FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
ICYMI: Texas-Based Conservative Group with Ties to Daines Bankrolling Green Party Candidate [MTN News]
Helena, MT – Yesterday, new reporting revealed that a conservative group based in Texas is attempting to meddle in Montana’s Senate race by bankrolling a PAC propping up a sham Green Party candidate. The group has ties to a Texas business executive who’s donated tens of thousands to the Montana Republican Party and Senator Steve Daines — and spent $2 million on efforts against Senator Jon Tester in 2018. The Montana Republican Party has previously admitted to paying $100,000 to finance the effort to qualify the Green Party for the Montana ballot.
MTN News: Texas-based conservative group funding ‘green’ PAC in MT
By: Mike Dennison
HELENA — A political-action committee backing the Green Party candidate in Montana’s high-profile U.S. Senate race is being funded by a Texas-based conservative group, records show.
The group, CSG Action, also has ties to a Texas oil-and-gas executive who’s donated to the Montana Republican Party and the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, and who bankrolled a group that opposed Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.
The PAC, Go Green Montana, was formed in early May and last week reported spending $27,000 on digital ads, mailings and a website to support Wendie Fredrickson, the Montana Green Party for U.S. Senate.
Fredrickson, a former auditor for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, won the June 2 Green Party Senate primary, defeating Dennis Daneke of Missoula.
She will appear on the general election ballot, along with Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and his Democratic challenger, Gov. Steve Bullock.
The Montana Republican Party financed the effort to qualify the Green Party for the 2020 Montana ballot, enabling candidates to run under that banner. GOP officials said they wanted to give Montana voters “more choices.”
The Montana Democratic Party says the effort to promote the Green Party and its candidates, including the Go Green Montana PAC, are part of an “ongoing Republican effort to mislead Montanans and meddle in our elections.”
The Montana Green Party also has distanced itself from Fredrickson’s candidacy and the Go Green Montana PAC, saying it has nothing to do with the latter and that Fredrickson hasn’t contacted the local party.
Fredrickson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Texas telephone number listed on the group’s website has been disconnected and the group did not respond to an email.
One of the listed directors of Citizens for Self-Governance is Tim Dunn, an oil-and-gas company executive from Midland, Texas, who’s been politically active in many conservative groups and causes.
In 2018, he spent $2.2 million backing a group called the Senate Reform Fund, which spent most of its money on ads and other efforts to oppose Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, when he ran for re-election.
This year and last, Dunn and his wife, Terri, have donated $20,000 to the Montana Republican Party, $11,200 to Daines’ Senate campaign, and another $15,000 to a committee affiliated with the Daines campaign.
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