Campaign 2014: Political Potpourri

We are eight days from Election Day 2014 – is this freaking exciting or what?

Today I write about Mailergate, new ads from John Lewis and Ryan Zinke, VanDyke’s colleague, DSCC chair, and much more!


It’s been quite interesting the past few days to watch the outrage (mostly from the left) about the mailers received in Montana about Montana’s Supreme Court races. The mailers came from the political science departments at Stanford University and Dartmouth College.

You can see a PDF of the mailer HERE (Courtesy of the Flathead Memo).

Even the big fella, Senator Jon Tester, got involved because he can’t let everyone else get publicity. Tester sent a letter to the presidents of Stanford University and Dartmouth College.

The Associated Press reported that the mailer “was paid for with a $250,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and a matching $100,000 in support from Stanford.”

According to their Wikipedia entry, “The Hewlett Foundation awards grants to a variety of liberal and progressive causes.”


Maybe those who are outraged can call on former U.S. Senator Max Baucus to get to the bottom of this; he graduated from Stanford.

New TV Ads:

In the final push before Election Day, the U.S. House campaigns of John Lewis and Ryan Zinke released ads.

On Friday, the Lewis campaign released a new ad called “Grounded” in which he highlights the endorsements he has received from the Billings Gazette, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Montana Standard, and the Helena Independent Record.

The ad starts with one of my favorite lines of the 2014 campaign season, “The job is Congressman. Not commando.”

While I don’t know how much the voters will care which newspapers endorsed Lewis or not, I give the Lewis ad “Grounded” nine out of 10 (9/10). You can watch it HERE.

Yesterday, the Zinke campaign released a new ad called “Ballot” and the campaign says the ad is “focused on exposing John Lewis and the extreme partisan policies he supports.”

There are a lot of photos of Lewis and President Obama in the video. The video begins with Obama speaking about his policies being on the ballot this election.

Trying to tie Democrats to Obama is a method that sometimes works and sometimes does not. I give the Zinke ad “Ballot” eight out of ten (8/10). You can watch it HERE.

VanDyke & Black:

Montana Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke does not have a fan in at least one former co-worker.

The Associated Press reported that the Montana Department of Justice Civil Division Bureau Chief Mike Black “is questioning whether the ex-solicitor general has the experience and temperament for a seat on the state’s highest court.”

Of course, Black was quick to point out that the reason he was stabbing VanDyke in the back “has nothing to do with his politics” but it’s because he does not “think he has the maturity or the work ethic to aspire to this position.”

If you believe it’s not about politics, then I still have some ocean-front property near Geyser to sell if you are interested.

Here’s what I believe: The Montana Department of Justice is pretty screwed up and it’s more political than most state agencies. It does not matter who the Attorney General (AG) is; that state agency needs a good house cleaning.

DSCC Chair:

Roll Call is reporting that Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, is interested in being the chair of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for 2016.

There are others interested in the position, too.

One thing I’ve noticed about Tester is that he has been all around the country campaigning for Democrats since he was first elected.

That may help him get the position. If he gets the job, it also means he will be away from Montana more.

In the Mailbox:

The campaign mailers are still trickling in. Here is a funny one I received over the weekend:

MT Dems Mailer1MT Dems Mailer2





Have a great week!


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