National News & Opinion Magazine Writes on Montana GOP Voter Suppression Scandal

by jhwygirl

Ari Berman of The Nation writes on the Montana GOP voter suppression scandal, in a piece titled GOP Busted for Voter Suppression.

Montana blogger Jay Stevens (“of the great blog Left in the West“) gets a mention, along with a quote.


Meanwhile, in other developments….

Criminal charges may be pending for the Montana GOP and Jack Eaton – a complaint has been filed, over the major flaw of the use of the word “apartment” instead of “unit” – Wow, huh?

Gotta wonder how many people in a college town like Missoula might be in that same boat.

Gotta wonder how many people didn’t check that list of challenged voters because they’ve lived in the same place for years?

Apparently Van Valkenberg is agreeing that there is merit in the criminal complaint.

Ha. I said that from the beginning.

So while the newspapers whither away on this story folks – Missoulian reporter Chelsie Moy did do a blogpost, though – remember this folks: This is the Montana Republican Party. Montana GOP and its chairman, Erik Iverson have stood silent in taking ownership of this attempt to suppress Montana citizens from legitimately voting. They threw courthouses around the state into chaos when they delivered more than 6,000 illegal challenges – all while election officers were busy preparing for what is expected to be a record turnout election. They cost taxpayers in the process. They disrupted the election process and they were proud and defensive while doing so.

Vote accordingly, folks.

  1. All this chicanery and voter supression schematization comes from fear.

    My psychic priest told me the day the primary numbers came in that Erik Iverson snapped and rammed poor Jake Eaton’s head into his desk when he wasn’t looking. Shultz didn’t even have time to intervene. Erik took a Big Mac and shoved it in his face shouting “How the f— do you like that cheese! That’s how I feel right now. Taste that democratic flame broil! Go type a damn press release and get the f— out of my face!” Shultz had actually bought the burger, which must have made him sad when he had to wipe it off his face. He left the room to pout. My psychic priest told me this.

    He also says the GOP is scared and desperate. The primary has them wearing depends now.

    Word on the street–and by street I mean the Secretary of State’s office–is that McCain only earned 3/4 of Obama’s 12k in Yellowstone County. Yellowstone County.

    (See the source of Erik Iverson’s likely ulcer at…

    Latest joke at my house: What do Jake Eaton and the Kurds have in common?

    They’re always the ones that take it in the neck for everyone else.

    I know that’s not really very funny. But it’s true. Look, I talk to God, don’t question me!

  2. Carol

    “McCain only earned 3/4 of Obama’s 12k in Yellowstone County. Yellowstone County.”

    That was a non-binding preference poll on the Republican side, genius. And don’t forget Operation Chaos.

  3. Carol, they didn’t call it a preference poll when you asked them how Kelleher got his upset, did they? Or when Ron Paul pulled crazy numbers from Ravalli, Flathead, Gallatin, Lake, and Missoula counties. Those weren’t democratic votes that were stolen, unless you think the Jon Stokes and Gary Marbut types are out there canvassing for Obama.

    They also didn’t call it a preference poll when it gave the frightening realization that even in Yellowstone County, they’d lost their edge with McCain even in the face of a split Democratic primary ticket where Hillary took a ton of Dem votes. This was in Yellowstone–not Missoula–county.

    Operation Chaos was out there, but how many Republicans just fall in line with crap like that? The conspiratorial notion that this thing somehow worked on a wide enough scale in Montana to create the results of the primary ignores the fact that this state GOP is about as in control of their own process as McCain is over his own Bowels. (I wasn’t joking about Depends in the post above; you’ve seen how puffy McCain’s slacks are. It’s not rocket science. It’s underwear wetting. Poor Cindy.)

    Erik Iverson would love to have the public believe that operation chaos workedjust as much as Ron Paul followers are convinced George Bush planned 9-11. Both are a convenient alternative to the more scary, paralyzing reality that one’s situation is totally f–ked and can only be fixed with Democratic leadership.

    Again, that’s what my psychic priest tells me. And don’t you question me again Carol. I talk to God on a regular basis, and I’m also one of the best snowboarding nuns on the west coast. I shred the gnar, and I also rap.

    I spit mad Catholic rhymes Carol.


  4. Klemz

    K, a blog is not The Nation or the Missoulian, but whatever.

    We’re at the point right now where the informational train has grinded to a slow, perhaps faster than the relevance of the situation has. However, it’s still relevant, so, while I would contest that its important that the papers “whither away” at this point, the fact that the blogs haven’t only illustrates their purpose in the grand scheme of things. This is the part where you guys matter more than ever, so keep it up.

    I also hope I can make a constructive criticism point here out of previous posts where I’ve looked like a jerkface on issues where 4&20 has chimed in partisanly on national election issues.

    Anyone can do that–give us the local flavor, yo.

  5. K – you got me confused a bit with your first sentence.

    And the “whither away” comment? Well – having a criminal complaint filed, having the Missoula County Attorney say that there is merit in the complaint, and – if you’ve read regularly – you’ll know that more than half of the so-called “challenges” weren’t changes in address at all – they were more like “apt.” instead of “unit”, two spaces between Missoula and Montana, and other typographical or clerical types of errors.

    Let me go rabid on this once again – the Montana GOP had a law to follow when they filed those challenges – it’s under Title 13 of Montana Code Annotated. 7 simple causes for a citizen challenge to a voter. That is all the Montana GOP had to follow. They didn’t follow that. They not only created havoc as election officials were busy doing the important job of making sure the election would run smoothly and accurately, but the Montana GOP certainly cost Missoulians and other counties some serious cash…I mean, if a lead Democratic official broke the law, that wouldn’t be news? Come on!

    Further – the chairman of the Montana Republican Party, Erik Iverson, has been silent on this issue. Certainly poor fired Jake Eaton didn’t do this all alone? He had to use party funds to get those databases….buy the paper, print out 6,000+challenges – that’s a hell of a lot of paper, don’t you see? Alone? Baloney.

    But again – if a Democratic Party member went and did some major cluster *#(% like that, went and got himself fired, had the chair of the party stand in silence, and then have a county attorney (or two or three or four, according to Matt Singer) say that there was merit to criminal charges (and then if the said county attorneys said that it was “low priority”…well, gee whiz, if that wouldn’t be news, there’s certainly some incentive there for others to go out and break some laws now, isn’t there?

    I mean, geez – local media – print, television and radio – went nutso over the Governor making a joke in front of a roomful of lawyers – about running off voter suppression activity, nonetheless! – and here we have criminal activity on the part of the Montana GOP actually interfering in the election.

    Seriously? You wonder why Democrats around town are saying WTF…Liberal media my ass. We can’t even get an inch of print on criminal activity by the Montana GOP.

  6. One more….I was told that most local news had gotten a list of the challenged voters. They didn’t bother to look at it? Look into the legitimacy of the claims? Wouldn’t that be Reporting 101?

    It was in my day.

  7. klemz

    You’re making a lot of false assumptions as to what’s been done and what hasn’t, but that’s the advantage of a blog–no penalty for saying things that aren’t true.

  8. what are you saying is an assumption?

  9. JC

    jhwygirl–it’s seeming more and more that the state of the GOP is one in which violations of voter suppression and caging laws has become the de facto standard by which they conduct business. It is expected of them, therefore the MSM does not view it as news.

    It has become an accepted practice within the GOP, and as such, they have striven to inject its propriety into the hearts of journalists everywhere. And voter (registration) fraud allegations have become the smokescreen behind which the GOP maintains its machinations.

    Jake Eaton should be arrested for flight across state lines to avoid prosecution. And the GOP should be investigated for conspiracy to violate voter suppression and caging laws. Eaton’s actions did not happen in a vacuum. Both money and information and collaboration has led to his and other, similar GOP actions across the country.

    Obama was correct to call for a special prosecutor, or an expansion of the current special prosecutor (investigating the Justice Department US Attorney scandal) investigation, to look into GOP actions surrounding ACORN and actions like Eaton’s.

    It’s about time that dems stood up and called a spade a spade.

  10. i am sure the far right is sticking to their insanely unbelievable quiet assertion that mr eaton, a good soldier and recent college graduate just thought this whole plan up himself and implemented it without the knowledge of erik iverson or leaders higher up in the republican party so that they could preserve plausible deniability. that is the nefarious way they operate and the very fact that this plan was implemented during a time when the country is reeling from the idiotic financial leadership of W just drives home the point that the entire republican party is completely out of touch with mainstream thought in america today. i might add that they are cowards to send this soldier in to do their dirty work. but, that is the way this party has operated since the 70s so what else is new?

  11. Klemz

    That nobody looked into this. That it was lazy reporting on the part of Moy, or myself, or Harper, or Marquand, or Spzaller or the Helena bureau folk, rather than a news value judgment that’s causing this issue to slough–temporarily–off the radar.

    I’m aware that an OPG code enforcement officer (signage, right?) and ardent Hillary supporter filed a complaint against Eaton. That’s important stuff. That’s relevant stuff. I would argue it’s less important and relevant than the Schweitzer situation because Eaton is mere apparatchik and not the leader of the entire state… but that’s just me.

    I thought the overall response was swift, fair and accurate. Beyond that, what do you want? I’m sorry the press doesn’t share the Dems’ bloodlust, but I’m not interested in becoming the pawn of political operatives–even ones that are friends or acquaintances… even ones wearing funny Bob Kelleher costumes in their Facebook profiles.

    It was voter suppression. It failed. Eaton’s gone and Iverson won’t call anybody back. I’m not sure what’s left, but if you want to put a hit out on the guy, I know some militia in Wausau.

  12. You are both right. But Klemz should address the “a lot of false assumptions” – because when I’ve asked questions I come up with what I’ve said. He’s making it sound like I’m making stuff up.

    We’ve got violations in both Federal and State law. Seems to me the state stuff should be looked into. Chelsie Moy said that Van Valkenberg – while agreeing there is legitimacy to the criminal charges – has said that it’s ‘not high priority’ or something like that.

    Seriously screwed up that the Montana GOP can get away with something like that.

    Without even an inch of news ink on it, nonetheless.

  13. Klemz

    All that being said, this public response makes for happy freedoms. I’m going to stop now.

    Peoples is peoples,


  14. Well thanks for clearing that up, Klemz. I didn’t realize that having a criminal complaint filed against the Montana GOP wasn’t newsworthy, even when the county attorney is saying there is legitimacy in the charges.

    And Iverson’s not returning calls? Yeah – that isn’t newsworthy either.

    I guess for solace I’ll go back to what you originally said – “However, it’s still relevant, so, while I would contest that its important that the papers “whither away” at this point, the fact that the blogs haven’t only illustrates their purpose in the grand scheme of things. This is the part where you guys matter more than ever, so keep it up.”

    So thanks for the clarification, Klemz. It’s an education.

  15. Oh, hell….

    I don’t expect a response, and I’m not saying that to be snark – you’ve said your done.

    But I would suggest that filing a criminal complaint on criminal activity isn’t some sort of partisan thing. Voting isn’t partisan – it’s a constitutional right. Now, who someone votes for might be partisan, but the vote itself wasn’t.

    And when a party works collectively to suppress votes – and breaks the law in doing so – that’s wrong. Desiring it to be punished, I don’t think, is partisan. Any good citizen should want to see that laws are followed.

  16. still one more…

    reporters can only report on what the newspaper lets them, I’m guessing. The fact that Chelsie thought it worthy to blog, even after apparently interviewing Van Valkenberg, illustrates that. At least to me.

  17. important to remember that many good citizen republicans stood up in protest about this shameless attempt to deprive people in democratic counties the right to vote. i would venture to say that the GOP is now officially completely out of touch with their own decent minded party members.

    this just today…Colin Powell supports Obama now.

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