MT Politics 2014: Final Shots

One day until primary Election Day here in Montana! Are you ready? ARE. YOU. READY?

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow (Tuesday). Montana voter information, including how to register to vote, can be found HERE.

And, if you want to know what’s going on, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord on election night for updates! If you don’t have Twitter, my Twitter feed is here on the right side of the page at

It’s been an interesting primary election season, probably one for the history books because of the contested primary races and the number of ads on television. Here are some thoughts.

I counted the campaign information I received in the mail, and I received 12 pieces. Out of those 12 campaign pieces, seven were from Political Action Committees (PACs). Five pieces out of 12 were for statewide races.

I voted a few days ago and my ballot safely arrived at the Cascade County (MT) Elections office. You can track your ballot these days – how cool is that?I Voted JPG

The “swift boating” of Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke continues. The most interesting thing to me is that both those on the far right and the far left are going after him.

For the left, someone named Larry Bailey from North Carolina, who is listed as a retired U.S. Navy SEAL Captain had his letter discrediting Zinke’s military career posted on the Don Pogreba’s progressive Intelligent Discontent blog.

For the right, former state senator and Montana GOP chairman Ken Miller also sent the same letter to his e-mail list. Then Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, posted a column on the PolyMontana blog with the Bailey letter. At the end, Marbut wrote, “My son’s Special Forces friends now lump Zinke into a category of people they call ‘posers.’”

I don’t know Captain Larry Bailey from Private Beetle Bailey, but I’m thinking that Zinke is not conservative enough for Captain Bailey, Ken Miller, and Gary Marbut. He may be too close to the middle for the Don Pogreba and a bigger threat to the Democratic House candidate.

Anyway, Captain Bailey lists North Carolina as his home, so he does not get to vote in Montana’s primary. Neither does Beetle Bailey.

For his part, Zinke posted a couple documents on his campaign website – one was a 2004 fitness report and the other was a Bronze Star commendation. If it were me, I would post my DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, on my campaign website.

By late Tuesday night we’ll see if all these attacks on Zinke worked. It would be kind of funny to see how the far righties such as Miller, Marbut, and Rick Hill handle it if Zinke ends up being the GOP nominee.


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4 thoughts on “MT Politics 2014: Final Shots

    • James – Thanks. I was a little unclear about Bailey in that paragraph. I meant that his letter was used by the left. You are right, he is “far out.” -JmB

    • Larry Bailey is absolutely not someone on the left, he makes Zinke look like a Kennedy. That said Capt Bailey’s word carries a ton of weight within the Seal community and he is very highly respected. Regardless of where Bailey’s politics lie it’s important to note that a lot of what he says is his opinion. Personally I am in 100% agreement that Zinke’s verbiage is misleading with regard to his position at team six as well as the embellishment of his Bronze Star awards. As for the travel voucher fraud; I first heard about it over a year ago from a plankowner (original member) of team six who absolutely refused to make his comment public (smart dude). I was stationed at Military Sick Call at Little Creek as the designated SpecWar liaison when Capt Bailey was at team two. I was friends with a lot of team guys, many who I still keep in touch with. Amazing that a few sutures or ear wicks will earn you a lifetime ticket to all Seal parties.
      For me what really matters is the travel voucher issue. Forget the DD214, what we need to see is Zinke’s Fitness Report for the period ending 6/15/1999. That is the only document that will clear the air and prove whether Zinke is being truthful or not.

      • Ed –

        What I meant by that line was that the left was using Bailey’s letter to try and defeat Zinke – not that Bailey was a leftie, but that is water under the bridge – as Zinke is the GOP nominee for U.S. House. We’ll see how many on the right stand up for Zinke when the lefties go after him using all the ammo that people like Bailey gave them to use against him.
        Should be a fun general election season.

        Thanks for stopping by,


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