Countdown to #MTSen Primary, Day 6: A Primary Filled with No Good News

Brooke BainumNews

Helena – It’s been a terrible, no-good, very bad primary for the Montana GOP Senate candidates, who have spent the entire primary scrambling to do damage control on a steady slog of bad news coverage.

While the whole field has faced a slew of bad headlines, no candidate has had more “bad news days” to deal with than wealthy East Coast developer Matt Rosendale, who has been slammed for being dishonest to Montanans, flip-flopping on key issues, and his lack of Montana roots and values.

Montanans still haven’t heard an explanation from Rosendale about yesterday’s reports that, despite making his “rancher experience” a cornerstone of his campaign, Rosendale has never owned cattle and has “never actually ranched his land himself.”

Rosendale’s dishonesty has also earned him two ‘Pants On Fire!’ ratings from Politifact since he started his campaign. Rosendale has been criticized for flip-flopping on his public lands record, for signing that he was a Maryland resident under penalty of perjury on two legal documents, and has been repeatedly attacked by opponent Russell Fagg for his East Coast roots, his out-of-state backing, and for being an opportunist career politician.

Rosendale’s troubles are nothing new. In October, he was accused of playing a “political game” with Montanans’ health care after rubber-stamping rate hikes of up to 23%.

Fagg has had some terrible news of his own to deal with. He was forced to take down a heavily criticized political ad for copyright infringement, and has been plagued by two federal complaints forfailing to file a complete accounting of his personal finances and for running a campaign while a sitting judge. Fagg also made headlines for being “soft on crime” and for his support of a statewide sales tax.

Regardless of which candidate survives the primary, one thing is certain: the slew of bad news for the GOP candidates won’t be going anywhere.


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