The reason is simple - it’s headed-up by two California transplants, Vondene Kopetski, and her son, Mike Hopkins.
Pure incompetence...and let me tell you why.
A few days after the filing deadline came and went - June 22 - the Missoula GOP announced on their Facebook page that they would, in the coming weeks, endorse one of the candidates.
In the weeks since then, the GOP hadn’t endorsed any candidates.
I think that says a lot.
Then a week ago, they announced they’d be endorsing Shawn Knopp. The post got 9 likes.
Maybe I missed the press release about this. Did you see it?
Maybe Knopp had the news on his site...oh, that's right - he doesn't have a website or social media page.
And let’s be honest...everyone knows Knopp is going to lose in the primary. Then what is the Missoula GOP going to do?
Mostly, it makes it pretty clear that the Missoula Republicans find all the other candidates running for mayor completely odious and unacceptable.
As if it makes any difference.
How exactly would the Missoula GOP help a candidate? They don’t have access to the Voter Access Network (VAN)...because the statewide GOP decided it’s not worth paying for in off-years.
That move by the statewides has effectively cut-off any up-and-coming Republican from winning a local race in a competitive district.
Because they can’t identify friendly voters. That means they can’t find receptive voters to put signs in yards, or send out fundraising emails, or build a bench.
This is painfully obvious when you look at the number of signs Knopp has printed...and the number he’s actually put in yards. So far, he’s printed 300 yard signs...and I’ve seen 1 in a yard.
The Missoula GOP could help him with this...but the truth is, they can’t. They have no idea who the GOP voters in Missoula are, because they refuse to pay for the software that will tell them.
The Dems pay for it. They pay for it each and every year, and their candidates know who the strong Dem voters are, who to contact for funds, and who will put a sign in their yard.
The transplants from California that head-up the GOP in Missoula could care less about that. That’s why their candidates lose, year after year, like clockwork.
Why should Vondene care? She’s safe and secure in her cushy position as head of the Missoula GOP...about as worthless as a title you can get, considering the Party’s prospects in this town.
Prospects brought to us by Vondene. She’s the Dems biggest gift in this town, and they know it.
Imagine having such incompetent leadership when it comes to your opposition. When you get that, you can win the battle before the fighting even starts.
So far, two incumbent city councilors are using the Dem VAN. They can fundraise with that; they can put signs in yards with that.
But none of our struggling, conservative candidates can.
Because the statewide GOP decides that saving $1,000 a month is better than building up a bench of future candidates.
Here in Missoula, our GOP transplants from California totally agree with that. If they didn’t, they’d argue against that. But they won’t.
Only leaders argue; followers agree.
Mike and Vondene are followers. This is a big reason the Republicans in Missoula are losing.
They have no strategists, no leaders, no one with ideas.
And it’ll remain that way for years...unless a leader emerges that gets rid of these two assholes on our elbows.
Mike and Vondene will fight that tooth and nail. They’d rather their Party keeps losing than give up their ‘power’ and ‘authority.’
Says a lot about who they are.