Archive for the ‘Erik Iverson’ Category

by jhwygirl

I won’t even give these scums a link – but you can google it and find the new campaign Erik Iverson & Co. have out there attacking Sen. Jon Tester on the basis that he “voted to raise the debt limit 5 times.”


Under George W. Bush, who was in office from January 2001 until January 2008, the debt limit was increase 7 times.

Guess who was also in office from January 2001 until present?

Now, what that means is that Rehberg voted to increase the debt limit 7 times, but that was all rainbows and purple unicorns because, well, a Republican was president.

And…in case your wondering…McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor? They were all on board too.

So if the horror is supposed to be in the fact that Tester voted to increase the debt limit 5 times – well, Rehberg ups that by 2 and adds in 5 counts of “I’m a partisan hypocrite willing to tank the “good faith and credit of the United States of America” on the unprincipled stance of tea party ideology.

Ultimately, this is what we are going to see for the next year and a half. The Iverson/Rehberg duo don’t have much else. Stand him next to Sen. Jon Tester and they have absolutely nothing. No record, no substance and no resume of accomplishment over the 11 years Rehberg’s been up there. Unbelievably ineffective.

I look downright forward to seeing Denny and Jon debate. Downright forward to it. David and Goliath…and you all know who Goliath is.


by jhwygirl

…and Skylar Browning has it on The Indy’s blog. The Indy dug a little and found that Barkus’ 2004 conviction for wreckless driving was a reduced charge from DUI.

Who knows what else they’re going to find….

I find myself wonder whether Barkus is cooperating with the investigation? Why did the Flathead Co. Sheriff’s Dept. have to subpoena his BAC? Why’d they have to obtain a search warrant for the boat?

Iverson requested Rep. Denny Rehberg’s BAC and had that information out there within 24 hours. No subpoena required.

Sounds to me like Barkus is being uncooperative.

Look – Let’s be upfront: I’m not the first one that’d be celebrating if Barkus felt compelled to resign. There’s a long line for that way in front of me. He wasn’t a favorite of mine last session, and I have trouble convincing myself that anyone else could be worse.

So this aspect of the story is going to be real interesting for me.

by Pete Talbot


Keep Montana Beautiful. It’s one week past the election and time to take those signs down: small yard signs, big signs and really big signs (billboards). I realize that you buy billboards by the month, so Elaine Sollie Herman and the rest of Montana are stuck with those pink-and-black billboards that dot the Montana landscape until Dec. 1. But the rest of you can pull your signs — just save those wickets and that rebar for the next election.


I saw a couple of blogs, one left and one right, calling for a house cleaning of the Montana Republican Party. One comment said that state party chairman Erik Iverson should resign after the party took a drubbing in most of the big-ticket races.

Ain’t gonna happen.

IMHO Iverson did a decent job. Sure, he would have liked a couple of the “Tier B’s” and maybe another PSC seat. Considering the political climate and a fractured Montana Republican Party (Ron Paul, Roger Koopman, et al.) he did well to, basically, hold the Montana House and make significant gains in the Montana Senate.

There was a lot of head scratching over Montana’s mostly Democratic wins in the up-ticket races while handing the Montana Senate a Republican victory. In an interview with the Lee state Bureau, Iverson said Republicans spent $750,000 in targeting 21 legislative races they thought they could win, and “it paid off.”

There were a couple blemishes. One has to wonder just how involved Iverson was in the failed voter suppression ruse. He was also one of the main contributors to the sleazy “Obama will take your guns away” campaign. But that campaign worked and was partially responsible for the 12,000 vote deficit that cost Obama our three electoral votes.

If Iverson wants to stay around Montana, I’ll think we’ll continue to see his hand in state Republican politics.

Speaking of Iverson

It’s rude and juvenile to poke fun at candidates and their supporters when they lose. I’ll make an exception. One big mistake of Iverson’s was his claim that Obama would lose Montana by eight-to-ten points. Try 2.5 points, Erik. I even challenged him to a wager right here at 4&20 but the big scaredy-cat didn’t respond.

Messina on the move

It should be noted that former Missoula resident Jim Messina has an important role with the Obama transition team. Messina went to UM and actually worked on some local campaigns before moving on to the big leagues; first with Sen. Baucus and then with the Obama campaign as chief of staff.

According to Politico, ” … Messina, will serve in the influential role of personnel director … ”

Hey Jim, I’m probably a bit under-qualified for a cabinet post but would take an ambassadorship to, say, Fiji or Tahiti.

(UPDATE: Messina has received an even better job assignment: deputy chief of staff.  It’s the job that Josh had on the TV show West Wing.)

New to me

It’s been around a couple months but came to my attention last week. It’s a local, progressive political blog site called Bunk in the West. It’s main contributors are Binky Griptight (great name) and Megan. Binky has been a frequent commenter at this site. A belated welcome to the ‘spere.

by Pete Talbot


Please take these thoughtful endorsements from Planned Parenthood’s action committee into consideration when you vote:

… We are days away from an historic election here in Montana and we want to help you participate in that process.

Evaluating a candidate’s voting history, her PPAM (Planned Parenthood Activists of Montana) candidate questionnaire, or interviewing him personally, PPAM has endorsed and/or recommended 64 statewide and local candidates.

Check out our webpage at for the full listing by community.

A special shout-out to the following statewide and judicial candidates who are a top priority for Planned Parenthood:

Steve Bullock, Attorney General

Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Schools

Mike McGrath, Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court

Monica Lindeen, State Auditor

Linda McCulloch, Secretary of State

Kathy Seeley, First Judicial District Court Judge (Helena-area only)

Planned Parenthood is counting on you, the pro-choice voter, to make a difference in these races. Again, visit, share with friends, and vote.”

I’m going to use the ‘S’ word

Socialist. There you go, I said it. And I must be one, too, big time, if that’s what they’re calling Barack Obama. I see Obama’s policies as pretty moderate on: taxes, health care, defense, the economy, the environment …

Takes you back to the good old days of witch hunts and the Red Scare.

Just what are Socialists, anyway? People in Canada, Norway and Australia? Folks in England, France, Germany and our other NATO allies? They seem to be doing as well as anyone these days, economically. Is there something nasty, scary about these governments that I should know about?

A Canadian columnist for The Globe and Mail in Toronto is scratching his head. In a piece entitled, “An election on Socialism, without a Socialist in sight:”

” … Socialism is not defined by state intervention in an economy. All states intervene in the economy, the United States more than most. It busts open foreign markets, fights for global resources (such as oil), controls labour militancy, develops new products (such as the Internet), which it then hands off to business. Above all, its military spending fuels its economy, and has for generations. Bank bailouts fit like a hand in a glove.”

Barack Obama is not a Socialist, he just happens to have different policies than Bush/McCain.

Knock it off

Everybody. Please.

Most Montana campaigns start off pretty tame, with the candidates explaining why people should vote for them. But as we get closer to election day, the gloves come off and folks get nasty. Witness today’s flurry of accusations and counter charges:

Attorney general candidate Tim Fox being smeared by the Montana Democratic Party (granted, Fox’s opponent, Steve Bullock, got smeared earlier by the Republicans). Then there are the radio attack ads against Linda McCulloch, Democratic candidate for secretary of state. And, of course, supporters of Republican OPI candidate Elaine Sollie Herman and the campaign’s “professional Indian” and “young Indian” comments, directed at Democratic candidate Denise Juneau.

Who approves these ads and innuendo, anyway? Erik Iverson, Montana Republican Party Chairman; Dennis MacDonald, the Montana Democratic Party Chairman; someone higher up the food chain; or some boneheaded, overpaid, beltway consultant?

Montanans deserve better. It makes me want to puke slugs.

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.

by Pete Talbot

Palin pregnancy

There are reasons to question John McCain’s VP pick but Sarah Palin’s daughter being pregnant isn’t one of them. And if McCain drops her from the ticket for this, then he is a neo-con shill, not a maverick.

Sure, there’s some hypocrisy involved: the VP candidate’s anti-sex-ed, abstinence-only, family-values rhetoric. But this is still personal stuff — it could happen to any family — and it’s pitiful that the media, Democrats or Republicans would make it an issue.

Let’s compare Sarah Palin to Joe Biden on experience. The differences are stark.

Betcha, Erik

Much has been written, lately, about Montana’s Republican Chair Erik Iverson. I happen to believe that he’s a damn good spin doctor — one of the finest mouthpieces Montana Republicans have ever had. I mean, you’ve got to be good when, in the face of your red state turning blue, you continually crank out positive spin. But this could be the best so far:

“I still believe at the end of the day, McCain wins Montana by eight to 10 points.” Iverson told Lee newspapers.

Now I’ve challenged him before (never heard a peep back from the guy) so I’ll try again. Anything less than eight points and you kick in $100 toward my favorite candidate in 2010. Eight points or over, and I’ll throw $100 toward your favorite Republican.

Prof. Craig Wilson is a downer

And just who is Craig Wilson, the oft-quoted pundit in various print and electronic news organs?

Well, he hails from Missoula, believe it or not, but currently resides in the Magic City and is a professor at MSU-Billings (formerly Eastern Montana Normal School — it was founded as a teachers’ college).

Wilson bums me out. Here are a couple of his quotes:

“Within the state, this may be one of the less interesting election years,” Wilson told Lee Newspapers.

He went on to say that the Obama-McCain race would bring voters out but he disparaged the down ticket races.

Here’s another:

“In my book, McCain still has to be the favorite in Montana,” Wilson said in July.

Craig, if you give me points, as I’m sure Iverson (above) will, let’s do a $100 wager on that race; proceeds going to one of our favorite charities, of course.

by Pete Talbot

Erik Iverson, Rep. Denny Rehberg’s hatchet man and chairman of Montana’s Republican Party, has a guest column in today’s Missoulian.

In Montana, there probably isn’t a more divisive subject than guns and Iverson uses this wedge issue to attack Barack Obama.

” … Obama has shown that if elected president he will try to take away many of the freedoms we hold dear … ,” Iverson writes.

That’s rather a sweeping statement. So is the line that Obama will ” … arm the criminals and prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves.”

Looks like Iverson is taking a page out of the Karl Rove play book on smear tactics.

Obama has already stated that he’s a defender of the Second Amendment. And even if he has some concerns about concealed weapons, he’s not going to start chipping away at gun rights when he gets in office. He has a few other issues on his plate, thanks to the current administration: things like Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, and a recession.

I’ve haven’t seen any platform coming out of Obama’s campaign that would suggest an anti-gun stance. And also keep in mind that there are a few checks and balances in place. We have a Supreme Court that just ruled against the Washington, D.C., gun ban. There’s also a Congress that is loathe to advance any gun control legislation (the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007, which would re-up the expired 1994 assault weapon ban, is still languishing in Congress).

So why would Iverson hint that Obama wants to take away your guns? Because it’s a hot-button issue, like gay marriage or flag burning, that’s meant to distract voters from the lousy record that Republicans (i.e. Rehberg) have on the pressing issues of the day.

And why would getting rid of Rehberg help stem this flow of political sleaze? Because as Rehberg’s Chief of Staff, Iverson’s paycheck comes from Rehberg’s office (well, actually, the taxpayers).

Dump Denny and you shut down Iverson and his brand of gutter sniping, at least for awhile.

Mission accomplished.

by Rebecca Schmitz

Once again, one of the nicest people in Montana politics has been treated shabbily–by his own party. Even though he’s currently on his honeymoon in China, I hope someone told Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger about this latest snub before it occurred.

John McCain unexpectedly gave chairmanship of his Montana campaign to former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Saturday. The position had belonged to Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger for four weeks.

There’s something ironic about the Republican champion of campaign finance reform handing the reins of his Montana campaign to a lobbyist who, in the past, was one of the biggest recipients of K Street’s largesse. Huh. I guess that old saying is true: opposites attract. Nevertheless, the Governor’s office is taking the high road on this one.

“John is honored to support McCain and is also happy to see former senator Burns jump on board,” said Sarah Elliott, a spokeswoman for the governor.

It’s nice to see someone rising about the tawdry pettiness that has characterized Montana–and party–politics over the past year. The spectacle of our state’s Republicans treating Bohlinger so ungenerously over the past several months is the perfect follow-up to the childish behavior of the the 2007 Legislature (for which Legislators would like to blame everyone but themselves). When Executive Director Chris Wilcox refused to allow him to attend the party’s convention last summer, pretending tickets weren’t available, it was a pathetic nadir in Montana partisan politics. Because Wilcox, Erik Iverson and other GOP officials are determined to engage in a kind of behavior not seen since high school, I have some advice for our Lieutenant Governor straight out of those tedious four years: find another clique, Mr. Bohlinger. The jocks don’t want you to eat lunch at their cafeteria table anymore.


Our liberal and conservative friends agree: the level of discourse between Bohlinger and the GOP is getting increasingly bizarre. The party’s behavior has regressed from high school to second grade. Now the message isn’t “f*ck you” so much as “neener neener neener”.

by jhwygirl

State Republican Chairman Erik Iverson paints an absolutely rosy picture of the state’s Republican chances to grab up – at least – 3 of the 5 seats which comprise the State Land Board.

Iverson said he believes Montana Republicans have an excellent chance to control the Montana Land Board for the first time since 1992. That would mean winning three out of these five races: governor, attorney general, auditor, superintendent of public instruction and secretary of state.

Iverson seems to paint his hopes on State Auditor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. The Republicans currently have no challenger for School Superintendent.

Both the State Auditor and the Attorney General seats are being vacated by term-limited Mike McGrath and John Morrison.

There are two challengers for State Auditor – Rep. Monica Lindeen (D – Huntley) and former Sen. Duane Grimes (R- Clancy). Clancy lost to Morrison in 2004. Lindeen ran against Rehberg in 2006, in a race where the state’s Democratic party were almost wholly focused on unseating Conrad Burns. Iverson is banking on Grimes, saying “He’s run before and knows what it takes.”

There are 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans running for Morrison’s seat. Money is the winner in this race according to Iverson:

Iverson said whoever emerges from the Democratic primary will be “a great competitor and probably will be a little beaten up and not have much money. The Republican primary winner probably will have more money and be more politically stable than the Democratic candidate,” he said.

It is a sad reality when all a candidate or party chair can rest on is $.

But do tell, Erik Iverson – what is it, exactly, that the State Land Board has been failing at doing? What agenda is it that the MT GOP has for the state’s lands? Is big industry whining? Do they miss their “lap dogs”?

Follow the money, I guess, and maybe we’ll find out.

by Jay Stevens

From today’s Missoula Independent feature of Matt Singer:

“We’re both young guys interested in politics and interested in Montana,” Erik Iverson says of the impetus behind their meeting over beers earlier this year. “I obviously want young people to get involved in politics and paying attention and volunteering and voting. It’s better for democracy and better for Montana.”

‘Nuff ced. That should put an end to the wild accusations against Forward Montana from Missoula Republicans…right?


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