Intelligent Discontent

Senator Jason Priest Behind the McKinnon Mailer

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An Anti-Endorsement

While an earlier post described a recent mailer as coming from the Laurie McKinnon campaign, the flier was specifically sent out by a group calling itself the Montana Growth Network, based in Red Lodge.

What is the Montana Growth Network? It’s yet another of Jason Priest’s fantasy organizations, sharing the same phone number, web host, and physical address as his very prestigious and entirely illusory “Montana Senate Policy Committee.”  Just another title for an organization of one, designed to collect donations from out of state corporate interests and justify newspaper publication.

Unfamiliar with Senator Priest? This video, in which he calls all liberals liars and compares the “progressive agenda” to a virus, is an instructive clip. You might remember he’s the “entrepreneur” who practiced vulture capitalism on those who accrue enormous debt in our broken health care system.

Just how many fake organizations does Senator Priest need to promote his misguided agenda? Given his credibility problems, I certainly understand his desire to hide his extremist agenda behind organizations designed to give him the appearance of credibility, but it seems that there might be some conflict of interest and some ethically shady grounds when an active legislator relies on secret donations to promote his political viewpoint.

Priest also claims that donations to the Montana Growth Network are tax-deductible, but the site never indicates what kind of non-profit status it has.

Who pays for the nakedly political Senate Policy and who pays for the allegedly non-partisan Growth Network?

As for Judge McKinnon, despite her efforts to paint herself as a non-partisan candidate, the evidence makes it clear she is anything but. It’s not just that Jason Priest supports her. Her own campaign sent out a letter from Judge Nels Swandal, who practically ran as an elephant he was so Republican in 2010.

I really don’t know Judge McKinnon well enough to make a judgment about her suitability for the Court, but it’s hard to imagine supporting someone Jason Priest is so enthusiastic about.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a sixteen year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers.

He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate. In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

When school is in session, my posts will often be auto-scheduled to appear later in the day.

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