by William Skink
I’m not sure why Caron Cooper thought to go after an anonymous blog for attacking her spoiler candidacy for the PSC. This is just how Democrats roll when you buck the party, and this week Cooper’s complaint against Moogirl was tossed out. To find out why Moogirl went after Cooper in the first place, this comment from Turner at Moogirl is insightful:
I haven’t been following the legal kerfuffle, but Caron Cooper is clearly the most highly qualified candidate for PSC. The trouble with her is that she isn’t a party-line Democrat. Montana Cowgirl promotes toe-the-line Democrats not progressives like Caron. They should be questioning our Democratic candidates about their positions on a number of issues important to progressives, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline next door in North Dakota. State Dems say they’re for Native American rights but have nothing to say about the Sioux having their sacred burial grounds dug up by a fossil fuel company. And they’re not upset, apparently, by witnessing government goons throwing Native folks in jail for protesting this desecration and attack on the environment. I know Montana Dems get a lot of money from the fossil fuel industry and the unions that are in bed with this industry, but shouldn’t they care a little about ordinary people, the sort of people Caron Cooper cares about?
Obviously Cooper has some support, but the move to file a complaint against an anonymous blog comes off as a political miscalculation, because now a victory for free speech can be touted by Moogirl.
I’m going to join celebrating this victory for free speech because, as a blogger who sometimes takes on a party that engages in petty gutter politics, my constitutionally protected right is important to me.
If, for example, I wanted to write a post about my first hand knowledge of a state representative’s unethical behavior during her tenure at a local nonprofit, I’d like to do so without the fear of retaliation.
So yeah for free speech! It’s an important right that requires vigilant effort to protect.
Cooper has responded to Moogirl in a comment, which I will reproduce here:
Okay, so, as an independent PSC candidate, I rock the boat enough to make the Dems seasick.
They engage in a mud-slinging contest in which everyone is wearing masks except me.
An anonymous Montana Cowgirl blogpost provides the mud – by making up Topic Tags that link me to “Racist Views” and “Porn.”
This is a classic means of shaping and framing an issue that has been used by the political establishment since the era of mean-spirited gridlock began.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. What is the [Democrats/MT Cowgirl’s] core value? A Dem win of the PSC–District 3 race.
2. Who or what threatens that core value? Me
3. What’s the best way to attack and destroy the threat? Pen and post an anonymous attack blog linking my name to “Racist Views” and “Porn.”
In doing so, the Dems have shown their hand: Their highest priority in the PSC race is win the schoolyard game of “capture the flag” for their team. And they are doing it knowing full well that their “best player” took campaign donations for his House races from folks he hopes to regulate on the PSC: Northwestern Energy, Montana Dakota Utilities, Century Link, and Burlington Northern-Santa Fe.
Really, it’s the same-old same-old that prompted me to run as an Independent for the PSC in the first place.
So, anyone up for a non-partisan chat about what’s best for Montana ratepayers?
Caron’s Dem opponent in the PSC race is none other than Pat Noonan. If the name Noonan doesn’t strike a bell, his uncle and political mentor Art has been a longstanding stalwart with the MT Dem party, including stints as a legislator, head of the MT Dem Party, working for Pat Williams and John Melcher, and deputy FWP Director.
But the icing on the cake is Art Noonan’s latest work as advisor and lobbyist for NorthWestern Energy. So yeah, if his nephew gets on the PSC, he’ll be lobbied by his uncle, who coincidentally is a director for AWARE, where Pat recently worked. Nepotism runs deep in the Dem party, and the Noonan family. They’ll take Caron out however they can.