The tweet of the weekend wrapping up the latest news in the crucial 2014 US Senate race in Montana is best summed up by Elliot Schwartz below. In the tweet, he shares the front page of The Billings Gazette showing Democratic US Senate candidate John Walsh facing a negative headline. The other picture shows the front page of The Great Falls Tribune featuring likely Republican nominee Steve Daines’ outreach to American Indian reservations in Montana.
Following the flurry of coverage and attention to the Walsh story over the weekend, it also seems as though the bigger question hasn’t been asked: Did Lt. Governor John Walsh (D-MT) lie to Lee Newspaper reporters when he said that he was not disciplined following an Army Inspector General (IG) report that ruled against him?
Unless there’s something I’m missing, blocking his promotion to General after the IG complaint certainly sounds like discipline to me…
Either way, at the end of the day- the stories involving management of Montana’s Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) are much bigger than this IG complaint story. If the press feels mislead on the IG story, how will they feel about the DES stories?
The liberal 4&20Blackbirds blog sums it up:
By continuing to run a non-existent campaign, headlines like “Report prevented Walsh from promotion to Army general” fill the empty space.
— Elliott Schwartz (@elliosch) January 19, 2014
— Brandon Shannon (@BrandonRShannon) January 19, 2014
— America Rising PAC (@AmericaRising) January 18, 2014
— Joe Pounder (@PounderFile) January 18, 2014
RCP: Montana Senate Candidate on Hot Seat
In case you missed the story over the Christmas break, it appears the campaign of former Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (D-MT) is raising new questions about Montana Democrats’ establishment candidate- current Lieutenant Governor John Walsh (D-MT).
Both men are vying for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT).
According to a report by KXLH-TV, the US Army Inspector General ruled that Walsh coerced employees under his command during his attempt to run for a national office with the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). While NGAUS is a well-regarded organization, supporters may note the fact that Walsh wasn’t attempting to force those under his command to join the organization until he was running for a national office within the organization.
(Full disclosure- since many of you know that I served several years in the Montana Guard, it should be noted that I did not file and was not involved in this IG complaint.)
The IG report said Walsh pressured other Montana National Guard leaders to join a separate group — the privately run National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). At the time, Walsh was running for the NGAUS vice-chairmanship and was attempting to drum up support for his candidacy, according to the report.
It is also interesting to note that Walsh, who is receving significant backing from the Harry Reid and Max Baucus campaign machines, expressed support for the budget deal in DC that takes a whack at military pensions. After getting slammed by the IG during his last attempt to run for a national office, is Walsh now willing to follow Harry Reid’s marching orders and take a whack at military pensions in order to bolster another attempt at a national office?
The Bohlinger campaign is also seizing on the IG report against Walsh:
— Bob Brigham (@BobBrigham) December 31, 2013
— Chuck Johnson (@c_sjohnson) December 29, 2013
— Sanjay Talwani (@Sanjay_Talwani) December 27, 2013
The latest development in this story is the fact that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), who has national ambitions of his own, is defending Walsh after the news of the report was leaked.
Why doth Gov. Schweitzer protesteth so much? Could it have something to do with the, as one reporter coined it, “personell-hell saga” scandal at Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) that erupted under the Schweitzer Administration’s tenure? DES Administrator Ed Tinsley is a former Obama superdelegate who was passed over for the US Marshal slot and then was appointed head of DES by Schweitzer and Walsh. Walsh was Tinsley’s boss at the time and is directly connected to the DES story.