I’ll probably put up a post again today on the latter, but we’ll wait until tomorrow to get into the good stuff.
I say good stuff because we haven’t seen legislative campaign finance reports for a few months now.
It’ll be interest to see what the candidates have done since the primary.
So what will I be looking for?
- Are candidates spending in-state our out-of-state?
- How much are they spending on TV and radio ads?
- How many flyers and mailers did they get printed?
- How much are they spending on postage?
- What fundraisers did they do…just pass-the-hat’s?
- What PACs donated to them?
- Where are the PACs located?
- What industries do the PACs represent?
- Are these PACs giving to Democrats and Republicans?
Those are just a few things that I’ll explore.
I’ve been writing about candidate campaign finance reports for months now and feel I’m getting pretty good at deciphering them.
So look forward to the posts over the next couple days – we must dig through all the bullshit.
We look at finance reports to bring about change.
Some candidates have no shame and will not change, however.
Some candidates like to keep spending money out-of-state even after we’ve pointed this spending out.
Clearly, shaming has no effect on these politicians.
What’s especially shameful is that there are tons of Montana companies that can provide these services.
This is especially true for TV ads, which we pointed out in April in a post called Politics Grows Weary with Itself.
Despite that, I expect both Bullock and Gianforte will have bought more ads from out-of-state companies.
They just don’t care.
They could take all that rich-man’s money they’ve been raising (plus the small donations of Montanans) and give that to Montana companies.
They choose not to.
I call this incompetence, myself, and would never allow such in my campaign or a campaign I was running.
I’d create ads pointing out my opponent’s out-of-state spending, shaming them in the process.
I’d tout my in-state spending and the jobs it creates, perhaps even profiling some of these people.
But I’m not running a campaign – out-of-staters are.
At least that’s the case with Bullock and Gianforte’s campaigns (if Aaron Flint was running things, why is Amy Lunde getting paid more?)
You’ll remember that Amy is from Wisconsin, the same state that Gianforte likes to make many of his purchases from.
Not in politics, I’m afraid.
Bullock can’t capitalize on this fuck-up because he’s spending just as much out-of-state.
It’s sad – such a wasted opportunity.
This race is over anyways.
The Western Word said it last week – Bullock just needs to hit Gianforte with the sales tax utterances from 2002 over and over and over again.
I don’t feel Gianforte can dig himself out of that hole, though he’ll spend a lot of time and money trying to over the next month.
Most of the time it’ll be sad to watch, kind of embarrassing.
But that happens to people that don’t know the state that well.
If he didn’t understand it well enough after living here for 7 years…will he have come to understand it more after being here for 21 years?
Perhaps. His 406 tax plan does say “no sales tax.”
I’m afraid at this point that just won’t be good enough.
Moving on to the legislative races…I’m really interested in the women.
Perhaps some Helena readers can better inform me via their knowledge of the last session, but I believe we have a strong female voting bloc forming.
In the 2017 session it might have some real power…except we’re talking about toe-the-line Democrats so probably not.
Who are these women?
- Jessica Karjala (HD 48 – Billings)
- Kelly McCarthy (HD 49 – Billings)
- Amanda Curtis (HD 74 – Butte)
- Jenny Eck (HD 79 – Helena)
- Janet Ellis (HD 81 – Helena)
- Moffie Funk (HD 82 – Helena)
- Ellie Hill Smith (HD 90 – Missoula)
- Kim Dudik (HD 94 – Missoula)
- Andrea Olsen (HD 100 – Missoula)
That’s a 9-member voting bloc right there.
They’re all women that have the same ideas and the same outlook and want to get the same stuff done.
I have a feeling they’ll do something.
I’m throwing Curtis in there even though she sat out last session.
She’s a woman, she’s in the House, she’s a Democrat, she’s from the city…I see her joining this bloc.
Besides that she has knowledge of Billings as well. Legislators that know two areas are a bit more important, in my opinion.
I’ll be taking a hard look at both Curtis and Eck for the simple reason that they’re raising a lot of money when they have no opponents.
I’ll do the same with Ellis and Funk – neither have opponents either.
I consider these Helena seats to be ‘soft seats’ as the person ‘winning’ them has never been bloodied in battle.
They’re entitled, feeling that everything should be given to them.
They’ve never had to fight to achieve anything…and my how that mindset can poison you.
I’ll do the same thing with Bryce Bennett here in Missoula.
If you know of other candidates running unopposed, please let me know – I’ll dig into their finances as well.
There’s no reason to raise money when you have no opponent.
What is that money for?
In closing I’ll mention the House races that I’ll have my eye on for election night…Democrats listed first.
- HD 43: Elizabeth Pincolini vs. Josh Daniels (L) and Peggy Webb
- HD 48: Jessica Karjala vs. Robert Saunders
- HD 52: Chris Goodridge vs. Jimmy Patelis
- HD 57: Elaine Doerr vs. Andrew Forcier (L) and Forrest Mandeville
- HD 59: Dirk Adams vs. Alan Redfield
- HD 80: Elizabeth Cain vs. Valerie Clague (I) and Becky Beard
- HD 84: Mary Ann Dunwell vs. Paula Bonar (I) and Steve Gibson
- HD 96: Andrew Person vs. Adam Hertz