Meet Willis Curdy, Democrat for HD100

by jhwygirl

Haven’t met Willis Curdy yet? Curdy came late to the HD100 race in 2008….and this time around, given his hard work last time, along with his very impressive resume, he’s clearly the winning candidate. We liked Curdy before, we like him even more now.

Curdy is a 4th generation Montana, small business owner, retired high school teach and retired smokejumper Willis has years of experience dealing with it takes to make Montana a strong state. His plans include working on Protecting Access to Public Lands,creating good paying jobs with benefits, assuring there is quality education at all levels, and supporting community organizations.

You can meet Willis Curdy at a fundraising reception for Willis Curdy at the MEA-MFT office, 1001 Southwest Higgins Ave, on Thursday, April 8th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. For more information, contact

If your unable to attend, but would like to support Willis in this important legislative race, please donate online or by sending a check to “Willis Curdy for HD100” 11280 Kona Ranch Road, Missoula, MT 59804.

  1. Pogo Possum

    Has Willis resolved his anger management issues yet?

  2. Chuck

    Roscoe Steel in Missoula laid off 10 people yesterday. They build bridges and other “stimulus project” kind of stuff.
    Montana economists and the press have dramatically undereported the depression in Montana. Schweitzer knows, that is why he is selling assets like the coal and trying to keep federal project dollars for his general fund.
    Corporate tax collections in Montana dropped almost 60% this past year while the state only figured on a 30% reduction. Personal income tax collections are down 20% but I have not seen the revenue numbers for 1099 income which includes earnings from real estate brokers, carpenters, plumbers, bookeepers, lawn and landscape folks, computer techs, one man engineering shops, sales reps, and all other independent contractors in the state. I would guess that personal 1099 income from independents will be down by 50%.
    Schweitzer has been selling assets to raise quick one time cash and stealing one time stimulus money to prop up his general fund budget.
    Small businesses are broke. The taxpayer is broke. You cannot raise more revenue except through growth and we won’t see us get back to past revenue collections for perhaps a decade or more.
    So I ask Mr Curdy (and Ellie Hill as well) where are you going to cut almost half of state government? K-12, U system, release prisoners, DEQ, Highways, Non Profits, affordable housing, economic development, state employee benefits, health insurance for the poor? Give us some hard choices that you are going to make.

    • I’m going to repeat this over and over regarding that coal cash: BY LAW that money is for schools and schools only. BY LAW only the legislature appropriates money.

      95% of that 85 million goes directly to schools when it is appropriately appropriated 5% of it goes into a trust fund for perpetual funding of schools.

      It is ILLEGAL to us that coal $ any other way.

      As a taxpayer, I am offended that this misappropriating of funds – funds that should be going directly to K-12 education here in the state.

      Where to cut? Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said that the state have very little options: Prisons, Schools, or DPHHS. And the lawmakers I know say it is a very very tough sell.

      This isn’t a Democrat problem, Chuck. You should be asking that question to each and every legislator and candidate. Frankly – its the incumbents who understand (if they’ve been paying attention).

      We will get the best solution with everyone working together to the benefit of the taxpayers. You and I both know how special interests like real estate and development and particular corporate interests like the rails get plenty of gifts based on the “anti-business” lies they use to oppose legislation and tax changes.

      Didn’t BN just raise its fees for Montana wheat and barley farmers? And they get special tax treatment? What for?

      I get the sense that there’s a lot of mirrors, sand and smoke flying around up there. ..a sense of unease about the budget, as the pictures being painted vary significantly….and it’s quite a while until the 2011 session.

    • Getting back to Roscoe Steel laying off – bad news, agreed. They provide a lot of infrastructure materials -and yep, bridges for a pretty large area around.

      Personal income tax revenue is going to continue to drop until we start making widgets. Manufacture. We can’t just ship raw material out of the state like some colonial entity. Value added production….not service industry.

      This is why sustainability is so important. There’s only so much development and growth that can take place before we don’t have enough water or the growth exceeds the capacity and or cost for infrastructure and or services. It’s been a while that I’ve said this, but no subdivision pays for itself. And the mere act of building houses is not a sustainable industry. You have to have jobs for those houses and not burger king jobs.

      But you know this chuck.

      I wish I’da gotten out to the Wheeler Conference this week – the agenda sounded worthwhile.

  3. Now I’m really curious…does the guy have rage issues?

  4. Pogo Possum

    According to a few of Curdy’s relatives, Willis has “a lot of issues.”

    We saw hints of the anger issue when he ran for office in 2008. His opening speech at the Lolo Community Council started off with an anger fueled screed. Voice shaking , clenched fist. If I remember correctly, he even mentioned that he was angry.

    People in the neighborhoods told us Willis was a Jekyll and Hyde on the doors. Some people commented on how polite and professional he was. Friendly, interested in their concerns, extremely likeable. Others said he had anger issues , made them feel uncomfortable and were glad when he left their door steps.

    Don’t believe me? Talk to his brother (I think he said he lives in Idaho). He had lots to say about his
    brother’s “issues”.

    One of my friends spoke with one of Curdy’s family members who lives in the Bitterroot who simply shook her head and said “Willis has problems.”

    • Pronghorn

      P. Possum said: ” His opening speech at the Lolo Community Council started off with an anger fueled screed. Voice shaking , clenched fist. If I remember correctly, he even mentioned that he was angry.”

      I was there and I don’t recall this, but that could be cuz I forget lots of stuff anymore. Refresh my memory–what was his anger focused on? I recall that he went over his time limit and the moderator had to cut him off–bad preparation, IMO. Seems to me that you are making a good many claims about “issues” and anger without much substantiation or concrete attribution…”a few…relatives,” “people in the neighborhoods,” a brother who might live in ID to whom we are to talk…(kinda hard to track down?), third-hand accounts from friends who talked to relatives…I don’t know, claims like these are easy to make (or make up) when they are this vague. Since I have no idea who you are, I also have to wonder why you’ve talked to his relatives, his brother, people on whose doors he knocked, etc.

      I will keep my eyes open. His resume says he has varied and well-rounded experience that could be valuable if effectively wielded. I am soooo ready for an actual representative of the people in HD 100 after Nooney and that doofus prior to him.

    • Curdy has been a pilot and a smokejumper – both occupations which require a darned even keel.

      I know people who jumped out of planes with him. They would not have jumped out of planes with 75# or 125# or whatever amount of shit they carry with them (including that ever useful tool, the pulaski), into roadless burning wilderness for 10 day stretches if he was an “angry” guy.

      Passionate? Yep…but don’t mistake passion for anger.

      • Pronghorn

        Ha, and here I was basing most of my admiration on the fact that he was a high school teacher! Talk about your need for nerves of steel, great preparation, diplomacy, organizational skills, flexibility, creativity… I could go on.

        I’ve jumped out of planes (albeit recreationally) and I’ve been a high school teacher, and I can tell you which one took everything I had to accomplish well (and which one made my heart beat hardest!). But I know exactly what you’re saying, jhwy, and agree wholeheartedly.

  5. Chuck

    I just wanted to clarify that Roscoe makes stuff…widgets out of steel. They design , engineer, craft and sell all sorts of Value Added products.
    I don’t like the special interest development community lobby getting millions of taxpayer money either and have spoken out against the public giving 1.5 million to the North Missoula Development Corp, The 1 million to Homeword Development, and now the 5 million in taxpayer money to Rocky Mountain Development Group. I agree that all of these projects strain resources and don’t pay for themselves. I also don’t think that the public should be paying to industrialize the riverfront with unrestrained growth of mini skyscrapers that these special interest developers push on the public.
    Maybe we aren’t too far apart J-Girl.

  6. Pogo Possum

    No one sought out contact with any of Curdy’s family. They found us. Curdy’s brother initiated contact with several people in Missoula during the last election to criticize Willis and urge people to defeat him. Then we heard from another family relative who collaborated much of what we heard from the first. Then volunteers started going door to door and heard comments and complaints from people. Again, while some voters said Curdy was a likable perfect gentleman, others would say he behaved oddly – angry demeanor, argumentative and rude. A few people used the word creepy. A Jekyll and Hyde personality.

    • Pronghorn

      ” Then volunteers started going door to door…”

      Volunteers for whom, Curdy? He was definitely polite and engaging when he came to my door. The thing about the brother is bizarre–not sure how much credence I’d give to weird family dynamics (especially since the bro sought you out, sounds like an axe to grind?), but as I said, I will keep my eyes open. Perhaps he’ll present a more polished image this time around. Thank you, P. Possum, and good night.

  7. Pogo Possum

    Missoula has been a strong Democratic county stronghold for decades and it is no secret that any Democrat running for office has a tremendous advantage in Missoula county. 2008 took this natural election advantage for Democrats and made it into the “perfect storm” to help every Democrat win any Missoula county election.

    The majority of Independents voted Democratic; millions of dollars were spent to get Democratic voters to the polls; free food, beer and buses attracted college students to the polls at the last minute; Max Baucus used Federal dollars to pay his staff to manage Democratic campaign and walk door to door to elect Democratic candidates and defeat Republicans; there was a record voter turnout and a record number of new voters registered; countless numbers of national liberal groups descended on the state with dollars and volunteers to knock doors, make phone calls and turn out votes for local candidates. My hat is off to all who participated and helped organize the Democratic voter drive. You did a fantastic job and you should be proud.

    With such a perfect storm of voter sentiment and organization, any Democrat who couldn’t get elected in Missoula County in 2008 had to have an extremely tragic flaw for voters to reject him. In fact, out of 23 races in Missoula County in 2008 (8 statewide races, 2 county races, 3 state senate races and 10 house district races) only two Democrats lost: John Driscoll for the US House (a candidate so bad most Democrats wouldn’t even claim him) and Willis Curdy in HD 100. Voters elected 21 of 23 Democrats and rejected Willis Curdy.

    All the time Curdy spent on the doors in 2008 gave voters the opportunity to judge him up close and see who he was as a person. After taking a good look, they saw his flaws and rejected him while voting for all the 21 other Democrats on the ballot in the midst of the perfect Democratic election storm. It looks like the voters didn’t have any problem telling the difference between anger and passion.

    Curdy is facing a different storm this year and it isn’t favoring the Democrats. If he couldn’t win in 2008, his chances of winning in 2010 are worse, especially when people get to know even more about him this year.

    • Pronghorn

      Funny, I’ve never thought of HD 100 as a Dem stronghold. In fact, sometimes I feel very much alone out here.

    • Curdy lost by 79 votes.

      Curdy knocked darned near every door in that whole house district, which runs from Lolo to down to Fish Creek (at least).

      He was at a disadvantage even for the primary – he had to make up lost time, since Brown had to pull from the race (and I’ll fairly note that Curdy had lost the primary, originally, by 48 votes).

      You spin him up like some horrible loser.

      79 votes kept him from winning. That’s a darn tight race against an incumbent. And his first race.

      • Pogo Possum

        He lost in one of the best political environments in decades that favored Democrats in Missoula county. That environment doesn’t exist in 2010.

        Curdy was his own worst enemy in 2008. He will be his own worst enemy in 2010 when voters get a even better look at him.

    • A storm? I don’t even know his opponents.



    • petetalbot

      Free beer, Pogo? I must have missed that and I seldom miss free beer opportunities.

      I already have a hefty bet with Swede on the Rehberg spread so I won’t be placing any more wagers but Curdy is going to win that district and as Pronghorn points out, it’s hardly a Democratic stronghold. But Curdy’s opponent is an unknown and I think Nooney, who was the incumbent last time out and spent considerably more money, and still only won by 79 votes, shows this district is ready for change.

      Finally, I, too, have “a lot of issues.” Mostly with people who claim someone else has “a lot of issues.”

  8. problembear

    it’s a pogo storm j-girl. surely you’ve heard of it. it’s when you get blown away when you count chickens before they hatch.

  9. Pronghorn

    I’m still curious about his/her motivation for the allegations s/he is publicly making against this candidate–PP, are you working for the Republican candidate? cuz it’s starting to sound like YOU have an axe to grind!

    I’d like to remind you that, in the 2004 election prior to Nooney “taking charge” (ha) in HD 100, the votes shook out like this: Balyeat (R), 2026; Lynn (D), 1960; Hatch (C), 136.

    So, no, HD 100 does NOT have “Democratic stronghold” written all over it. As I recall it, John Balyeat (who had a well-educated opponent in Lynn) was a do-nothing cipher who ran on the qualification of being a lifetime sportsman.

  10. Chuck

    I don’t want to make Curdy angry but I do have a question regarding efforts to make housing affordable. The cost of housing is going to skyrocket due to just a few factors:
    1) End of the $8,000 stimulus tax credit
    2) Montana’s adoption of the strictest energy code in the nation; Add $8,000
    3) Credit and interest rates and cash requirements for builders/developers
    Add $8,000
    4) Material costs , overdue wage increases, profit and overhead costs plus inflation. (everyone needs to make some money, and soon) Add $8,000
    So while our leaders bicker over breath tests and gays your $150,000 home just went up to $182,000. Your leaders don’t care about working folks.
    These increases are real and are already penciled in.
    Maybe Mr Curdy can tell us how he can roll back regulatory costs and mandates to the tune of $32,000 per lot just so we can stay even on affordability.

    • m


      1) A tax credit isn’t a price reduction. It is temporary, and everybody knows it. And I thought you were against subsidies. You always rail against them on other projects.

      2) No, Montana doesn’t have the strictest energy code in the nation. And even if it it did,what do you expect local officials to do about it? That’s state law.

      3) You make no sense here. Anyways, local councilors have nothing to do with credit and/or interest rates. If by cash requirements you mean bonds, I don’t think you’ll find any support for phasing out bonds. And bonds are not expenses, and do not add dollar-for-dollar to the final cost of a house.

      4) What does city council have to do with any of this stuff? And in any case, lumber is very low now, nobody is getting wage increases, inflation is very low after a period of disinflation.

      I don’t know what you’re whining about here Chuck. Sounds like you just want to whine because you don’t like the Council doing the people’s business. Which in this case happens to be some ordinances you obviously don’t like. Tough.

  11. Lots of great info here.

    I’m running against Curdy in the HD 98 Primary. District lines have been redrawn since 4 years ago, and we’ll see if it has an effect.

    I have an uphill battle and am starting quite late. Curdy’s got a lot more experience with Missoula politics than me, but some of these comments make me feel confident.

    Really it’s just all about knocking on doors and having people like you. Curdy’s done that before and I’ll just have to do it better than him this time around.

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