Thursday, December 20, 2007

Steve Doherty -- the left's latest candidate

Even thought it is hardly the most interesting thing we could write about, Montana Headlines would be remiss not to take note of the latest prospective Dem candidate for Montana's lone U.S. House seat: Steve Doherty.

It's hard to keep track of them all -- it seems like only yesterday that Mike Wheat supporters were astroturfing Montana blogs (including our own) by putting out "Mike Wheat for Congress!!" comments on unrelated threads. It apparently! Didn't create!! Enough Buzz!!! -- and Wheat is back to seeking the AG job.

It appears that the Democratic Party has decided that since they can't come up with a competitive candidate to challenge Rep. Rehberg, they might as well find one that makes their left flank giddy (to make up for the fact that the left will be laboring tirelessly to get Sen. Baucus re-elected -- a task that they will obediently do, but which makes the left decidedly ungiddy.)

It is interesting that a number of the names being floated have been trial lawyers. This is a bit yummy for Republicans, since the latest P-base poll reveals that the endorsement of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association carried the biggest negatives for a candidate of any of the advocacy groups respondents were asked about.

A full 49% of those polled said that such an endorsement would make them inclined to vote against said candidate, while a mere 17% said it would make them more likely to vote for that candidate. Did we mention that Doherty is a trial lawyer?

Also from the latest P-base polling, a whopping 92% of Montanans said that judges should remove themselves from hearing cases where an involved attorney contributed money to their campaigns. Given that the MTLA engages in systematic selection of the judges before whom they will hear cases (or who will decide precedents that will make their jobs easier) through massive campaign donations to judicial races, we think that it will be great to have a trial lawyer running in a high-profile race like the Congressional race. It will give us the chance to put the spotlight on the MTLA and the inordinate influence it has on the judicial and legislative life of Montana.

But back to Doherty. He is a "Founding Co-Chair" of the Progressive States Network. Others on the board include David Sirota (nuff said,) Ned Lamont (the guy who bankrolled to defeat Joe Lieberman in the Dem primary in Connecticut, but who got his clock cleaned by Lieberman in the general election,) Wes Boyd (President of iteself,) David Brock (the guy who made fortune and fame digging up juicy tidbits about Hillary Clinton for the American Spectator, and then used the revolving door to make more money and fame on the Dem circuit as a "former conservative.")

You get the idea. Progressive States Network is based in New York City and is funded by, well, we're not exactly sure, since such things aren't public knowledge. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But to be sure, when Doherty gets into the race, it will be interesting to watch where the reportable money comes from into his campaign. How much will come from Montana? Probably about as much as the 9% or so donations coming from Montana that fuel Sen. Baucus's campaign, we would imagine.

But what does the PSA stand for? After reading the information on the website, it sounds like they stand for having the government give lots of nice things to lots of people (presumably at least 51% of the voting public,) with it all paid for by more taxes on "the rich." Given how the left defines "rich," this translates into "hold onto your wallet, everyone."

We imagine that it will be childs' play for the Rehberg campaign to handle Doherty, should he choose to accept his sacrificial role.

A left-wing trial lawyer deeply involved in an east-coast-liberal subsidiary that seems to have little to say about things like, say, agriculture, rural America, traditional moral values, protecting gun rights... No, don't throw us into that briar patch!

It looks like Rehberg is going to have plenty of money to spend down-ticket.

OK, our next post will be about something interesting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out the interesting results of the poll. I've always wondered why the candidates running for Supreme Court seats against candidates who were getting most of their money from trial lawyers didn't make a bigger deal of that fact. Maybe now they will.

I've also always found it interesting that the Montana press always has been so interested in financing of campaigns, but seems to make one big exception. That exception is the financing of Supreme Court seats, where trial lawyer money arguably has a bigger impact than any other interest group on a MT public institution.

I remembered that Hardliner had some numbers on this, and went back and looked them up. Hardliner noted that the trial lawyers set up a PAC that spent more than $300,000 supporting judge Jim Nelson in the 2004 race, which is more than Nelson himself spent on his own. Cindy Younkin had some PAC support, but it was only about a tenth of what Nelson had. Since Montanans don't know much about these people, these kinds of races are ones in which advertising make a big difference. In the good days, corporations controlled the state's high court. Funny how the pendulum has now swung completely the other way.

MTSentinel said...

Well, MoveOn and their friends did say that the Democrat Party was theirs - bought and paid for. I guess it only makes sense for the Montana Dems to give them a candidate for 2008 in exchange for the $800K they spent to beat Burns in 2006...

GeeGuy said...

Steve Doherty is a trial lawyer?

Are you sure about that?

Montana Headlines said...

Just repeating gossip -- which has its dangers.

If Doherty's professional background and sympathies as a lawyer are not with the MTLA, then MH stands corrected.

The Viceroy's Fuguestate said...

He'll probably spend more time running against Bush than Rehberg.

Montana Headlines said...

You're probably right that the target will be Bush. Kennedy was trying the angle of calling Rehberg a "rubber-stamp" for Bush -- and it clearly wasn't flying as a winning issue.

Mainly because it's not true. So Doherty can run against Bush all he wants, throwing out red meat to the minority of true lefties that are found in Montana.

Meanwhile, Rehberg will run on his own record -- and we bloggers will continue to point out how out of touch with the average Montanan guys like Doherty are.

We look forward to learning more about him -- and we will probably be amused at how the Democratic Party tries to dress him up. They'll pose him with a shotgun, riding on horseback, or something.