If you are a supporter of Democrats or a member of the Montana and/or the National Democratic Party, then you probably smiled and giggled all the way through the Montana Television Network’s (MTN) “Face the State” program, which was about the problems in the Montana Republican Party.
It aired last Sunday (June 2) morning, and if you missed it you can see it HERE.
If you are a moderate-leaning Republican or independent voter who watched the show, then you are probably shaking your head in disbelief.
I watched the program and I give MTN political reporter Marnee Banks a salute for getting so many GOP state legislators to air their dirty laundry on television.
After watching the program a couple times, I came to the conclusion that the Montana GOP has at least three problems. These problems are state Senators Art Wittich, Jason Priest, and Jeff Essmann.Those three, along with some of their far-right followers from the Montana House, are basically destroying the Republican Party from within due to their threats aimed at moderate Republicans. We saw the fight spill over into the Montana Legislature. It’s harming the party.
It’s no longer just calling someone a RINO (Republican In Name Only) in private; it’s threatening the moderates with “dark money” postcards during election season and going after fellow Republicans in primaries. There were even threats on the state senate floor during this last session.
Wittich, Priest, and Essmann should realize that more Montanans agree with the moderates of the Republican Party than the extreme right. These three leaders did not come across very well during the program.
In an amazing show of arrogance during an interview Wittich said, “The most underrepresented person in the capitol halls is the taxpayer. I think there’s one lobbyist that represents…the Montana Taxpayers Association.” He added, “There’s nobody that represents, you know, Joe Smith taxpayer in the halls up there.”
I guess Wittich believes that he is not elected to represent us – the taxpayers – but that taxpayers are represented by lobbyists. Wonderful. That about tells the whole story of the leaders of the three-ring circus called the Montana Legislature.
Senators Llew Jones, Taylor Brown, Jim Peterson, and Ed Buttrey all came across as statesmen during the show. Moderate Republicans like these senators will come closer to getting my votes, my money, my support, and positive ink on this website than the far-right fringe Republicans.
Several moderate Republicans have joined forces to push for a ballot initiative in what the Associated Press reported was “aimed at shedding light on so-called ‘dark money’ in politics.”
This is a good thing and Democrats should join them to get this on the ballot in 2014. It’s fine with me if people want to spend money for or against a candidate or issue – just as long as it’s disclosed in a timely manner, they list who they are, and how much they spent. Check out their Facebook page HERE.
With the Montana Republican Party convention this weekend in Bozeman, it looks like it’s shaping up to be an interesting event. They will be electing officers for the next two years and that includes the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Will the far-right fringe Republicans win the day or will the more moderate Republicans be the winners?
Nonetheless, it looks as though the leader of the Montana Republican Party will undoubtedly feel as though he/she are herding cats for the next few years. Meanwhile, anyone holding or running for a statewide office will have to walk a fine line so he/she won’t anger the moderates or the far-right members.
In other words, they will need to kiss a lot of…
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