We’ve had four House special elections this year. Democrats have lost all four. All four were tough races to replace Republicans from very safe districts who were appointed to posts within the Trump administration. In 2016, the Republicans were all incumbents, and their Democratic challengers were: Mike Pompeo (60.7%) won against Daniel Giroux (29.6%) in KS-4 Ryan Zinke (56.2%) won against Denise Juneau (40.5%) in MT-AL Tom Price (61.7%) won against Rodney Stooksbury (38.3%) in GA-06 Mick Mulvaney (59.2%) won against Fran Person (38.7%) in SC-05 In KS-04, an Independent and a Libertarian won almost 10% of the vote in 2016. First for the good news, …Continue reading →
Good Morning Birdies! After a long evening and a short night, I’m back at McCormick to watch some more panel discussions at The PS. I’m pretty close to the stage. Energy amazing, wish you were all here! Lots of kindred spirits. But you can some of the action on the livestream. The livestream link is here: http://www.thepeoplessummit.org/livestream/
Ben Jacobs had been working on an article about the Montana race for the past few days. It was published yesterday and in it, Jacobs notes that Greg Gianforte was not a fan of Trump last year during his gubernatorial run. But that changed after Trump won and Gianforte decided to run for Zinke’s seat. Then, of course, this happened: The billionaire Republican congressional candidate’s assault on Ben is garnering much deserved attention. If you haven’t already, it’s worth pausing for a moment to read the bigger story Jacobs was reporting on with his colleague Paul Lewis. Together, they interviewed several Montana voters …Continue reading →
The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he is alleged to have slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”
Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire endorsed by Donald Trump, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.
He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “I think he wailed on me once or twice … He got on me and I think he hit me … This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”
Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin county sheriff’s office said on Wednesday night it had completed its investigation and that Gianforte had been issued with a charge of misdemeanour assault.
“Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin county sheriff’s office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault,” sheriff Brian Gootkin said in a statement. “The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault. Greg Gianforte received a citation on Wednesday night and is scheduled to appear in Gallatin county justice court between now and June 7, 2017.”
More news, video, etc will be in the comments. See you there!
Senator Bernie Sanders criss-crossed Montana for a rapid-fire series of events over the weekend to boost Rob Quist, the folk-singing Democrat on the ticket for Thursday’s special election to replace now-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, for the state’s seat in the House of Representatives.
“Rob and I are going to do everything we can to bury that horrific, disgusting piece of legislation that passed two weeks ago,” Sanders bellowed, referring to the recent House passage of the American Health Care Act, during the duo’s final stop together in Bozeman on Sunday morning.
From Missoula to Butte to Billings and Bozeman, the primary rallying cry for this race was health care—and the skyrocketing costs for care that could result if AHCA is signed into law.
During the second-to-last stop of the tour in Butte on Saturday, a union stronghold that was formerly a copper boomtown throughout the end of the 19th century, some 2,500 or more poured into the Butte Civic Center in the late afternoon.
To the bane of Congressional Republicans, the Congressional Budget Office score on the GOP’s new health care bill will be released next Wednesday. On Thursday, the polls will close in Montana’s closely watched congressional race between Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte.
Hoping to get a boost from the inevitable Democratic outrage over the health care news next week, Quist is releasing his last few political ads; with two of them focusing entirely on health care.
In his ad, “Half,” Quist addresses the pre-existing condition rates in his state. Serving as his own narrator over b-roll of a picnic with the stunning Montana skyline painted behind them, Quist says, “Did you know half of all Montanans have a pre-existing condition? One out of every two.” Quist goes on to tell the story of a few other people attending the picnic, including one woman who survived breast cancer, and a man who made it through a major back surgery. “One thing I can tell you,” Quist says, “we’re all thankful to be here.”
“Greg Gianforte says he’s thankful for the new healthcare bill,” he continues. “The one that eliminates protections for pre-existing conditions and raises premiums on every Montanan who has one. I think Greg’s thankful because he gets another big tax break at our expense.”
More news, video, etc in the comments, See you there!
In about a half hour, Rob Quist will hold his last rally with Bernie Sanders in Bozeman. The event is being held on the campus of Montana State University. Here’s a tweet sent by Quist’s campaign, just moments ago. KBZK TV is planning to livesteam the event on FB. Update: it is live now! There are signs in the audience which read “Save the Wilderness” and “Resist with Quist.” ! @RobQuistforMT #BigSkyBern #MTAL #MTPolWhat a day. Thanks for coming to Montana, @BernieSanders! pic.twitter.com/llzBsw4sdJ — Dan O'Sullivan (@dan_osullivan) May 21, 2017 More news about the rallies, which Quist has deemed “Big …Continue reading →
Good morning friends! A mini Quist roundup to start things off and then more will be in the comments. (Including DNC lawsuit discussion, the latest Sanders news, environmental updates, etc). See you there!
Rob Quist, the once-longshot, banjo-strumming populist running for Montana’s empty U.S. House seat, is giving Republicans a scare.
On Thursday, Quist’s campaign announced a startling $5 million fundraising haul that came from more than 200,000 individual donations over the course of 85 days. What’s more, the political novice has refused contributions from lobbyists and corporate political action committees, earning him the respect of progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who will hold a campaign rally in Missoula on Saturday, as well as events in Butte, Billings, and Bozeman ahead of the May 25th special election.
Many believe the healthcare issue could prove to be the GOP’s downfall in many state-level races, including Montana.
“Rob’s story is resonating with voters who want someone who will stand up for them,” Quist campaign spokeswoman Tina Olechowski told The Hill. “After medical complications following surgery, Rob got into debt. He paid off his debt, but Rob believes no one should ever face bankruptcy just because they get sick. Greg Gianforte supports the health care bill that would raise costs for consumers, eliminate health coverage for seventy thousand Montanans, and end protections for pre-existing conditions—all to pay for huge tax breaks for millionaires like Gianforte himself.”
Similarly, Sanders said last month, “Rob Quist is the only person in this race who understands that we need a government in Washington that works for all Montanans and all Americans and not just the special interests and the billionaire class.”
In the weeks leading up to Montana’s special congressional election, Rob Quist and his surrogates fanned out across college campuses throughout the state, hoping to tap into a trove of progressive votes in a place that’s known to elect Democrats while maintaining conservative values as sturdy as the nearby Rocky Mountains.
With just a week left to campaign before the May 25 election, Quist is counting on college-age voters to provide the sliver of ballots he needs to prevail in a nationally watched election for Montana’s open congressional seat, vacant since Ryan Zinke resigned to become U.S. interior secretary.
Quist is running as a populist and political outsider who supports strengthening President Barack Obama’s health care law, not repealing it. He backs abortion rights, same-sex marriage, pay equity for women and lower interest rates for college loans — themes that resonate with younger voters.
“Democrats know they have to swing a lot of those middle or independent voters, so young voters are incredibly important. It should be a pretty coveted group of people because they aren’t always decided,” said Rachel Huff-Doria, executive director of Forward Montana, which helps get out the vote on college campuses across the state.
As he did in his bid for governor, Gianforte has largely ignored college campuses. His campaign has focused on rallying older, established voters to cast ballots.
Rob Quist spoke to a crowd of about 100 on Thursday afternoon about growing up across the river from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, his time at UM and his ongoing congressional campaign.
“Coming to the University of Montana changed my life forever,” Quist said to the students gathered around the Grizzly Bear statue.
Protecting Montana’s public lands was Quist’s main talking point at the Thursday rally. Both he and Gianforte have spoken out against transferring public lands out of federal control.
He also included his stance on protecting funding for programs on Native American reservations, standing up for special interest groups while in Congress and stopping tax breaks for the rich. Some of his ideas echo former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has announced that he’ll be campaigning for Quist in Montana.
Student loans was another issue Quist brought up. He said that the average student graduates with $37,000 in debt and he believes that is “fundamentally wrong.”
Quist: Actions Speak Louder Than Words On Keeping Public Lands Must Stay In Public Hands:
The entire Q&A as well as the rest of the news/videos I am watching will be in the comments. See you there!
The next special election is for Montana’s At-Large district, on May 25. The seat was most recently held by Ryan Zinke, who is now serving as Trump’s Secretary of the Interior. Rob Quist is running on the Democratic ticket. He is endorsed by Our Revolution and by Daily Kos. Quist is a working musician who’s performed across Big Sky Country for decades. He’s best known as a member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band which headlined bluegrass/folk music concerts across Montana and much of the US in the 70s. How you can help Over at Our Revolution, we’re phone-banking for Rob Quist every Thursday and …Continue reading →
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator in a new poll.
The Morning Consult poll showed a 75 percent approval rating for the Vermont senator. Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton last year, has remained popular. He is now a vocal critic of President Trump.
Pollsters found Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the least popular senator, with a 47 percent disapproval rating.
Democrats are beginning to craft an economic message for 2018 that goes beyond the tempting, single-minded strategy of demonizing Donald Trump.
Licking their wounds after an embarrassing showing in November, Democrats vowed to charge into next year’s midterms with a proactive sales pitch to voters. While many, including party leaders, have fallen right back into the same anti-Trump pattern they say cost them 2016 in the first place, top Democrats now say they’re working on “a strong, sharp-edged, bold economic message,” as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it Tuesday.
Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have met twice, according to aides, in addition to multiple staff-level meetings, to flesh out a broader economic agenda that’s expected to emerge as soon as early summer.
The package will be “populist” and designed to “unite both wings of both caucuses,” one senior Democratic aide said. Infrastructure and trade are expected to be key components, another aide confirmed.
Though Democrats have long diagnosed their failure to put forth a compelling economic message as a root cause of their crushing 2016 losses, their pursuit of a populist package this year reflects the lasting influence of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid on their longer-term agenda.