Montana Democratic Party Hiding Behind Shadowy Veg PAC Attack Ads


 

 

Acceptable For Me, Not For Thee

 

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.

Dennis McDonald’s Campaign’s Last-Ditch Horse and Ass Spectacle


According to the latest campaign finance reports, as well as those prior,  it appears that Democratic US House Rep candidate Dennis McDonald’s campaign is broke.  Incumbent Republican Denny Rehberg has over a half million more dollars to use in the next ten days than McDonald.  These financial problems likely prompted McDonald’s latest publicity stunt- riding across the state of Montana on horseback- which he claims will display his incredible work ethic.

Unfortunately for McDonald, all potential vote gains disappear upon hearing reports from a Rehberg supporter tailing him since he embarked on his journey.  In a red rental car emblazoned with Rehberg stickers, Kaycee Hoagland of Billings estimates that McDonald has only ridden the horse at most a couple of miles since the trip began.  He claims McDonald transports the horse as well as an ass wearing a McDonald campaign garment via trailer, stopping outside of each town to saddle up and ride in for the photo opportunity.  In typical liberal fashion, McDonald’s story differs greatly as he estimates traveling from 60-80 miles of the trip on the horse.

His stop in Missoula, a liberal stronghold, had a turnout reflective of a lack of faith in McDonald’s ability to even compete in the US House Representative race.  The members of the local press and a group of vagrants out numbered the two supporters Mark Anderlik (Missoula Area Central Labor Council President) and Sharla Gade (Democratic State Committeewoman)  who publicly greeted their candidate.

Although McDonald mentioned that if he wins, he may ride his horse all the way to Washington, we all know that isn’t going to happen.  This is obviously a stunt designed to supply much-needed publicity for his struggling campaign and I must admit I really do enjoy seeing him on his pony  holding a Montana flag as his campaign donkey accompanies.  

 

 

Governor Schweitzer’s Paid Personal Cheerleader Under Fire for Offending the Gay Community


Poor Montana Cowgirl has made enough liberals upset that her blog was featured on a Billings Gazette headline this morning.  I find it odd that it was never a story until it bothered other liberals.  Cowgirl’s entire blog is devoted to lying about and mocking conservatives.

The rude anonymous blogger has apparently posted information using the state Capitol computer system according to the Gazette story.  Considering her love of all things Schweitzer and to a lesser extent Bullock, I’m pretty sure there is a scandal lurking within this story.  How much is our state paying Montana Cowgirl to be the governor’s personal cheerleader?  It makes sense to vote against corruption…. I suggest that Cowgirl’s sleazy tactics be rewarded with votes for the opponents of her pet candidates.

Check out the story on the Flint Report.

Governor Schweitzer Blows a Gasket


 

Governor Schweitzer is accustomed to getting his way.

 

When Governor Brian Schweitzer realized he wasn’t going to get his way, he had a hard time controlling his anger. Check out the video on The Flint Report. Governor Brian Schweitzer is suing the Montana Legislature over House Bill 676 because he believes it covers more than one subject and therefore violates the Montana constitution.  The legislators disagree.

Schweitzer has the nerve to criticize them for hiring additional legal staff for the lawsuit while failing to admit they wouldn’t need any lawyers for this issue had the governor not sued the legislature in the first place.  Governor Schweitzer needs to stop wasting Montana taxpayer money.

Montana’s Top Elected Democrats In Violation of Ethics Laws


Isn’t it time for Montana’s top elected Democrats to start setting a good example?

Birds of a feather….

While Governor Brian Schweitzer claims the home of the governor is exempt, Republicans believe that a fundraiser held Monday October 18, 2010 at the Governor’s mansion is in violation of a state law banning use of government resources for political work.  Montana law states, “a public officer or public employee may not use
public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, or funds to
solicit support for or opposition to any political committee, the
nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of
a ballot issue.” (MCA 2-2-121(3)(a)).  Among co-hosts of this party were the state’s top law enforcement officer, Steve Bullock, the state’s top elections officer, Linda McCulloch, and a number of partisan lobbyists.  We will keep this in mind when Bullock is running for governor in the future.

The chairman of the Montana Republican Party, Will Deschamps:

“I have a number of questions: How does the state’s top elections official justify her involvement in a partisan event that appears to violate ethics laws? How does the state’s top law enforcement official justify his involvement in a partisan event that appears to violate ethics laws? Is Kendall Van Dyk ignorant of the Montana definition of ethical, or did he flout it deliberately? Are we giving lobbyists free reign to use the people’s property for their political arm twisting? And when will Governor Schweitzer stop using taxpayer funds for partisan political purposes?”

Van Dyk has a history of  flouting the law so this should come as no surprise.

Van Dyk is running a dirty campaign against Roy Brown in the SD25 race in Billings.  Voters of the district have received  numerous nasty mailers sent out by Van Dyk and his friends.  Values Energy & Growth PAC, a new shadowy political action committee is responsible for many of the attack mailers and ads airing now.

It appears Van Dyk’s platform of one issue- stream access- isn’t enough to win a race so he is resorting to criticism of the incumbent senator’s home decor and other very worthy attacks.  Kudos to Roy Brown for handling this sort of rubbish with class.

The villain in the governor’s mansion, Brian Schweitzer should know better… and I’m sure he does.  He simply doesn’t care.  Vote for Roy Brown, send Kendall Van Dyk downstream.

HD47 candidate – Pam Ellis – Dishonest and Unethical


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.

See attached email thread – note it reads in reverse chronological order

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.