Greg Gianforte Montana Politics Special Election

After helping Gianforte, maybe he’ll go kill an elephant

Written by Pete Talbot
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These are photos of Donald Trump Jr. with an array of exotic animals that I doubt he killed to put meat in his freezer.

Junior will be in Kalispell, Hamilton, and Billings on Friday, April 21, and Bozeman on Saturday, April 22, promoting Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for the U.S. House. The locations for the events have not been released.

Putting Trump family politics aside, killing critters like leopards, elephants and Cape buffalo so you have trophies to hang in the rec. room bothers me no end.

Junior with elephant tail.

Some call Junior a conservationist because he spends time hunting and fishing. My definition of a conservationist is a bit different. It’s someone who wants to save roadless areas from development, protect endangered species, preserve clean air and water, and maybe even add more wilderness to existing areas (which happens to be less than five percent of the total U.S. land base, and when you factor out Alaska, it’s just two percent in the lower 48).

My hunting experience was shooting at some very lucky ducks a couple of decades ago. But I have friends and family who hunt in Montana every Fall. They do fair chase and usually, but not always, get meat to put in their freezers. Sometimes they’ll share steaks or sausage with me.

They are not Donald Trump Jr.

I’m not sure what Gianforte’s thinking is on having Junior by his side. Is the Trump name still popular in Montana? Was it ever or was it just that Hillary Clinton’s popularity ranked somewhere between Benedict Arnold and the Kardashians?

Junior’s politics lean alt-right, even white supremacist, according to a Salon article. He’s a free marketeer, decrying the Dodd-Frank Act as “consumer protection for billionaires,” which, if this were really true, you’d think he’d support (as would Gianforte). He plays the common man by hunting, fishing and denouncing the “elites.” “I’m a 5th Avenue redneck,” he told the media. There was talk of him running for governor of New York in 2018.

Junior bills himself as a business-savvy outdoorsman, a conservative populist who would “drain the swamp,” just like his father didn’t. Does this sound like someone who’s running in our special election?

On second thought, Gianforte and Junior are a perfect fit.

About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

21 Comments

  • Remember we are in Montana. Hunting pictures are positive attractants to the majority of grassroots Montanans.

    • Cutting the tail off the elephant you recently shot is a “positive attractants to the majority of grassroots Montanans?” God, I hope not.

    • I am a lifelong hunter and I find the pictures of the elephant and the leopard to be quite disturbing. No hunter with any ethics would hunt and kill either of these animals. They are slobs plain and simple, most Montanans that hunt do it for the meat, I would bet that the trump boys eat very little if any of the game that they kill. They do it purely for their own personal enjoyment, with no regard for the animals.

  • Is the DNC putting any money in to help Quist? Any Dems stumping for him? I noticed that in the recent special election in Kansas which the democratic candidate only lost by 6 pts, the republicans sent in the big dogs; Cruz, Pence, to campaign for their candidate while the Dems did nothing. This was winnable. There’s a reason why activists in the Democratic Party want to shakeup the DNC. Time for new leadership. Don’t think insider Perez will do it.

  • The only two things needed to know about Gianforte:

    1) he has provided huge financial support for the Creation Museum in Glendive which promotes an Earth of 6,000 years old; and

    2) he filed a lawsuit to prevent public access to public waters, for his own benefit.

  • I just love these political blog sites. Almost invariably they lean far to one side or the other. This particular one appears to lean well to the left. Of course I have seen many others which lean well to the right. What I have very seldom seen are any sites which appear to be centrist in nature. In my view, its unfortunate that political discourse has become so polarized these days. Where have the voices of moderation gone? I wouldn’t vote for Gianforte or Sanders.

    • Yup, this site leans left, although it’s really pretty moderate. It’s just that political discourse has moved so far to the right that our site probably seems radical. It is not. There are sites well to the left of this one. And, Jeff, Gianforte is running against Rob Quist, not Sanders, so that shouldn’t be a problem for you. As to centrist sites, you might try your daily newspaper. Most claim to be centrist, anyway. In my town, it’s called the Missoulian:

      http://missoulian.com/

      Thanks for stopping by, though.

  • Pete,
    Yes, I’m well aware that Gianforte is running against Rob Quist. I purposefully sited Sanders because he has been touted so often on this site. You are correct in saying that political discourse has moved far to the right. It has also moved far to the left. That’s my point. Moderate voices seem to be few and far between in America today. To each their own of course, it’s just that the hyper partisanship so prevalent today seems counter productive to progress.

    • Jeff you are so missing the big picture.
      We live in a State and a Nation in the hands of a very dominant political party.
      Hyper partisan left blogs in Montana?
      If there was one I’d avoid it.
      There are progressive people in Montana but no progressive Montana public blogs that I know of.
      There are half a dozen moderate blogs in Montana. Three that are excellent. One that is superbly informative about Lands issues in the Legislature.
      That’s part of viewing the big picture.
      Other part is you the viewer and was me the viewer.
      For awhile some damn stubborn part of me wanted blogs to conform to my values, experience and so forth.
      Then I realized I was stuck in childish expectations.
      Stupid ones at that.

  • Hi Pete. As an hunter myself I agree with what you’re saying about ‘trophy hunter’ Donald Trump Jr.

    As I’ve pointed out before, some Montana-based “Sportsmen’s” groups have really gone all out to make Donald Trump Jr perhaps something that he isn’t.

    For example, Backcountry Hunters and Angler’s proudly calls Trump Jr. a “Life Member” and BHA’s CEO Land Tawney has never said anything negative about Trump Jr in terms of his hunting practices or his conservation politics. Quite the contrary. The same is true with Boone and Crocket Club and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Seems like these groups all may have some pretty serious financial conflicts of interests at work regarding Trump $$ and their statements about Donald Trump and Trump Jr.

    Here’s some of what I’m talking about. Obviously, anyone paying even slight attention to what President Trump (sometimes together with Zinke) has rolled back in terms of public lands and wildlife protections in just their first 2 months knows full well that their actions don’t match up with the praise being heaped on Trump Jr.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/conservationists-look-to-donald-trump-jr-as-their-champion-in-new-white-house/2017/01/10/ed45129c-d74f-11e6-b8b2-cb5164beba6b_story.html?utm_term=.46bfbe218c7a

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-ryan-zinke-interior-secretary-20161215-story.html

  • Matthew, so does Quist stand with Land Tawney, the Boone and Crocket Club and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership who support trophy hunting or does he want to outlaw trophy hunting?

    • In response to both Matthew and Pogo: I appreciate the links, Matthew, and read them when you posted earlier. I understand the difference between true environmental groups and “sportsmen’s” groups — e.g., MEIC or the RMEF. Sometimes there’s overlap, though, don’t you think? And if a hunter or fisherman/woman can be nudged in the direction of environmentalism, that’s a good thing, right? But I understand your concern when “sportsmen’s” groups back the likes of Ryan Zinke or Donald Trump Jr., and those groups need to be held accountable. One has to wonder if Tawney isn’t a bit embarrassed by having Junior on his organization’s rolls. Tawney does have a fine line to walk, though, keeping both environmentalists and hunters happy. As you can see by Pogo’s comment, certainly not everyone in Montana is opposed to trophy hunting (I got a few terse emails about this post from hunters who think trophy hunting is just fine).

      In your earlier post you took Rob Quist to task for visiting with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I doubt Quist or his staff realized Junior was a member. I imagine Quist’s visit was a strategic move to show his support for Montana’s hunters and anglers — a pretty significant constituency — and not an endorsement of Zinke’s or Trump Sr. or Jr.’s conservation practices. After all, Quist has come under attack from an NRA media blitz that calls him “anti-gun,” which he is not.

      And Pogo, I don’t know this as a fact but I do know Rob Quist, and I doubt he wants to outlaw trophy hunting. I do hope he finds slain elephants and leopards for the purpose of trophies to hang on walls as distasteful as I do. He’s not stupid, though, and isn’t going to piss off those in Montana’s hunting industry.

      As Pogreba suggests, you could ask him:

      http://go.robquist.org/page/s/contact-us

  • Pete, I hope you realized that “Backcountry Hunters and Anglers” are just environmentalists disguising themselves as Sportsmen. No credibility whatsoever.

    As far as Big Game hunting – If I had the money I’d love to go on a Safari and hunt some exotic animals. It’s not like the meat goes to waster, they feed it to the workers over there.

    Hunting Mule Deer here at home isn’t in the same league as hunting in Africa !

    • Yeah, Eric, that leopard meat is pretty tasty. And “If I had the money” says it all. Canned African animal hunts are for the rich. In Montana, a regular Joe or Jane can shoot a Muley, and eat it, too.

      I’ll let you take up your “’Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ are just environmentalists disguising themselves as Sportsmen. No credibility whatsoever” line with Koehler.

    • Eric, i have a feeling you are that guy that stops by the convenience store on the way out “hunting” and fills up the truck and buys himself a 12 pack of Bud Light or Keystone, then drives around all day. It’s funny to watch you guys while I am on some ridge a thousand feet or more above you, every couple minutes a truck drives by one after another all day long. And I had some Mule deer for dinner tonight and I would find it hard to believe that anything from Africa could taste as good.

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