I know that Democratic US Senate candidates across the country have been forced to run from President Barack Obama, but even liberal bloggers in Montana are running from the president now.
Break out the popcorn as the latest saga unfolds in the state’s Supreme Court races. Now, liberal bloggers and Montana Democrats are furious because a new mailer, apparently sent from Stanford University researchers, ties MT Supreme Court candidate Mike Wheat to Barack Obama.
See it for yourself…
— Montana Public Radio (@mtpublicradio) October 23, 2014
Montana and Stanford University officials launched separate investigations Thursday into official-looking mailers that arrived at Montana homes this week rating how liberal or conservative the four nonpartisan candidates for state Supreme Court are.
The mailers are part of a research project being conducted by the political science faculties of Stanford University and Dartmouth College, but they appear as though they came from the state.
The fliers carry the state seal and the title “2014 Montana General Election Voter Information Guide.” Underneath, it places the judicial candidates on a scale from “More Liberal” to “More Conservative,” with President Barack Obama and former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at either end of the scale.
Here’s a statement I received from Lisa Lapin, Associate Vice President for Stanford University:
Stanford University learned about the political mailers late Wednesday and we can confirm that they are part of an academic research project independently undertaken by political science faculty members at Stanford and Darmouth.
Stanford is conducting an inquiry into the facts of this matter and whether university procedures and rules regarding research have been appropriately followed. This is a circumstance we take very seriously. We share the concerns that these mailers have created confusion among voters, and we sincerely apologize to those voters as well as the office of the Secretary of State.
In a response to my e-mail, Lapin says that the research study is legitimate, adding:
As for the study intent, my understanding is that the researchers are trying to learn whether, if voters are provided more information about candidates, those voters will be more likely to actually cast a vote. The study is described by the faculty members on their Web site, and detail about other similar studies can be found there as well: http://data.stanford.edu/dime
I’ll have more to follow on this story by show time tomorrow…especially when it comes to this, as KXLF-TV reports:
McCulloch said that the mailer is not an official Montana voter guide, and it did not come from her office. She said that the Secretary of State’s office does not endorse any candidate in any race, and that the mailer is deceitful because it looks as though the information provided has been endorsed by the Secretary of State’s office since it uses the Great Seal of Montana.
The Secretary of State is charged with oversight of the the Great Seal of Montana and approval of any official use of it. McCulloch says that she was not asked — nor would she have approved — the use of the Great Seal on this mailer or for any political use in general.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 6:16 PM
The other side! THE OTHER SIDE! What’s the postmark?
The Stanford work is clearly legit, very illustrative because there ARE political patterns in elective judicial races, but this was done by rock-hugging cockroaches, clearly GOP operatives in the deep dark money basement.
And Randy, you better not have anything to do with this.