Montana Democrat Party Hires Purple-Shirted Thug as New Executive Director


Get ready for the purple shirts, Montana!

The Montana Democrat Party was apparently unimpressed with election results as they released their executive director last week.  SEIU political director, Ted Dick of Helena was hired to replace him.

What can Montana expect from Mr. Dick?  It is likely that the dirty mud-slinging campaign tactics he is known for will intensify.  Earlier this year, Ted Dick and the SEIU donated  at least $10,000 to Main Street Advocacy, a progressive “Republican”  group supporting moderate Republicans in contested primary races with Tea Party backed candidates.  Main Street Advocacy eventually returned the money, but Dick’s connection to the group appears to be significant.

Montana Republicans may want to investigate Senator John Brueggeman’s connections to such a group as well.

The Montana Democratic Party has its work cut out.  The people of Montana have spoken and they said, loud and clear: “We prefer a conservative direction in our state”.  So, Mr. Dick, I can’t wait to see how the SEIU’s signature  dirty political practices will affect campaigning in Montana. Will the Democrats have purple buses and rent-a-mobs at their disposal whenever necessary?  Will we see purple-shirted operatives counting ballots perhaps?  After the dirty campaigning by Kendall Van Dyk in SD25, one almost wonders how it could get much nastier.

Something tells me Montana’s political practices commission will be rather busy.

Montana SD25 Race: Dirty Democrat Guide to Stealing Elections


 

Kendall Van Dyk's Campaign Tactics?

Although the margin of victory exceeds the margin that triggers a mandatory recount, Roy Brown is still considering whether or not to call for one anyway.  Sixteen votes separate the candidates currently.

 

If Kendall Van Dyk wins this race, we are sending a clear message- dirty attack ads prove victorious.  Never have I witnessed such a nasty race- Van Dyk’s mailers were nothing short of SLIMY, rife with distortions, false accusations, and blatant lies.  In stark contrast, Roy Brown retained his dignity and campaigned like a gentleman.

The following are lessons we can learn from this election:

  1. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy so pay people like you to do your work- over and over.  Van Dyk’s campaign paid at least 17 people WAGES.  Roy Brown?  One.  Don’t bother knocking on doors yourself, use your employees.  While Roy was seen several times at each door in SD25, most residents didn’t see Van Dyk once.
  2. Never waste a perfectly good crisis. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose   No matter how vague of a connection, make outrageous statements connecting your opponent to emotional issues.  If he worked for an oil company three decades ago, connect him to the BP oil spill.
  3. Never go outside the experience of your people so utilize national figures and the state and national party to provide assistance.  Have DC fundraisers for a state election in Montana. Use shadowy PACs. The Values Energy & Growth PAC is funded solely by the Democratic Legislators Alumni PAC which is solely funded by….. the Montana Democratic Party.  Your constituents won’t know how to follow the money though, you’ll be alright.
  4. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy. If your opponent has maintained dignified campaigns in the past, step it up a notch. Always take the low road.  It is difficult to flaunt your strengths when you don’t have any.  In these cases, compensate by attacking your opponent.  Name calling is a bonus.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most powerful weapon. Whine about how your opponent has gone too far.  For instance, accuse him of “trying to tie you to Obama”.  Never mention the several photos of you attending various events with Obama at your side- after all, that doesn’t tie you to him.
  6. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules- I consider this projection:  Exploit your own weaknesses by presenting them as your opponent’s. If you were raised out of your district,  present your opponent as an outsider. Don’t mention he moved here as a toddler or that you lived most of your life on the opposite side of the state.  If you were the local NORML chapter president, instead paint your opponent as “weak on medical marijuana laws”.
  7. If you do have ANY accomplishments, make sure your opponent appears to contrast you.  For instance, if you authored a stream access bill (even though the your bill looked nothing like the final one), present yourself as a savior to sportsmen.  Publicize photos of you hunting, fishing, being a MAN.  Ignore the fact that your opponent was the one endorsed by all of the sportsmen and firearm rights interest groups.  That is irrelevant.  Most people are too stupid or apathetic to research these fine details, so don’t worry about it.
  8. It isn’t about what you have, it is about what they THINK you have. Use subliminal advertising.  If you don’t have a wife and children- or even a girlfriend, take campaign photos with your sister and her children.  Voters will simply assume you have a cute little family. Don’t mention that your entire family is republican either.
  9. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside so NEVER actually address accusations lodged at you by your opponent.  When he calls you “Tax Hike Van Dyk”, address his name-calling, not the name itself.  Don’t mention that you LOVE taxes and big government and that you cannot wait to make your nickname a reality.
  10. Shake things up a bit.  Use different tactics so it never becomes a drag.  Attack from every angle.  If you can get your opponent’s supporters angry with him, this is a bonus.  If stock growers support your opponent, accuse him of being a vegetarian even if he eats meat regularly.
  11. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.    The ends always justifies the means so don’t worry about ethics.  You will win in the end.  Good luck!

Kendall Van Dyk. Sam Kitzenberg. Arlen Specter.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Veg PAC Strikes Again


 

Vote Roy Brown SD25, James Knox HD47

 

 

Values, Energy & Growth PAC, the shadowy new Montana PAC responsible for the ridiculous mailers packed with lies about Roy Brown (which interestingly used the same photos of Brown as Kendall Van Dyk’s campaign) is now weighing in on the Knox/Ellis race in HD 48 in Billings.   The new mailer encourages citizens to call in bogus “privacy invasion” claims to the already busy authorities.  While Billings police are investigating homicides, they will be interrupted to look into absurd claims that James Knox’s signs are spying on private citizens.  It appears that those responsible for stealing Knox’s signs don’t appreciate the cameras and GPS units attached to random campaign signs.

Christopher Cady of Bozeman is the group’s treasurer.  I encourage all concerned citizens to contact him immediately or better yet, contact the Montana state Commissioner of Political Practices to report these illegal mailers. The candidates benefiting from the Veg PAC’s propaganda owe Montanans an explanation.  Call out this well-funded organization, denounce their tactics.  Mud-slinging isn’t welcome in Montana.  If a candidate cannot win on merit, perhaps they shouldn’t run and if Van Dyk and Ellis remain silent, we can only believe they condone or endorse these attacks.

Fails of the Week: Insults Directed at Right Actually Offend Left


The Fail of the Week award is shared by two Montana bloggers this week.

 

Deplorable posts by two Montana bloggers share the dishonor of fail of the week.

 

Montana Cowgirl wins the Fail of the Week prize again for her post comparing the masculinity of long-married with children Senator Roy Brown with that of Kendall Van Dyk, the Montana house representative who has never been seen in the company of any female not related to him.  Cowgirl found it “faggy” that Roy Brown wore argyle as carried his laptop in a bag while working while Kendall Van Dyk apparently only wears camouflage or hip-waders and carries very manly weapons.  Even Cowgirl’s fans found her post to be petty and insulting to the gay community.

This is so petty, immature, and stupid… I hope you pack tissues on election day cowgirl! You might want the big box.

queery

You’re missing the point. It isn’t about making fun of a candidate that happens to be a Republican, or payback for what happened to Nancy Keenan, or giving them a taste of their own medicine… this is gay baiting. This is making fun of gays for political points. This is crapping on a huge segment of Democratic base. Bigger picture, folks!

After the many pixels spent talking about feminist views and not judging people by their appearence/gender on this blog, I was wondering when someone was going to speak up. Does it make one a “Man” to go out and shoot furry things (even if you use a bow)? Does it make one not a man if you carry a laptop case over your shoulder? I guess I just don’t get it. There is no question that I am a man but I haven’t hunted in over two decades. I can put 24 arrows in a 3″ circle at 40 yards with a 60 lb horsebow but am I not a man if I don’t do that to an elk? You are guilty of what you have accused your opponents of doing. That is disgusting and somewhat disappointing.

Cowgirl then resorted to adding the following comment which displays her complete lack of integrity as it is simply a LIE.

Roy is a wealthy out-of-state oil executive, who who spends his time in the legislature trying to help out of state oil companies get tax breaks, even when they are making more money than any industry in the history of mankind. And he tries to syphon hunting license money to cover for the resulting deficit, even when those funds are supposed to go toward protecting hunting land. Has nothing to do with sexuality, sorry to say.

My personal favorite comment, however was this one found in her subsequent post addressing the fury caused by the initial photo comparison of Kendall and Roy.

Montana Left

The irony to all of this stuff is that Kendall seems more likely to be involved in a “bromance” than Roy. I can’t see Roy in a bromance.

The obvious conclusion from this post is that Montana Cowgirl isn’t quite comfortable with her sexuality.  Her “anonymity” prevents me from further expounding, but eventually it will be evident to all what I’m talking about.

I must admit it was enjoyable for me to witness the backlash against Cowgirl this week as well as that of our other Fail of the Week winner, Matt Singer from Left in the West for his post condemning Aaron Flint  (Northern Broadcasting Voices of MontanaThe Flint Report) for his original post here.  Singer criticized Flint for his apparent failure to denounce the Poplar principal who gave a pep talk to failing students after a school assembly.   Left in the West fans weren’t sold on Singer’s assessment of the situation in Poplar and many called him out on the real story, which was a small Montana middle school (approximately 140 students) had 5 suicides last year in addition to another 20 attempts.  The principal being criticized for her pep talk is a FIRST-year principal.  Perhaps she figured whatever tactics in use last year weren’t working and she tried something different.  The comments on both Flint and Singer’s posts largely supported Flint who also weighed in with thoughtful commentary and a few pointed youtube clips from the movie “Lean on Me”.   Some of the interesting comments on both posts:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 5:29 PM

You get an F for thoughtfulness. I imagine you didn’t go to a Poplar middle school, where five kids committed suicide last year and twenty attempted it, so your comment is irrelevant and reckless.

Shaming kids who already suffer in a cycle of poverty and desperation? God you’re a bonehead.

Huh? (0.00 / 0)
I  SERIOUSLY doubt that we can actually know what happened from a Fibune article.  Might I remind you that this woman has dedicated a mere FIFTEEN YEARS of her life to educating these kids.  I’ll withold judgement until and at such a time as real malfeasance can be proven.  Until then, I’m just not buying it.  Flint could very well be right.  A scandal, no matter whether it’s real  or not, is enlarged simply for its entertainment value in the outback of Montana.  Hey, a good scandal plays well out there.  But again, I doubt the “facts” of the Fibune.  It was a poorly written piece of sh*t article to begin with that seemed to actually start the scandal rolling.  Now, I’m not saying that I couldn’t be wrong, but using the Fibune article as the sole reference point, I doubt that I am. 


The real story, Larry (0.00 / 0)
isn’t the principal’s tactics — I agree, there’s a lot of “he said, she said” being bandied about in the Trib piece.The real story is that five KIDS have committed suicide and twenty have attempted suicide WITHIN THE LAST YEAR.  In a town of less than 1000.This is the real travesty. Although if there is some truth to the principal’s actions, it seems to be a pretty poor way to motivate kids. 


 

Given that these parts of the GFT story weren’t highlighted in the original post(0.00 / 0)

 

 

Black told the Associated Press on Monday that she only segregated the students at the end of the assembly so she could give them a private pep talk on how to improve their grades, and that she did not announce why she was calling them down to the floor.“I didn’t say that these kids have Fs. I did not say that I was ashamed of them or anything like that,” Black told the Associated Press. “What I was thinking was high expectations. I really feel that these kids can all do well, that they can improve. And that’s what I talked to them about.”

This year, the school has focused on improving parent involvement, including home visits, open houses and grandparents’ day at the school, Black said.

School officials also have increased monitoring for bullying, and positive results have already been seen with attendance up and discipline referrals down, she told the AP.

 

 

…I have to agree with Larry and Aaron Flint. Like everyone else, I certainly don’t know all the facts about the allegations surrounding the school assembly, what was said or how it was done. On the face of it, if Principal Black’s account is correct, a principal giving a group of kids a private peep-talk about getting their grades up certainly does not a public-shaming make.


 

It was nice to see a few dedicated liberals willing to call out their own on bigotry and pettiness.  Kudos to them!



Political Playground Bully “Big Government” Kendall Van Dyk’s Diabolical Campaign of Distortions


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.

National Democrats Focusing on Two Key Montana Legislative Races


According to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Montana is home to 2 out of 20 key legislative races in the nation.  The DLCC announced its “Essential Races” Program in late September along with a list containing the first of the races they felt were most important throughout the nation.   Out of the more than 6000 races nationwide this November 2nd, Democrats will have eventually have chosen a total of 50 critical races that they plan to augment by grassroots initiative.

 

Most important to the national dems.....fortunate?

Democrats Augmenting Races With Grassroots Initiative

 

HD 100 (Willis Curdy (D) and Champ Edmunds (R)- while widely endorsed by the ultra-liberals in Missoula County, Curdy hasn’t made his stances clear.  He refused to respond to the non-partisan Project Vote Smart Political Courage Test and his website lists only vague information in broad categories.  For instance, he believes we need high-paying jobs, good education, and protection from property tax increases.   The National Rifle Association Victory Fund graded Mr. Curdy a “C-“.

Republican Champ Edmunds, if elected, plans to enact “a moratorium on frivolous lawsuits put forth by radical environmental groups that stop progress and kill jobs”.  His website lists specific plans to combat the challenges our state faces today.  He scored a 100% on Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test- his views on issues can be found here.

As for the other race targeted, Montana Senate District 25 (Roy Brown v Kendall Van Dyk) we’ve covered it thoroughly in prior posts here and here.  We simply wanted to explain why it was so important to us…. the democrats believe it is a critical race and we agree with them.

Montana Environmentalist Democrats: Protection from thee, not from me


Montana Democrats Fail to Practice What They Preach

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.

If Van Dyk is MAKING Laws for Us, He Should Also Follow Them


Gasp! Say it isn’t so! Democratic Montana State Representative Kendall Van Dyk who is challenging Senator Roy Brown in Montana’s Senate District 25, posted photos of his completed voting ballots on his Facebook page.  One was posted May 11, 2010 and the other was posted October 5, 2010.
Based on my admittedly amateur interpretation of Montana Elections Law after researching the statutes here, it appears that Montana’s fearless environmental savior, Representative Kendall Van Dyk, is indeed in violation of MCA 13-35-201 for photographing and posting his marked ballot on his Facebook profile for all to view.  He completed his absentee ballot and posted an image of it on his Facebook profile on May 11, 2010 with the words ” hope your ballot looks like this”.  After completing his general election absentee ballot October 5, 2010, he again violated Montana election code when he photographed  his completed ballot and posted the image on his Facebook profile with a similar message that served to potentially bully or intimidate constituents who have yet to vote.

13-35-201. Electors and ballots. (1) An elector may not show the contents of the elector’s ballot to anyone after it is marked. An elector may not place any mark upon the ballot by which it may be identified as the one voted by the elector.

The Official Photoprez.com blog is a free platform for sharing and viewing photos of the American election experience.  Their article,  How to Photograph the Election and Your Vote (November 2008), lists the election laws and interpretations for each state as a guide to the legality of photographing votes on election day.  The section on Montana listed the following information and FAQ.  I have underlined the core components related to this particular violation by Rep Van Dyk:

 

Montana

Can you photograph or video your vote inside the polling station–either a paper ballot or electronic screen?

Not after marked: A Montana voter “may not show the contents of [his or her] ballot to anyone after it is marked.” MT ST 13-35-201

(available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-201.htm). Photographing or videotaping an unmarked ballot does not appear to be restricted.

Can you photograph or video yourself voting inside the polling station?

Probably: Although a voter is restricted from disclosing the contents of his or her marked ballot, photographing or videotaping the ballot before marking a vote, or the voting process generally does not appear to be restricted.

 

Can you photograph or video others voting or the working of the polling station from within it?

 

Maybe: You may not photograph or video any voters marked ballot, but there does not appear to be any restriction on photographing or videotaping other voters within the polling place itself. Election officials in Montana restrict media access to the actual polling place, but you should be able to photograph or video the operation of the polling place while you are voting yourself. If your actions are seen as disruptive, however, election officials may ask you to stop. To be safe, you should consult the chief election judge about how best to record your voting experience while minimizing disruption. See MT ST 13-35-203 (available at

http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-203.htm), MT ST 13-35-218 (available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-218.htm).

 

 

 

Can you photograph or video the polling station from outside it?

 

There does not appear to be any restriction on photography or videotaping a polling place from outside the actual building.

 

 

Can you photograph or video people leaving the voting station?

Without delving into rights of publicity, there doesn’t appear to be any restriction on photographing or videotaping people leaving the polling place.

 

 

Can you ask people questions leaving the polling station and can you video or blog their answers?

Questions about votes must be outside: Montana does not allow asking anyone “within a polling place or any building in which an election is being held” about how they voted or plan to vote. MT ST 13-35-211(3) (available at http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/MCA/13/35/13-35-211.htm). Additionally, the Montana secretary of state has restricted media access to the actual polling room. It is likely that once you have completed voting, you will be required to leave the polling room, but questions unrelated to votes for/against a particular candidate or initiative should be permissible there.

 


While some may feel that even mentioning these violations of our state’s election laws is being small-minded (or in the words of Mr Van Dyk, “intellectually small”) or petty, we must not forget that Mr Van Dyk holds his opponents to often impossible standards of perfection that he obviously isn’t willing to maintain for himself.  For instance, he filed a complaint against Roy Brown alleging violations of MCA 13-37-217, 13-37-229, and 13-37-231 concerning a $100 campaign contribution made to Brown in the name David Berg instead of David Fulwiler (David Fulwiler and David Berg are actually the same person which Mr Van Dyk acknowledged).  The Commissioner of Political Practices dismissed the complaint after determining that it held no merit whatsoever.
I’m typically not one to be preoccupied with trivial matters but this candidate seems almost desperate in his paltry attempt to discredit Roy Brown over a $100 campaign contribution.  In the today’s dirty political world, I doubt that Van Dyk’s minor violations of election ethics laws  but if one plans to dish it out, they also need to be prepared to take it.

Obscure PAC Uses Deceptive Propaganda to Influence Montana Senate Race


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.

Values Energy & Growth PAC

I'd take "Big Oil" Roy Brown over Kendall "TAX HIKE" Van Dyk any day.

LIES

The left loses more credibility each day.

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.