Now, I wasn’t able to make it to Thursday’s press conference by Montana’s Secretary of State. I understand she was holding a press conference “regarding deceitful political mailers going around to MT voters.” And like I say, I wasn’t able to make it to the press conference- so I am assuming that Sec. of State Linda McCulloch also pointed out the AARP mailers against LR-126 that give the appearance of official state voter guides. I imagine she also included trial lawyer voter guides that attempted the same.
However, it seems based off of the press coverage that the Secretary only wanted to highlight a mailer that tied Montana Supreme Court candidate Mike Wheat (a longtime Democratic politician) to President Barack Obama: (the same mailer also showed that Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke is closer to Mitt Romney)
“Informative”#mtsupco mail from out of state has caused quite a #mtpol stir. Beware these are not from @SOSMcCulloch pic.twitter.com/cHLI5Zk0Ln
— Joshua Sizemore (@Sizemore4MT) October 24, 2014
The reason the Secretary decided to weigh in on this mailer, you might argue, is because the State Seal of Montana was used on the mailer. So did she weigh in on other mailers? If so, why weren’t those mailers reported on by many in the Montana media?
From Thursday’s AP report:
The fliers, which have shown up in mailboxes in Helena, Missoula, Kalispell and Billings, are deceitful because the seal and the title gives the appearance that they came from Secretary of State Linda McCulloch’s office, McCulloch said.
Only her office can authorize use of the state seal, she said. McCulloch is working with Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl to address whether any laws have been broken.
First off, it’s highly likely that no laws were broken here. If there were laws broken…it seems some Montana trial lawyers would also have broken the law when they published YouTube videos using the State Seal.
The above pics were from a trial lawyer attack ad against Lawrence VanDyke. As you can see below, the trial lawyers also sent out a “voter guide” attack on Vandyke where they attempted to make the guide look as though it were from the Secretary of State.
Here’s another good question about the Mike Wheat/Barack Obama mailer that appears to be academic research:
So the mailer should not have had the state seal, but is there anything deceptive about the portrayal of the candidate’s positions? #mtpol
— Schuyler Watt (@SchuylerWatt) October 24, 2014
Both the Left and the Right are speculating about who sent the mailers and for what intent. The anonymous liberal blog MTCowgirl reports that two of the researchers are affiliated with the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, while an anonymous conservative points out that the mailers were union made.
.@aaronflint It’s a printing term, meaning it displays the union-made logo, to convey union aka, Democrat-made #mtpol pic.twitter.com/uU144bGwGk
— MTObserver (@MTObserver) October 23, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014 6:35 PM
In regard to the AARP slogan to protect your right to vote by voting NO on LR-126, I say horse pucky!
I submit one should vote YES to protect the integrity of the voting process.