Creep: Eric Dondero

by Jay Stevens 

One of the “benefits” of having a blog gain some notoriety is that I no longer have to comb the Internet for 4&20 blackbirds’ creeps. They come to me.

Today’s creep, Mr. Eric Dondero, emailed me, I presume, in response to my article in the American Prospect on Idaho’s Proposition 2. According to Mr. Dondero, I made up the notion that there was pervasive fraud involved in the gathering of Montanans’ signatures for Howie Rich’s ballot initiatives (mistakes are his, invectives edited for your Internet filters at work):

Mr. Stephens, you are a f*cking *sshole

Stop lying you pr*ck!

You repeat only tired old Communist/Fascist leftwing talking points in regards to brave libertarian petitioners who stood out in the blizzard cold, and then 95 degree heat, to collect 80,000 signagtures for property rights all over Montana. And instread of praising those of us who petititioned you accuse us of engaging in “fraud.”

How f*cking dare you, asshole!!! I want a mother-f*cking retraction.

I’m a Veteran you f*cker. I served 4 years in the Navy. I have three medals and an honorable discharge to show for it.

How many years did you serve? If your a non-Vet than shut the f*ck up.

You are on shaky ground Sir. If I ever, EVER hear you accuse me or my fellow libertarian petititioners again of “engaging in fraud” on an on-line Forum, I will slap you with a liable lawsuite so quick it will make your head spin.

Notice you didn’t say a word about the left-wing petititioners in MT for Minimum Wage and Stop the Lobbyists. You want some examples of serious shenanigans in petitition gathering. Check your own side. Oh, and btw, we libertarians and conservatives are no longer going to sit by and let you leftwing f*ckers get away with blocking us. We may have been polite in 2006. But expect us to fight you all every step of the way in 2007 and 2008. You’re hereby on notice.


Libertarian Republicans

Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant & Pro-Defense!

Dondero is a US Navy Veteran, former Libertarian Party National Committeeman, fmr. Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul R-TX, and Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

There’s a lot to address in this email, but the first is the accusation that I lied about “pervasive fraud” in the Howie-Rich sponsored initiative signature gathering. I admit I only personally witnessed one act of questionable signature gathering, and heard anecdotes about fraud in signature gathering, but of course that wouldn’t be enough to get me to write “pervasive fraud” in the American Prospect. No, that line about “pervasive fraud” was lifted from the court ruling by Justice Dirk Sandefur (pdf), who wrote:

…the Court finds and concludes for the foregoing reasons that the signature gathering process for CI-97, CI-98, and I-154 was permeated by a pervasive and general pattern and practice of deceit, fraud, and procedural non-compliance.

Justice Sandefur’s ruling was later upheld by the Montana Supreme Court.

I suggest to Mr. Dondero that he take up the matter of lying with Justice Sandefur and the Montana Supreme Court. Maybe the justices would enjoy similar invective-filled emails. Surely Dondero’s fine prose and argumentation would cause those on Montana’s highest benches to reconsider their decisions.

As for the rest of the stuff…I looked to no avail for the clause in the Constitution prohibiting non-veterans from expressing opinions or participating in crafting public policy…so I can only assume Mr. Dondero must be confusing reality with the plot of Starship Troopers. (A great read, by the way, and I salute Mr. Dondero’s taste in science fiction.)

I also looked for a similar ruling finding signature gathering for the minimum wage and lobby reform initiatives were also “permeated by a pervasive pattern and practice of deceit, fraud, and procedural non-compliance,” but I couldn’t find it, either.

And has the word “tolerant” even been more egregiously out of place than in this email?

Mr. Dondero’s threats that he’ll make our leftwing lives miserable in 2008 understates how miserable Howie Rich’s initiatives made our lives in the summer of 2006. Again, it seems crazy that conservatives are lining up to make the next election cycle more negative after the expression of weariness by most voters of the rampant negativity this summer and fall, but as a liberal and a supporter of the Democratic Party, I welcome that tactic. And next election, please let’s not hear any complaints that “both parties” engage in negative rhetoric. There’s been enough bitter complaining from the right about its intention to amp up the hostility and divisiveness in elections, it should be clear who will be responsible for the tenor of 2008 rhetoric.

Lastly, at least one well-respected conservative website promoted Dondero’s Montana Republican Liberty Caucus as a small-government, individual-liberty promoting organization and viable alternative to the mainstream Republican party…but I think it’s fair that Montanans see the MRLC obviously doesn’t offer them a reasoned forum in which to pursue their agenda, only more bitterness and acrimony.

And to Mr. Dondero and his fellow travelers, I suggest you move on from the debacle of 2006 and find a constructive, Montana-based way to introduce this legislation into the public sphere instead of reacting to your legislative defeats with anger and denial.

  1. Oh, golly gee. I’m so sorry I’m not a lawyer. Sorry that I’m only a lowly political activist, who doesn’t always respect the views of Jurists, mainly far leftwing Judges.

    Just because a Judge believes that fraud was “rampant” doesn’t make it so. He took the word of a paid staffer for the opposition.

    No comments from the petitioners themselves were allowed in his court room.

    That’s how liberals like to deal with opposition. Just shut them out of the ballot and the courts. If ya don’t agree with the hard-left liberal agenda, your views don’t deserve to be counted in “Liberal-topia land.”

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Eric! You can believe that line of thinking all you want, but in the end, it’s important that everybody follows the law.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, follow the law, get more Montanans behind the initiatives, and I’ll applaud you all the way to the ballot as I skewer your ideology.

    Enough of the name calling! I even promoted your caucus on this website as a nice alternative to the current GOP for conservatives looking to touch base with their core values again.

    So now you’ve written me a nasty email, and I’ve slammed it in public, let’s agree to stick to the issues, hey?

  3. I also personally witnessed signature gatherers committing fraud by different gatherers, on different dates, with different methods and in different locations. I don’t get out too much, but it sure looked like pervasive fraud to me, especially when they persisted with their lies after they admitted to knowing that they were lying.

  4. Ed Kemmick

    Eric, when did Libertarians turn into outright anarchists? You refuse to accept the ruling of a district judge, which was unanimously upheld by the Montana Supreme Court. We’re supposed to believe it’s all a left-wing conspiracy? How stupid do you think we are here in Montana?

    I’m also curious about this: Don’t we always say that the troops are fighting overseas to protect OUR liberties? And now you’re saying those liberties are extended only to veterans? Do other Libertarians know that you’re pretending to be one?

  5. “No comments from the petitioners themselves were allowed in his court room.”

    Not true, Trevis Butcher did a miserable job defending the signature gathering process.

    Montanans for Clean Government were dismissed from the lawsuit brought against them for signature fraud, due to the overwhelming evidence of no fraud being committed. In fact the lawsuit against “MT for Minimum Wage and Stop the Lobbyists” was brought in district court without a single shred of evidence or fact to back up the charges.

    And as for not being a lawyer, and not understanding what you were saying, guess what, that’s what democracy is. I think you have learned a thing or two about knowing what you are talking about before flapping your yap.

  6. Response to Cece:

    Yeah right, nice try. Trevis and his Lawyer were given like 5 minutes notice to come up with examples to the contrary. It was all a set up. They were not permitted to call any of us petitioners as witnesses. But of course, the opposition were permitted to have all the witnesses they pleased.

    Response to Kemerick:

    You’re looking at the wrong libertarian if you’re looking for Anarchism. In fact, I’m a proud Mainstream libertarian, and reject the extremists within the libertarian movement.

    And yes, I most certainly DO believe it was all a left-wing conspiracy.

    Tell me, why was it that I was blocked from gathering petition signatures for two days straight, and followed by a plant named “Glenn” from AARP in downtown Anaconda? Ya think it was just an accident that he “stumbled upon me” while petitioning? Glenn would yell at anyone who tried to sign my petition, and pass them a flyer from AARP telling them that we were fraudently collecting petitions.

    Ya think it was an accident that my friend Jake was surrounded by 12(!!!) leftwing blockers with AARP on primary day at the civic center in Butte who tried to prevent him from gathering signatures from voters? No coordination there, huh? Just all by accident.

    Response to Grannyinsanity:

    You witnessed fraud in gathering petitions, huh? Ya know there were leftist petitions being circulated, as well. You sure it wasn’t for the minimum wage or stop the lobbyists petition drives?

    Some mercenary petitioners in it just for a buck, whom we libertarians despise, even carried all 5 petitions at once.

    If you witnessed fraud, chances are it was from the left side of the aisle, NOT from us libertarians.

  7. Ed Kemmick

    Twelve tough guys from the AARP! Yikes! It’s gettin’ hard to be a grass-roots anarchist out there.

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    I’m sure that mr. dundorko probably DOES have three medals from the military, one of them consisting of the plate in his head!

  9. Squid

    “dundorko”…..Geez, Larry, at the rate you’re going the Environmental Ranger dictionary will come in a 12 volume set..

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    I know, I know. Not very creative. It was a spur of the moment insult. But really, Tadpole, as a former Navy man yourself, are you willing to adopt this guy as one of your own?!

  11. Eric, it is remarkable that in your pissy little email, and every comment here, you’ve offered accusation after accusation, and absolutely no proof of any claim you’ve made. Instead, you rely on the hallmark falacy of the true loser: The fact that ‘they’ oppose us *proves* that we are correct!

    Nice effort, but flawed to its very core. I suggest you try again … not.

  12. Squid

    Ya know, Commandant, you make light of anarchists when in fact the democrat party is saturated with the brown shirt bastards. Go to any university and observe how conservative speakers are treated. Conservatives of any race or color. They are assaulted verbally and physically and in most cases are never allowed to complete their presentations and in some cases not even allowed to begin. Point me out just one instance where leftists are treated in a similar fashion.

    I wouldn’t put anything past the the AARP, since like most of these left leaning organizations, it is nothing but a front for the democrat party.

    Oh, say hello to Sergeant Schultz and the rest of the inmates at the Dim Bulbs Stalag for me….:~)

  13. Point me out just one instance where leftists are treated in a similar fashion.

    Uh, have you read this post?

  14. Ed Kemmick

    Squid: Your ignorance of history shines as of old. The anarchists didn’t wear brown shirts. Anarchists wore whatever they damned well pleased. Hence the name. I believe you must be referring to the Italian fascists.

  15. Ed Kemmick

    That’s what I get for trying to sound like a smartie-pants. The Italian fascists wore black shirts; the SA members of the Nazi Party wore the brown shirts. AARP members wear Depends, but I’m sure they’re quite dangerous.

  16. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Hey, watch it, Ed! I’m a member, and I sure that you’re not far behind! But what the hell, the senior discount on everything is real nice!

  17. Okay, for the record. When I refer to “individuals hired by the AARP” I can understand how the image of little Grannies wearing Depends comes to mind. But let me clear the air for you all.

    The key words are “hired by the AARP.” These 12 individuals that surrounded by friend Jake and tried to stop him from gathering signatures at the Butte Civic Center on Primary Day were not little old Grannies. The AARP hired a bunch of College-aged individuals to do the dirty work for them.

    “Glenn” who followed me around Anaconda for two days trying to stop people from signing my petition, was in his mid-50s. Yes, he was silver-haired, but in good shape. Certainly not an Ole’ Granny type.

  18. Squid

    So, if anarchists can wear any color of shirt they want, would it be possible that they just might don a brown shirt once in a while? Besides, who gives a rat’s ass what the rent mob democrats wear? My statement about their disruptive and destructive behavior stands and their behavior speaks for itself.

    Tell you what, Mr. Ed, since my ignorance shines of old and prohibits me from distinguishing one thug from another, why don’t you do me a small favor. How about slapping a couple of republican decals on your vehicle and heading for Seattle. Spend a little time driving around there and then report back on just what kind, of thugs, hangs out there. Are they fascists, anarchists, black shirts, brown shirts, pink shirts or are they just the usual rent a mob liberal democrats?

  19. Squid

    Hey, Eric, I’m reasonably sure that Mr. Ed can spot a depend wearing granny a mile away and I’ll bet he can even distinguish a depend wearing granny from a depend wearing AARP hired college aged democrat. He’s got the “feel” for this kind of stuff to go along with his journalistic sniffer.

  20. jaxie

    Based on Dondero’s comments it doesn’t appear that he has even reviewed the MT Supreme Court’s decision in Montanans for Justice v. State ex. rel. McGrath. More than 40 instances of fraudulent practices by the signature gatherers were submitted to the court. As far as deprivation of due process, Mr. Butcher’s attorneys never once asked the court for an extension nor did they file an affidavit stating what they were seeking by extending the discovery deadline.

    Finally, Dondero’s threat that he will sue Stevens for “liable” (sic) is priceless, truth is a total defense to either a libel or slander action, Stevens would have one hell of a countersuit against Dondero.

    As for the “brave libertarian signature gatherers,” my guess is that the $2.50 a signature that they were being paid drove their efforts more than any sense of idealism.

    Undoubtedly several measures will be introduced in the upcoming legislature regarding payment of signature gatherers and establishing certain standards.

    While Dondero et al would have us believe that these initiatives were a grassroots effort, the fact remains that they have continually refused to reveal their contributors. If they in fact had so much support in Montana why didn’t they reveal the names of their supporters — I’d think that they would be proud to demonstrate the extent of their support.

  21. Al Franken does a nice bit for his hate-mail segment in which he plays the opening theme from “2001 a Space Odyssey” as the lead in. However, the theme is played by an 8th grade band, and is atrocious. That would have gone well with Dondero’s original email to you, and his subsequent follow-ups.

  22. In Response to Dondero:

    “Yeah right, nice try. Trevis and his Lawyer were given like 5 minutes notice to come up with examples to the contrary. It was all a set up. They were not permitted to call any of us petitioners as witnesses. But of course, the opposition were permitted to have all the witnesses they pleased.”

    Cece’s Rebuttal:

    Check out this: Yeah, I posted that back in OCTOBER.

    In particular: “3. The Proponents claimed that they were denied a meaningful hearing because they weren’t allowed access to the discovery process. The Supreme Court disagreed. “The record shows that Proponents failed to utilize the time allocated by the court to conduct whatever discovery time allowed, or to avail themselves of the procedural remedies available to them.” Also, significantly, at trial the Proponents failed to make an opening statement, a closing argument, or to present witnesses (other than Trevis Butcher, who did more harm than good to their case, IMO) to refute any of the established facts that the Opponents had brought.”

    Failed to make an opening statement, a closing argument, or to present witnesses, under the same timeline that the people bringing the suit had to adhere to. Not to mention the fact that Trevis had notice from the Secretary of State’s office back in the early summer. If they truly wanted to address any questions that might arise at a later point, wouldnt they, as reasonable people, make sure that they had valid addresses and cell phone numbers of their signature gatherers?

    “Those of us” who had valid addresses and phone numbers certianly could have been contacted, and probably willing to show up in court and testify as to the fact that the signatures they gathered were not gathered fraudulently . . . right?

    Where were you?

  23. I’m about the easiest person in American politics to find. I’m all over the Web. My phone number 979-799-7077 is there for all to see. I was in Helena at the time putting up signs for the campaign. I was right there. Nobody bothered to call me.

    As a Georgia rockabilly group once said, “Don’t hand me no lies.”

  24. Jaxie, you’re not speaking with a Mercenary petitioner here. Just like you say that’s how the “Mercs,” who also collected signatures for your leftwing causes, operate. It’s all about the money.

    For us libertarian petitioners, the money we make barely covers our expenses. I, for instance, worked 6 months prior to the drive in a boring ass position as an interpreter for an insurance company, and saved up my money, just so I could come work on these drives.

  25. tim huffman

    eric, do you know Parker Bell?

  26. Brad

    Don’t believe Dondero when he says he’s a Libertarian. No Libertarian supports the War in Iraq or Rudy Jailiani, as Eric does.

    He’s a socially liberal Neo-Con. Don’t let him defame Libertarians.

  27. Louise B.

    “Do other Libertarians know that you’re pretending to be one?”

    Yes, in fact, most Libertarians wanted rid of this guy a long time ago. He’s a fringe sector of the party. In fact, I believe he was kicked out of the national Libertarian Party in the late ’80s, then worked for Rep. Ron Paul of Texas (a Republican), who fired him. He goes everywhere around the Internet insulting Ron Paul, because he’s upset he was fired. Now he’s trying to say that he will run against Ron Paul next year for his Congressional seat… HAHA! Intelligent Libertarians know this guy is a joke and personally I’m ashamed of his antics and ashamed that he calls himself Libertarian.

    He’s also a liar– he claims to speak 15-20 languages and write (self-published, of course) books. Look up the book he claimed to write on Amazon… people who actually know the languages he claims to know say that it seems that he just downloaded phrases from an online translator because all the pronunciation and grammar are wrong.

    Please don’t think badly of the rest of us because of this guy… he’s really just an annoying leech who won’t go away and leave us Libertarians alone. We’re as sick of him as you are.

  28. I am a libertarian, and I would like to take this opportunity to personally distance myself from anything that comes from the “mind” of Eric Dondero.

    I think less of this guy with everything I read from him. The hateful, hopelessly adolescent writing found in his e-mail posted above is in line with other missives he’s posted. Calling people “losers,” and the like. It does a lot to inform the reader of his intellectual level.

    I do not consider Mr. Dondero to be a libertarian. There are already terms out there to describe his position, and among them, “libertarian” is not.

  29. Mindy

    When Eric and Jake were here petitioning they told a story about how Eric and this guy they called Cold House. I think they called him that because he lived in Alaska. They said Eric tried to get the Alaska guy to marry a Chinese woman so she could stay in America. Eric wasn’t going to pay the guy or nothing. But the Chinese woman would sleep with him whenever he wanted and she would get a job. I bet Eric was getting money for setting it up, but he never said so.

    So, how hard is it to get set up? Could I marry a Chinese guy and get paid for it? How long would I have to stay married to him? What if he is all nice, but once I marry him, he is a jerk? Can I just kick him out? Will I have to give back the money?

    Will I have to sleep with him? I’ll do it if I have to, but if he’s a jerk then I am not doing it. Or if he’s ugly or gross. Or old or fat. If he’s normal and not a jerk, then I would. Is there any chance of getting in trouble?

    There are not that many jobs here and I don’t really want to move. Does anyone know how this thing works? I think if I ask Eric he will just lie.

  1. 1 The Butchers’ overhaul of the initiative process elicits — or deserves — little interest « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Howie Rich’s terrible trio of initiatives: 154, 97, and 98. Trevis is also a good pal of the Republican Liberty Caucus sweethearts. The initiatives were, of course, struck down for the pervasive fraud found to mar the signature […]

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