Bitterroot Politics

You get what you vote for…

Bitterroot Politics - You get what you vote for…

Boulanger thinks $7,000 is insignificant

We found out this week that local Republican Scott Boulanger violated a number of different campaign laws including not reporting around $7,000 of donations. He called the charges trivial and blamed the errors on being busy during the campaign.

That may be true during the campaign, but once it was over, he also failed to file a closing report.Once the election was over he had plenty of time to get the records up to date and file his closing finance report. Instead, he apparently gave up and didn’t bother with it at all.

Montana’s Political Practices Commissioner, Jonathan Motl, ruled that Boulanger shouldn’t be allowed to appear on any ballot until these violations are resolved. That means that the people of Ravalli County won’t be subjected to another Boulanger campaign anytime soon since he doesn’t appear all that motivated to do anything to clear things up.

Of course, he’s still pushing the Republican Central Committee’s lawsuit to close primaries in Montana since that’s what he blames for his election loss. It’s probably good that he did lose though since he apparently doesn’t do so good with money when he’s under a lot of pressure. It’s scary to think about what he would do with the state’s checkbook when working within the 90-day legislative session.

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Open vs. closed primaries

I’m not sure what the Ravalli County Central Committee’s ultimate goal is with their lawsuit to close primaries. They say they want to make sure that only Republicans vote in their primary so their candidates are only selected by those in their party.

I’m not sure of 2 things.

First, how is that protecting freedom of association as they claim? They’re limiting who can associate with their party or their candidates. What they’re really looking to do is freely discriminate against those who hold views different than their own. And since the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee is ruled by hard-line right wingers, it’s safe to say they want to make sure no reasonable Republicans get through the primary.

Second, do they think this will change anything in Ravalli County? The Democratic Party in the county is small and rarely has a contested primary. In the most recent election, not one race had more than one candidate. What’s to stop Democrats in Ravalli County from registering Republican, voting in the primary, then voting for the Democratic candidateĀ in the general election? Since ballots are secret, there’s no way they would know who wasn’t the “real” Republican voting in their primary.

This lawsuit from the central committee is a waste of time and taxpayer money. And the fact that they included Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg is disgusting. She saved their disgraced commissioners when she cleaned up the treasurer’s office and they thank her by including her in the lawsuit.

I hope this lawsuit fails. Not that it will change much in Ravalli County even if it succeeds.

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