Let’s start with some committees. These are typically the groups pushing things like open space bonds, the smoking initiative, and the 6-mill levy.
I’ve already encountered several problems with the way committees are reporting income and expenditures.
For instance, on the June 29 campaign finance report for the American Cancer Society Action Network for I-185 there’s $40,000 in expenditures listed as "Cash Contribution to Healthy Montana for I-185 for Campaign Expenses."
What were those $40,000 in expenses, exactly?
I believe this group is required to report that in detail, but they chose not to. No one called them out on this until I emailed COPP about it this morning.
We’ll see if anything happens. I’m doubtful.
Another questionable one comes from Montana Women Vote. They listed $500 “In support of Healthy Montana I-185,” but that’s not detailed enough for the legal reporting requirements.
Here are some other committee finances that stood out to me:
- Washington Corporations gave $20,000 to Montanans for the 6-Mill at the end of July.
- Yes for Open Space, Rivers and Farmland donated $5,000 to Missoula’s Open Space bond campaign at the end of September. This is another donation that is not meeting legal reporting requirements.
Finally, the ActBlue Montana PAC is your typical money-laundering operation for Dems.
For instance, Missoula’s Shane Morigeau donated $930 to the PAC and that money is then funneled to other candidates, including himself – he got $100 back.
We know that:
- Andy Shirtliff got over $1,100
- Rex Renk got $1,100
- Amelia Marquez got nearly $900
- Carol’s List got over $700
- Kim Dudik got $580
- Tom Winter got nearly $500
Tom Winter has made some interesting mistakes recently, and we’ll begin with his race as we get to the individual candidates.
This is the only competitive race I see in my area.
Tom Winter is trying to unseat Republican Adam Hertz from this rural-bordering district.
If he was serious about doing this he would have showed up on KGVO’s morning radio show yesterday, like his GOP opponent did.
Despite being called 3 to 4 times by the show ahead of time, Winter did not return calls and missed out on the 20,000+ audience the show has.
Democrats in Missoula likely encouraged Winter to skip the show, despite him running for a rural-bordering district.
You can’t fix stupid.
Democrats lost this seat in 2016 when the incumbent came up short.
Since the primary, Winter has raised over $13,000 and he’s spent $5,000. He has around $12,000 in the bank.
Big names are giving to Winter: Pam Bucy, Wilmot Collins, Ellen Buchanan, Willis Curdy, Allison Dale-Riddle, Jenny Eck, John Engen, Tom Facey, Eric Feaver, Amanda Frickle, Heather Harp, Gwen Jones, Mike Kadas, Connie Keogh, Jesse Laslovich, Nick Lockridge, Sue Malek, Marilyn Marler, Sue Orr, Jorge Quintana, Adam Schafer, Hal Stearns, and many more.
This is the cream of the crop of Montana Democratic politics as well as Missoula politics.
With names like that, I really hope that Winter loses. Most of those people have done little more than make Missoula unlivable for working people.
It should be easy for Hertz to defeat Winter.
Since the primary, Hertz has raised about $7,500 and he’s spent over $3,000. He has around $14,000 in the bank.
Some of those donating to Hertz include: Mark Blasdel, Chuck Denowh, Shelby Demars, Dave Galt, Greg Hertz, Dennis Iverson, Glenn Oppel, Brad Tschida, Daniel Zolnikov.
Lots of big GOP names there.
I fully expect Hertz to keep this seat. It borders a rural area and Democrats couldn’t hang onto it in 2016, a year that saw lots of Missoula Democrats vote.
Doug Kaercher is set to lose this race, and most everyone knows it.
He raised about $16,000 since the primary and spent $15,000. He has around $8,000 left in the bank.
His GOP opponent, incumbent Pinocci, has raised nearly $6,000 since the primary and has spent $4,400. He has $1,300 left in the bank.
Democrats in Montana wrote this seat off even before the primary.
There’s no reason to discuss it any further this cycle.
GOP incumbent Brad Johnson has raised over $5,000 since the primary and spent nearly $5,000. He has $492 in the bank.
His Dem opponent, Andy Shirtliff, hasn’t filed his campaign finance report yet.
Dems have a much better chance of taking this seat than the District 1 seat, but I still think the GOP will pull it off.
Clerk of Supreme Court
Since the primary, Democrat Rex Renk has raised $44,000 since the primary and he’s spent around $12,000. He has $60,000 in the bank.
That’s way too much money to have on hand a couple days before absentee ballots go out. What the hell is this guy thinking?
And I don’t know what kind of fundraisers the Renk campaign is having, but what is with the $49 spent on a T-Rex costume on September 22?
GOPer Bowen Greenwood is trying to take this open seat, and he’s raised over $10,000 since the primary and has spent around $3,500. He has $9,600 in the bank.
Usually, with the amount of money that Renk has compared to Greenwood, I’d say Renk could win this.
But we have to remember the primary turnout. Greenwood got over 124,000 votes compared to the 95,000 that Renk got.
That’s 57% to 43%. You can tell why Democrats really ramped-up their donations to Renk following his disastrous primary turnout. I mean, this is the guy that’s been playing bench-warmer for this office for 20 years and 43% is the best he can do?
I said it on primary night and I’ll say it now – this seat is lost to the Dems.
A big race in Missoula that’s not getting much attention pits a former lobbyist against a former Griz football player.
The lobbyist is Diane Sands, a lesbian that’s been involved in government for decades. I’m not familiar with her private sector experience, if she indeed has any.
The football player is Chase Reynolds, a family man that’s now involved in real estate.
Since the primary, Sands has raised nearly $18,000 and spent $9,000. She has $28,000 in the bank.
Reynolds has raised about $14,000 since the primary and has spent $1,200. He has $14,000 in the bank.
I would be very, very surprised if Sands loses this race.