Sure, I told you that back on January 26 when Gianforte got in it, but I think we know that it’s really over now.
Nope, the Party insiders won’t admit it (still money to be raised, right?) and the die-hards will go ‘till the end, but you and I know it’s done.
There’s simply been too many mistakes.
And I'm not even talking about the fact that it won't be a mail-in-only election.
That's the least of Quist's problems.
Let’s go over some of those problems today, and by the time we’re done, maybe you’ll see it like I do.
#1 No Money
Money isn’t a problem for Gianforte, but it is for Quist.
Time is a bigger one, as even with those donations Quist can’t get yard signs, bumper stickers or even the most basic of handouts out to voters.
Hell, I’m using a thank-you postcard in my car’s back window because I haven’t received a bumper sticker yet.
Supposedly the best place to get that stuff is at the rallies, and the stuff is going quickly.
I’m not sure that’s the best strategy.
With money they could send those things out to people that have donated, or people on their mailing list.
But they don’t have money, or at least not enough of it.
And enough for what?
We know that Quist is taking a $2,000 salary but we have no idea what his New Yorker campaign manager – Tina Olechowski – is making.
And what of the other hangers-on?
I hear Dan West is now involved in the campaign…what’s he being paid?
How many people are being paid?
You know I sure ain’t one of ‘em – I tell the truth and give honest opinions.
People hate getting that for free! They sure as shit won’t pay for it.
Reports are due soon but we won’t know what they say for some time after that.
And will it matter?
With National telling the DNC and out-of-state high-rolling Dem donors to sit on their checkbooks, what’s it matter?
National wrote this race off, and James Conner analyzes that very well in a recent post, saying the DNC is letting Quist “twist in the wind.”
The Missoula Indy also analyzes it today on their site. This is what they said:
“So far, the national Democratic Party has done little if anything to correct the apparent imbalance.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which contributed several thousand dollars to John Lewis' 2014 House bid against Zinke, has yet to disclose a penny in expenditures in Montana. Federal Communications Commission records show no ad contracts from Quist's campaign or any Democratic allies.
Meanwhile, the DCCC's mailing list has been soliciting donations to help fight the repeal of Obamacare and elect a Democrat in Georgia's special election.
Multiple messages left with the DCCC asking when their presence might be felt in the Montana race went unanswered.”
To National Dems and the purse strings they control, Montana is a waste of time and money but Georgia is not.
I think this shows how clueless the National Democratic Party is about rural areas, which they’d rather ignore than try to learn anything about.
Quist could win, and probably still could, if the National apparatus would just get behind him.
I think we know how clueless they are, however. Just look who they assigned to lead Quist’s campaign – a New Yorker.
With two-thirds of Quist’s donations coming from in-state we know that this is a local affair.
National has written us off…again.
I don’t know why we put up with it.
And what’s with that $25,000 transfer to the DNC?
Why are we even giving them any money? What exactly are we getting in return for that?
It sure the hell isn’t support in winning a congressional race, I know that.
All I can really hope at this point is that enough rural Montana Democratic delegates will read this and realize that serious changes are needed in the Party.
Those changes will come about at the Montana Democratic Convention in June.
If they don’t, then we can expect the Dem brass will continue raking in their high pay while the state slides ever more into red territory.
#2 No Ads
Gianforte had ads going a few days before he was nominated.
I’ve said it before – Montana Dems could have used some of the $143,000 cash on hand they had at the beginning of March to make up some ads, even some generic ads that didn’t have Quist in ‘em.
Some values-style ads (remember when we were talking about values a couple months ago? Yeah, what happened?)
Anyways, we have no ads nor are there any on the horizon.
It’s pretty much too late in this department, but I expect the Dems will spend $100,000 or so to get something on the TV during the final week.
Good luck with that.
It’s hard to pick yourself up after you’ve been steamrolled over.
And that’s what Gianforte’s ads have done – they’ve steamrolled all over Quist, creating Quist’s narrative for him.
It’s about an out-of-touch old man that doesn’t understand Montana voters, won’t pay his taxes, hates guns, and wants to be just another Nancy Pelosi stooge.
You hate those ads, don’t you?
Wanna know why?
Because they’re so damn good.
#3 Lying About Work
Looking at their report from yesterday makes things even worse.
It sounds like Quist made $35,000 to $70,000 in 2011 for his 35 shows...if you go by the $1,000 to $2,000 per show the paper reported.
All this when he said he didn't work that year.
Boy, could the IRS get involved in this? Is there tax fraud here? I dunno, but it sure is a turn-off.
It’s like he's lying about his income. This at a time when the Dem Party is all up in arms about Trump's lies, and Trump’s refusal to pay taxes.
Seems like Quist is very similar. Sure, it might have been medical issues that prevented taxes from being paid…but like Trump, they weren’t paid.
Eventually they were, so that helps. It’s like cleaning a dirty jacket after it got a bunch of shit on it.
The shit is of course the terrible news stories that just won’t seem to end.
Boy, I'm getting deja vu about 2014 all over again. Might Quist have to drop out, and might Amanda have to come riding in again?
I’m not at the point where I won’t vote for Quist, like I was with Walsh back at the end of July 2014 when I told you I wouldn’t vote for him if you paid me.
Boy, this campaign is sinking fast, and all under its own weight. There's absolutely no reason for Gianforte to campaign. Quist is his own worst enemy right now.
#4 Urban Over Rural Outreach
I have to shake my head at this.
He was doing so well before he won the nomination!
He was going to all the right places – rural areas that hadn’t seen a Dem in years! – but once he got the nod that all changed.
It’s sad to watch.
I really don't understand why all his events are either in Missoula, Butte, Helena or Great Falls.
My God – have the Democrats learned nothing from the terrible November losses!?!
Those cities will vote for him even if he doesn’t spend one minute in ‘em.
He’s ignoring those rural areas that put him over the top to secure the nomination. He can't win that way which has been proven over and over and over again in other statewide elections.
And really…Dan West as his rural outreach director?
Who the hell thought that one up?
West is a D.C. insider who worked for Baucus and Obama. He knows nothing about rural Montana. All West is doing is helping himself with a huge salary while building name recognition for his future political career.
It’s too bad Quist didn't kick the Party to the curb.
In the back of my mind I want to believe Quist told the Party of his money problems but was told to be quiet about it. Kind of like a Hillary in that regard – just hide as long as you can.
Well, that might have worked, but not paying your taxes, lying to the bank, screwing over your former band member, and not paying a blue collar dirt mover for the work he did won't play well in:
- Big Sandy
- Fort Benton
- And plenty more
I doubt Quist cracks 40% of the vote at this point, and I’m not alone in that.
He probably won’t do any better than Baucus’s D.C.-insider did in 2014 or Juneau did in 2016.
- First, Quist has a former band member suing him for royalties he did not pay.
- Next, Quist has a man that runs an excavation company suing him for work he did not pay for.
Now, the royalty issue was cleared up and I have a feeling the digger was paid.
But the damage has been done.
Let’s take the friend first.
As someone that puts out art to make money, I have a hard time believing that you simply forgot to pay someone.
If one of my books sells and I don’t get a royalty for that, I’ll begin to ask why.
That’s what happened when Quist’s bandmate found out about that box set of greatest hits, one he wasn’t getting royalties off of.
Did Quist forget that he was in a band with other people when he put that box set out?
What about the other members of the band, the ones that didn't sue…were they paid? And if so, why them and not just this one?
I have a hard time believing that there was no conscious decision to exclude those other bandmates.
That’s wrong, and speaks a lot about character.
In regards to the digger, my…there’s no justifying that.
I mean, I can see not paying a banker for a while, or the tax man. But to not pay some poor working stiff that’s just trying to eke out a living?
That’s wrong, and I think the most damaging of the news pieces that came out this past week.
#6 Tax Problems
What else is there to say?
This past week has been spent spinning those problems, trying to justify them, if you will.
It hasn’t worked.
Oh, it’s kept most of the Dem faithful on board, but it hasn’t done anything to garner GOP votes and it might have actually scared away many of the swing and independent votes.
You have to pay your taxes.
Even I pay my taxes, and I don’t make that much money. Sure, I get a bunch back from the feds each year, but I wrote a check for $200 to the state last month to take care of 2016.
You have to do this.
If you can’t do this, and you owe the state or the feds money, then you have to sell off your assets or find a lot more income.
Quist chose not to do those things, though with the 2011 work schedule that’s come to light, we see that he did.
My God…$35,000 to do 35 shows?
That’s some serious money, and as the Gazette reports, it could be as high as $70,000!
So tell me…why exactly should I feel sorry for Rob Quist?
He not only had the money in the bank to take care of his tax problems – and pay that excavator – but he also had land and a home that he could have sold.
Hey, I don’t like the idea of selling my home either…but that’s life.
Life throws you curves and how we handle them says a lot about us.
Quist didn’t handle his tax issues very well at all.
In fact, he handled them badly.
#7 New Levels of Apathy
I’ve already received quite a few emails from people telling me that they can no longer support Quist.
Before the story about the 2011 lied-about earnings came out, many were saying they’d vote for him but just wouldn’t donate anymore.
Now I’m wondering if they’ll even do that. Maybe they’ll vote for Mark Wicks instead.
While many Democrats want to believe that a vote for a libertarian is a vote for a Democrat (since it’ll likely take away from Gianforte’s total votes), I don’t think it’ll be enough.
Wicks ain’t gonna take more than 2-3% of the vote. The margin between Gianforte and Quist will be more like 10%.
I think it’s only going to get worse, too.
After all, we’ve still got 7 weeks to go. A lot more bad news about Quist can come out during that time.
All of it will turn away the Dem faithful, and especially those that are already sick of the Party after the disastrous 2016 showings, both nationally and at the statewide and legislative level.
#8 The Wrong Issues
You’ve gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.
I know this issue plays well in western Montana, but not so much in the rest of the state.
Rural areas are hurting with low prices for grains and livestock. Remember when Quist used to talk about that?
Oh, yeah…that was before he won the nomination, before the Dem Party got its hooks in him.
Before then he was doing everything right.
I thought at one point Quist could win. Now I don’t, not with the type of campaign he’s now running. He’s fallen into the trap of the elite Helena Party insiders.
I mean, why is Quist surrounding himself with the likes of Dan West?
As we mentioned, he doesn’t know anything about rural Montana…or much about the cities, either. He knows about D.C.
To those in D.C., issues like public lands and abortion and gays and gun control are really, really important.
To most of us living here in Montana, however, it’s what’s in our pocket – or more than likely, what’s not in our pocket – that matters.
The world revolves around it and just about everything is done because of it.
If it’s not money it’s sex.
So I wish Quist would focus on money.
- Talk about Gianforte’s billions (not millions) and really make that stick with people about how out of touch he is.
- Talk about banks, and how they did really well after 2008 while the American middle class went the way of the dinosaurs.
- Talk about the monumental waste of money that our military is, and how this does very little to actually protect us, though it does create tons of new foreign conflicts the arms dealers can then profit off of.
- Talk about how much money the average Montanans spends on healthcare in a year, and what they could have spent that money on if our government didn’t have its head so far up its ass.
- Talk about the 1% and how they hate Montana families, how they want to increase costs for everything so that they can take one more summer in the Hamptons, or perhaps winter again this year in Europe.
Those are all things Quist could be talking about, but he’s not.
And please - put the fucking notebook down. Tell it to us from your heart, not what the staffers wrote, or even you wrote earlier but can't help but mumble through now.
That styles doesn't inspire. It bores.
It’s becoming clear to me that we should have had Amanda Curtis.
She would have talked about this stuff. She would have talked the hell out of it.
#9 Gianforte Always Had it Wrapped Up
Well, no doubt calling real estate agents in the D.C. looking for a new home there for the next 4 years.
That’s what I’d be doing if I was him.
I mean, what a waste of time to ponder on Gianforte.
Gianforte’s smart – he’s staying home.
Montana saw enough of him over the past year. There’s not a whole lot more dirt for the press to dig up on him, and by staying home he won’t create anymore.
So that’s smart. You can understand why Democrats are so frustrated over this effective campaign strategy.
Really, why does Gianforte need to get out?
So he can make the Dem faithful happy?
That’s a good reason not to go out.
I just find it all laughable, myself.
- Dems are totally pissed that Gianforte is doing nothing and he’s still winning.
- They’re totally pissed that they’re utterly incapable of doing anything about this.
All you can really do when it comes to the Montana Democratic Party is shake your head.
They’re a sorry lot, aren’t they?
Well, the MT Dem Convention will be in June.
You know what to do.
#10 Montana is a Republican State
Montana is a red state, for instance.
We ignore that, thinking that maybe, just maybe, this time will be different.
Well…why should it be?