It started with shady political mailers that were set-up and sent out by Dartmouth and Stanford professors and who knows what kind of funding. I speculated a bit on what laws might be broken earlier today, and then a bit later it was argued at higher levels that some had. Out of that came the allegations that the Hewlett Foundation was involved.
Past midnight, and after this originally went up at 10 PM, I saw Mike Jopek of The Flathead Beacon tweet out information from New Hampshire Public Radio about the shady flyers sent out to voters in New Hampshire. You can read the article and see the flyer at that link.
So a lot of things have happened today, and they’ve drowned out quite a few other things. For instance, John Lewis has only raised $129,863 for the first two weeks of October compared with the $447,692 that Ryan Zinke has raised, at least according to what Chuck Johnson put out on Twitter today.
What’s even more alarming than that, however, is that Lewis has but $188,749 compared to Zinke’s $620,046 cash on hand. For the race, it’s Lewis at $1.3 million raised and Zinke with $3.3 million raised.
So that’s troubling, but the good news is that Lewis has a great new ad out that’ll hopefully sway some voters. What’s more, Zinke’s medical records should be out around next Wednesday or Thursday, although I’ll bet the campaign will wait until Friday to release them and mitigate some of the expected damage…whatever that may be. Not too many people are going to be paying attention on Halloween at close to 5 PM.
Finally, James Conner made a good point when he mentioned to me that Zinke has an awful lot of money with about a week to go. Can he spend it all? This could come down to the inexperience of his campaign staff, for you never want to have any money left in the bank. We'll see what happens, but it'd be nice if the newspapers took that up.
Anyways, I’m sure there was some swearing wherever Senator Jon Tester was today, as well as in the Capitol in Helena. There’s some speculation on Montana Cowgirl in the comments, but not a whole lot – some stories get 50 comments in a few hours, so that really tells me that most people are sitting tight to see what happens next. At least Larry Kralj seems to be happy with my analysis, and my wife his happy with is pet name for me. I’ll tell you, he should get together and have an O’Doul’s with George W. because they both love the pet names.
It’s been a long day, and there’s not much else that can be done. Montana Cowgirl says it best when she says that we pretty much have to wait to see who really funded these things. I suppose the institutions involved are lucky it came out near the weekend so it can ‘cool off’ for a bit.
The worst thing is if it just gets swept under the rug. I know that reporting on it might have the exact same intended effect of those mailers, and also distract from other races like I’ve mentioned before, but something big is going on.
It’s a monumental scale of corruption. Politics corrupting academia, Montana Cowgirl said. I’m not sure they’ll like that too much. I’ve had lots of views on these articles today, but you have to figure that more people would still rather read about Michael Keaton in Montana than this.
Most people on the street know nothing about this. Will they next week? Who knows. The Montana media seems pretty silent on it, but perhaps they’re afraid to go out on a limb and try to connect the dots and put two-and-two together. I’ve tried, and hopefully some others can pick it up and see what’s there.
There are other issues in Montana I’d like to talk about, such as the Crow Indians and coal as well as some of the Missoula issues. So unless something heats up this weekend, I think we’ll have to cool our guns and sit tight.
Thanks for reading!