by William Skink
The Democratic apparatus in Montana got their asses handed to them last night. Maybe Monica Tranel will eek out a victory at the PSC, but beyond her race (which got a boost from the Missoulian’s endorsement/retraction of Jennifer Fielder) there isn’t much for Democrats in Montana to be happy about.
Democrats in this state have never quite rebounded after providing money laundering services to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the last presidential cycle. Montana was one of 33 states involved in the Victory Fund scam. From the link:
In August 2015, at the Democratic Party convention in Minneapolis, 33 democratic state parties made deals with the Hillary Clinton campaign and a joint fundraising entity called The Hillary Victory Fund. The deal allowed many of her core billionaire and inner circle individual donors to run the maximum amounts of money allowed through those state parties to the Hillary Victory Fund in New York and the DNC in Washington.
The idea was to increase how much one could personally donate to Hillary by taking advantage of the Supreme Court ruling 2014, McCutcheon v FEC, that knocked down a cap on aggregate limits as to how much a donor could give to a federal campaign in a year. It thus eliminated the ceiling on amounts spent by a single donor to a presidential candidate.
In other words, a single donor, by giving $10,000 a year to each signatory state could legally give an extra $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund. For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015 and 2016. And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their spouse’s name.
Democrats notoriously failed to do any honest reflection after losing to Trump in 2016. Instead they doubled down on identity politics, launched Russiagate, attempted impeachment, and used seemingly every method to depose Trump from office.
In Montana, these efforts have moved the electorate away from Democratic support, and last night highlighted that movement. It doesn’t help that Montana Democrats have been absolutely terrible at developing fresh talent in this state.
So now we have Governor Gianforte, Senator Daines, Congressman Rosendale, SoS Jacobsen, AG Knudsen and Auditor Downing.
I don’t expect Democrats to engage in any honest reflection about their massive failures in this state. It was much more important for them to spend the last four years in open insurrection against the elected president instead of articulating a positive alternative to Trump’s rule.
If Democrats ever want to win a major political office in Montana again, a lot is going to have to change for that to happen.