Whine About Kendall Van Dyk Being Unfairly Tied to Obama in “Attack Ads”
Across Montana this election season, letters to the editor and newspaper articles are denouncing the Values Energy & Growth PAC’s sleazy campaign tactics. The obscure new political action committee’s C-6 filed recently with the Montana Commission of Political Practices sheds some light on this group which has been making waves primarily in the Montana SD25 race between Roy Brown and Kendall Van Dyk. The Democratic Legislators Alumni Association, funded by the Montana Democratic Party is the SOLE source of funding for the group behind numerous large mailers suggesting that Roy Brown intends to kill the trout in our rivers with his pals at BP. Misleading at best, the group’s mailers all present Roy Brown as a wealthy out-of-state oil executive who is out of touch with Montana’s needs. In reality, he hasn’t worked in the oil industry in over a decade. While the Montana Democrat Party funding the Veg PAC isn’t necessarily illegal, Montanans certainly deserve to know who is behind the mudslinging.
Kendall Van Dyk’s virtual silence on this issue- combined with the “coincidence” that his campaign mailers use the very same photo of Roy Brown used in the Veg PAC’s attack mailers- suggests collusion. The latest mailers quote Montana Cowgirl, an anonymous liberal blogger under fire by her own supporters for “gay-baiting”. While the blogger is a consistent supporter of the liberal agenda- in particular that of Montana’s governor Brian Schweitzer and Kendall Van Dyk, her credibility is non-existent as her defense and incessant praising of all things Schweitzer suggests she exists solely for that very reason. The Veg PAC’s use of consulting firm Strategies 360 is also interesting to note considering the group’s VP is a former deputy communications director for Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Kendall Van Dyk has denied knowledge of the Values Energy & Growth PAC and the Democratic Legislators Alumni claims they gave funding to the group after the Montana Democratic Party put them in touch with the group- which only existed 5 days prior to absentee ballots being mailed. As reported in the Billings Gazette last week:
The Democratic Legislators Alumni Association had given $15,000 to VEGpac the day VEGpac was formed and another $10,000 on Oct. 8. Also required to reveal its finances Thursday, the Democratic Legislators Alumni Association listed just one donation from June 24 to Oct. 16: The Montana Democratic Party, which gave the Democratic Legislators Alumni Association $49,384.
It isn’t difficult to follow the money here, folks. Everything is connected. An anonymous Schweitzer cheerleader blogger, an environmental extremist candidate, the Montana Democratic Party….. yet everyone involved knows nothing. Interesting. In typical liberal fashion, they are keeping it classy.
I encourage those in SD 25 who have yet to vote to denounce attack ads with your vote. This story is only the beginning. Roy Brown’s campaign has been classy and respectful, choosing to attack Van Dyk’s record and agenda as opposed to creating dishonest connections and smearing his opponent personally. Although democrats are complaining of Van Dyk being smeared by attempting to tie him to Obama, it is difficult to defend when the numerous photos of Rep. Van Dyk posing with Obama are on his flickr photostream. In contrast, tying Roy Brown to BP is an outrageous assertion as there is no evidence to suggest anything of the sort.
Montana Democrats to Vote Against “Big Government” Van Dyk
Although it is a key Montana race, I hate to continue to write about the Kendall Van Dyk campaign’s hypocrisy and mud-slinging. The Montana Cowgirl blog’s posts here and here today combined with breaking news that Democrats are tiring of their candidate have, however; warranted another post.
According to sources within the Montana left, Democratic leaders are panicking over a trend they have noticed in Billings voters. Apparently democrats in SD25 are seriously favoring conservative businessman Roy Brown over radical environmentalist community organizer, Kendall Van Dyk. Whether these voters fear big government, are tired of the deceptive ads by Van Dyk and his minions, or they simply realize the importance of this election, voters from all ends of the political spectrum are showing support for Republican incumbent senator Roy Brown.
Rumors swirling about Brown’s covert veganism have likely contributed to this trend (the PETA crowd surely approves) but many voters are simply saying that they simply cannot elect someone with a one-issue advocacy history. Thanks in part to Van Dyk, Montana stream access laws have been clarified, but he has accomplished little else in his time in the House. His reputation for ego-driven tirades and failure to be a team player is obviously a contributing factor in this important election.
Billings Gazette readers commenting online have mentioned with increasing frequency that although they are Democrats or they voted for Kendall Van Dyk in his last House election, they’ll be voting this time for Roy Brown. Roy’s accessibility has been lauded while Van Dyk frequently resorts to using uninformed youngsters carrying Droids to canvas neighborhoods in SD25. Roy has consistently campaigned with dignity, always on a platform of why he deserves your vote as opposed to why his opponent does not. His honorable tactics have been rewarded with attack ads filled with lies and distortions about his career and lifestyle. Although collaboration would be illegal, it seems like quite a coincidence that mailers sent by Values, Energy, & Growth PAC use the very same photo of Roy Brown in a long black coat and a red scarf as those sent by Van Dyk. Montanans, Democrats and Republicans alike want candidates to know that we are tired of malicious campaigns.
Montana’s economy has been struggling to keep up with the spending of the democrats in power and Montanans from the left and right of the political spectrum are realizing that we can’t spend our way out of this recession. The reality for most Americans is that our federal taxes are going to be skyrocketing. With Montana’s projected state budget shortfall of nearly a half BILLION dollars, increases on state taxes are almost certain. Van Dyk hasn’t ever met a tax hike he didn’t like while Roy Brown was listed by Legistats as the third most fiscally conservative member of our state’s senate.
Maybe voters have decided that voting for local and state legislators who support Obama’s destruction of our nation is a bad move….but whatever the reason, Billings voters will be sending clear messages to the big Montana government on November 2nd, 2010. Gutter politics should not be rewarded. Ask Kendall Van Dyk to stop being the political playground bully and to keep his campaign clean.
I’ve quickly learned that politics is a dirty game. With only 22 ½ days until the election on November 2 the complaints from democrat candidates just keep stacking up in the office of the political practices commissioner. One must wonder if they even have merit. Are they factual complaints or just those to try and smear the other candidate because somebody is a sore loser?
That is the pile of candidates I’d throw Pam Ellis into among others this election cycle. Pam Ellis is running against James Knox in House District 47. Is it truly Knox’s fault that he has a larger grassroots base to help him campaign? We all know that with everything happening in Washington lately it is a great year to be a conservative Republican which is what James Knox is.
So, when Ellis used School District 2 in order to campaign I knew that this was not supposed to be ‘politics as usual’. For your information, here is a copy of various emails which went back and forth between Ellis and employees of SD2.
Too often candidates file complaints which stand on no grounds and are certainly without substance. So, why is it that when a regular everyday person attempts to file a complaint against a candidate they are told by the political practices commission that there is no ground to stand on?
On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Billings community came together to help raise money for the Billings Schools at Saturday Live. This is a yearly event that was started 18 years ago and is run by the Education Foundation for Billings Schools. Its purpose is to raise money for Billings schools which is done predominantly by students from each school running tables with various activities that people pay to participate. Some tables, particularly the ones for elementary schools, have parents and teachers present throughout the day but in the case of older kids they are often left to run their tables alone with teachers and/or parents periodically checking on them.
Our high school student worked the Skyview table at Saturday Live and was directly affected by Pam Ellis’ campaign practices. After setup and the departure of their teacher for the day Pam Ellis approached our student’s table and stated that she had a basket of “sports schedules” to leave at their table. She did not introduce herself to the students at the table or her intentions but did indicate that she had spoken to their teacher and that permission had been given to leave a basket of these schedules on their table for people to take. It is important to note that Pam did not stay by this table during the day. Her campaign materials were left in the possession of the Skyview Choir students. As Pam left she also gave each student a copy of her schedule. These schedules, while having high school sports events on them, are clearly campaign pieces for Pam Ellis.
While following up on the events from Saturday I did find evidence that the Skyview Teacher had received a solicitation for assistance and permission to display campaign materials directly from Pam Ellis using Billings Schools email system. It is clear from the emails that permission was granted by the teacher to display the campaign materials but this does not clear Pam of her intentions, actions or use of the school email system. The teacher also clearly indicates that the email she received does not indicate that the materials are politically oriented which led her to believe these were nothing more than schedules.
During conversations with Krista Hertz and Julie Whitworth at the Education Foundation, I learned that a representative of Pam Ellis had called in advance of Saturday Live to discuss her plans to distribute her campaign materials by passing them out. Both Krista and Julie indicated that they did convey their preference that they not distribute materials at the event and that the people at the event were there for the kids not political purposes. They were also unaware that Pam had actually left a number of campaign pieces at the table with students, rather than handing them out as indicated in the inquiry, until I brought it to their attention. Julie Whitworth indicated that Pam had asked about volunteering at a table, which by appearance, would be to justify the “advertising” she had left at the table. As a business this would be appropriate if she followed the Saturday Live sponsor rules but she did not.
Additionally, as a candidate this does not justify her actions and demonstrates a willful effort to subvert Saturday Live’s requests and campaign practices as it is not appropriate for a candidate to be a sponsor at a school related event.
By leaving campaign materials at the Skyview table it clearly establishes an association of Pam Ellis to Skyview, that particular Skyview class, the teacher and Skyview students as well as the permission of the Education Foundation for her to use their event for this purpose. This is no different than a business displaying another business’s materials at their tradeshow booth or office. This proximity creates a positive association and by extension an endorsement. None of the parties involved endorse Pam Ellis nor is it ethical to suggest this connection. Additionally, her practices targeted minors and their causes as a delivery mechanism. It is not reasonable to put students in the position of deciding if this is appropriate or not – particularly when they have been told a teacher approved it. As a former teacher and administrator she would know this to be true.
In conclusion, Pam Ellis’ experience as a teacher and administrator for 25 years and as a candidate would make her acutely aware of campaign rules and how they pertain to schools and related events.
Her email to the teacher to request assistance in distributing her campaign materials is a clear violation of campaign practices in Section 2‐2‐121 (http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/mca/2/2/2‐2‐121.htm) as well as Skyview and School District 2 policies. Additionally her indiscretion has caused unnecessary scrutiny and stress for Skyview and it teachers.
Her distribution methods of campaign materials certainly misrepresents Skyview, the Skyview table and Skyview students views and implies an endorsement of her by her using their table at Saturday Live.
This practice is dishonest and is misleading as it falsely leaves the impression that those involved endorse her. The collection of actions taken by Pam and her representatives are unethical as the entire approach is centered on the using of minor students and their school’s table as the vehicle to distribute campaign materials at a school fundraiser event. These actions violate section 13‐35‐301 (http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/mca/13/35/13‐35‐301.htm) as her tactics are misleading and unethical.
While we are all accustomed to receiving campaign literature, the amount, frequency and content targeting incumbent Montana state senator Roy Brown (SD 25) by either his opponent or those working on his behalf are not only excessive, but bordering on libelous.
Many Montana Democrats campaign on their “environmentally conscious” platforms, so one would expect them to practice what they preach. Perhaps they should consider an all email campaign to protect our forests. Since absentee ballots were sent out early this week, voters in MT SD25 have received an astronomical number of expensive 2 sided, full color pro-Kendall Van Dyk mailers. Some households have reported receiving twenty or more of them since Tuesday.
All Montanans care about maintaining the beauty and future of our great state. To criticize a candidate as ecologically irresponsible while Van Dyk himself condones and supports forest devastation is rather hypocritical. How many other issues does Van Dyk promote while his lifestyle indicates otherwise?
The hypocrisy of not only the mailer content but the premise of mailers themselves is an issue that needs to be addressed. Campaigning as an environmentally conscious candidate while ridiculously portraying your opponent as a tyrannical oil baron is duplicitous- especially when the eco-friendly candidate is partaking in the earth-raping deforestation by mailing large postcards in bulk.
These mailers, varying in size from large to gargantuan have no mention of the use of recycled paper or soy ink. None of them display any indication of biodegradability or if perhaps the liberal candidate has chosen to offset contributions to our environmental demise by planting trees.
Our candidates for elected office strive to shine as heroes in one aspect of their lives and/or careers. When environmentalism is that aspect, one expects to see that candidate promoting it in not only words, but actions.
An former boss once told me that the secret to his success was to determine what issues and characteristics were important to his employers and to then make those things important to him. WE employ elected officials, isn’t it time our needs are important to them? Masquerading as “green” and condemning your opponent for being pro-energy is diabolical unless those values are also actions. It is time that we hold our candidates to their campaign promises and start asking the tough questions. We may or may not approve of Roy Brown’s stances on the issues, but we can all admit that they are consistent with his lifestyle.