Saturday, July 21, 2007

Drinking fine Kentucky whiskey and eating thick steaks

Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth recently dismissed the complaint that the Montana state GOP had made against the governor because of the latter's junket to the Kentucky Derby to drink whisky and eat thick steaks courtesy of big Democratic donors -- including corporations. (Montana law bans corporate political contributions.)

As Montana Headlines noted back when the complaint was first filed nearly 2 months ago, while the GOP complaint was technically a valid one to raise, it was weak from a political standpoint:

Some might consider the Republican complaint to be picky. After all, by this point Montanans are hardly going to be surprised to learn that our governor jetted to a big-wig event outside Montana to raise moolah. We now yawn when we hear he's going to be in California in some TV studio or another.

Even if the Kentucky Derby trip turns out to be technically illegal (which it perhaps is, if one follows the details of Montana law and the logic the Republicans are advancing,) in order for there to be political gain for Republicans, Montanans would have to be shocked. And news that the governor was sipping mint juleps on the dime of an organization that takes corporate contributions isn't going to shock many Montanans...

Democrats, naturally, engaged in obligatory hyperbole:

Brian Namey, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association in Washington, D.C.... called the GOP complaint "a waste of taxpayer money."

Since Namey is such an interested steward of the money confiscated from Montana taxpayers every year, we can probably expect him to issue a similar statement regarding what a waste of taxpayer money it was for the Montana Democratic Party to file a complaint against -- (see the second link above.)

Regarding how we think the GOP should handle this kind of political "gotcha" regarding campaign laws, we would repeat what we said in the comments section of our above post, back when the charge was first filed regarding this kind of political "gotcha" --

It's just fine to file a complaint against the Dems when they appear to have broken a campaign law. In fact, it's necessary.

But at the same time, we should treat it like taking out a stinking bag of trash -- it's gotta be done, there's no pleasure in it, and we would prefer that the trash wasn't stinking in the first place.

The Montana GOP, rather than treat this like a big deal -- as though we've really caught the governor in something bad (which no-one is going to get worked up about) -- should just matter-of-factly file a complaint when the Dems get caught in their own laws and rules.

Then, we should remind people that as Republicans we don't think that there should be all of these restrictions on campaign contributions in the first place. But if the Dems want to claim to be the party of the squeaky clean, we'll hold them to it.

And then, we should move on and treat such shenanigans as being as boring as they really are.

The goal at the end of all of this is to get at least 51% of Montanans to vote for our people, and Republicans have always done better at getting that 51% when we act like the adults.


MontC said...

No comment on this article. Found your site this evening...thanks FR! Congratulations for a job well done, Montana will benefit greatly. I'm passing along your site to friends and relatives here in Montana and hope many others will do the same. Thanks!

Montana Headlines said...

Thanks for reading -- and thanks for the plug.