1. A former Vice-Chair of the Republican Party in Sanders County.
2. A member of a Tea-Party bulletin board called the Constitution Club.
3. A member of a local militia group called "The Irregulars".
4. A self-proclaimed "Tea-Party Extremist".
5. A person calling for Obama's impeachment.
6. A 2008 Republican candidate for the Pondera County Clerk of District Court.
7. A housemate of a Gallatin County Republican Precinct Committee Chairman.
8. A man who doesn't support the Democratic Platform or any key Democratic issues.
We knew, from the experiences of the 2011 and 2013 sessions, that we would be facing Republican extremists again this election. We just didn't expect them to run as Democrats.
On Monday, March 10th, all 8 of the people above filed as Democrats in primaries against known and respected Democratic candidates.
We were still reeling from the historic accomplishment of getting a Democratic candidate in all 125 seats
(the strongest showing of filed candidates in over 4 decades
), watching the Republican rift continue
to devolve into 40 primary challenges, and enjoying the news that 2013 Republican Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich fled the Senate for a House seat (perhaps in recognition that Democrats might win the Senate), when we noticed something funny happening - first in Bozeman, then in Sanders County, then in Teton County.
People we'd never heard of were filing as Democrats. After a little digging, we uncovered a coordinated plot by Republican extremists to intentionally deceive voters and mislead the public. And we intend to hold them accountable.
Here is the list of Republican extremists who are running as Democrats, in the same order as the list at the top of this email for context on who they are:
1. Gerald Joseph Cuvillier
(running for HD13 in Thompson Falls/Trout Creek against bonafide Democrat Weylin Achatz)
2. Laura Springer
(running in HD63 in Bozeman against bonafide Democrat Zach Brown)
3. Dane Peeples
(running in HD62 in Bozeman against bonafide Democratic Representative Tom Woods)
4. Michael Comstock
(running in SD34 in Belgrade against bonafide Democrat April Bounamici)
5. Harry Pennington
(running in SD32 in Bozeman against bonafide Democratic Representative Franke Wilmer)
6. David Brownell
(running in SD09 in Teton County against bonafide Democrat Joan Graham)
7. Kathy Hollenback
(running in HD66 in Bozeman against bonafide Democrat Denise Hayman)
8. Terry Caldwell
(running in HD14 in Superior/ Plains against bonafide Democrat Lloyd Wilkins)
Luckily, from a comprehensive story in the Great Falls Tribune
to the always on-top-of-it Montana Cowgirl Blog
, the media dutifully investigated and addressed the issue last week. But we need more than news coverage to make sure these Tea Partiers are held accountable and that our true Democrats have the support they need to win in June AND in November.
In addition to supporting MDLCC, please reach out to the true Democratic candidates above to donate, knock doors, and help them win - and let us know if you have additional information on any of these fake "Democrats" that filed last week.