by Ed Berry
Below are 3 public emails sent to a Montana tea party group.
The first (#1 at the bottom) is my email to the group where I state my reasons that supporters of Matt Rosendale would do better to vote for Corey Stapleton rather than for Matt Rosendale, if they wish to nominate a candidate more conservative than Ryan Zinke for Congress.
The second (#2) is Derek Skees’ reply to my email (#1).
The last (#3 at the top) is my short reply to Derek’s email (#2).
Derek’s unprofessional, long-winded reply (#2) to my email (#1) is reminiscent of his long-winded comments to my October 23, 2012, Open Letter to Derek Skees wherein I was trying to help Derek, but Derek pretty much destroyed his campaign for Montana State Auditor with his reply.
In his email reply (#2) below, Derek Skees has once again demonstrated he cannot discuss political issues without digressing into irrelevant ad hominem attacks on those who have different opinions than Derek.
Whether Derek is right or wrong in each of his opposing opinions below, I cannot say. What I can say is it is impossible to have a productive discussion leading to a meeting of the minds with a person who cannot separate political opinions from the messengers of the opinions.
Therefore, I withdraw my endorsement of Derek Skees for Montana Public Service Commission and now endorse Brad Johnson.
From: Dr Ed [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014 6:12 AM
To: ‘Derek Skees’
Subject: RE: The debate is over. Now what?
Thank you for your opposing opinion. Opposing opinions are always welcome.
But I am surprised you have not yet learned to state your opinions in a simple factual manner without degrading your replies by mixing your opinions with unprofessional, irrelevant personal attacks. That is what the liberals do.
If you would care to restructure your letter below into a concise, focused statement of your position devoid of personal attacks, then we may be able to discuss your points.
From: Derek Skees [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:21 PM
To: Dr Ed
Subject: Re: The debate is over. Now what?
I am sorry Dr. Ed, but I fear your political argument has some gaping holes of omissions. If you’re basing support for Corey on the last debate, without looking at the entire campaign, your assumptions will be as flawed as your conclusion.
I like Corey, and will always thank him for his service to our nation and state in Helena, and wish him all the best in his future, but I must be honest in saying that casting a vote for him is throwing your vote away in this primary.
Here are the reasons I will continue to support Matt over Corey:
- Corey is broke, has been for 2 quarters, and thus has had very little effective voter outreach, and therefore has very poor “current” political name recognition. (Remember political memory is roughly 6 weeks). In a big national race, this translates into no one thinks you will win, so you gain no coveted financial investment. Matt does.
- Corey has done very little to gain support here in the Flathead, nor in Ravalli county (the two most important republican primary counties in the west). No HQ, no staff, no ground effort. (I would suggest see point 1 as to why…) Matt has.
- Corey has no campaign team. He has no county headquarters with staff support set up anywhere besides Bozeman, and does not have an effective finance team in place working hard for both endorsements and money. He has zero national presence as well (I would suggest, see point 1 as to why…). Matt does.
- Corey does not have any endorsements (he does not even have an endorsement page on his website). Matt has National recognition with the GOA, Tea Party Express, CWA and FreedomWorks, plus over 50 current legislators have endorsed him in this very contentious primary (this translates into strong district level influence where ever he goes) and many big names in our community like Governor Stan Stevens and Ray Thompson. Corey has zero. This is incredibly telling as well, when he can’t get a single name of endorsement.
- If you think Corey did good last night with his “counter punch”, I would suggest different. Corey has a very poor reputation based upon his quick embrace of personal attack politics, and using the “carpet bager” angle only belittled him, not Matt, as it reminded everyone in the room why Rick Hill (and thus also those coveted middle of the road party faithful you claim Corey can get) dislikes him and will not endorse the “Napoleon complex, arrogant naval academy grad who slings mud at every opportunity”. Corey responds to confrontation with quick personal attacks, always has, always will, and he will find it hard to form coalitions with that handicap (as he did in the 2012 race and has currently in 2014, see point 4)). Matt exhibited poise and grace, like a true statesman should the entire night.
- Corey’s counter punch was false as well. His explanation for the increase holds no water, because in 2011 we also included statutory spending in our budget (in order to reduce it), and actually shrank government. Why would you “import” larger sections into the general fund budget analysis without doing so to cap and restrain spending in areas that were immune to Legislative scrutiny earlier? Besides, when you add more spending locations to the General fund by subtracting them from another (statutory or discretionary funds), this is not a net increase. Therefore a 19% increase in the size of state government could not mathematically exist without new spending. Honestly, do you think you can “cross the aisle” and get the Dems to support you, if you were shrinking their programs? I think not, and the facts of those sessions prove otherwise….If I were Corey debating Dr. Ed, I would suggest your ignorance on this subject would be due to your residence in California during this time frame. 🙂
- If Corey’s choice for campaign coordinator in the Flathead (arguably one of the most important counties to win in Montana) is any indication of his ability to form a relevant, intelligent and experienced team…well I would suggest the facts prove that false. Why would anyone hire an inexperienced political outsider renowned for spending your money, rather than raising it? (See point 2)
I could probably develop more, but I am tired and this is long enough already. Corey has alienated the establishment base by attacking Hill, as well as upset the Tea Party base by insulting them publicly in 2010, then act like he never did in 2012, as well as jumping on the damage Ken Miller efforts spearheaded by Livingston (hey Dr. Ed, didn’t you support Livingston in 2012?). Rick Hill is 33% and Miller is 27% of the party base (2012), so please tell me how Corey can hope to have any credibility in claiming he is the “great unifier” of the ticket when the leaders of roughly 60% of both sides of the GOP remember his past well and do not currently endorse him?
The fact is that for 2 quarters (relative to Corey),Matt has the money, the team, the endorsements, the history of aggressive travel statewide and the Freedom message resonating with the Montana electorate and the Republican groups nationally. Logically, he is in the better position to do quite well in the general, relative to Corey. If Zinke wins, please tell me again how Matt as the spoiler to a (in your mind alone) grand perception of a Corey lead has any basis in true political analysis? Not to mention how you feel your favorite attack target, the Tea Party will play a role in anything beyond their voting for who they think is the most conservative freedom fighter.
Thanks, but like many who have committed support, I will not jump from a perfectly safe ship because you see water.
From: Dr Ed [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2014 5:45 PM
Subject: The debate is over. Now what?
Dear Mark and others,
Those of us who attended the last meeting agreed we would promote the debate and use the debate to decide whether to vote for Matt or Corey in order to avoid nominating Ryan Zinke.
The debate has come and gone. Now it is time to act.
In my opinion and of everyone I have communicated with, Corey Stapleton decisively trumped Matt Rosendale on every issue and showed he is best qualified to represent us in Congress.
Corey’s ultimate debate victory was when Matt attempted to corner Corey about the Montana budget in a year when Corey was in Senate leadership. Corey first used Matt’s question to demonstrate that Matt does not know enough about Montana politics to represent Montana. Then Corey went on to show how what Matt thought was a bad decision was in fact a very good decision under Corey’s leadership. Matt served, Corey returned the serve and Matt was out. That’s debating and Corey won hands down.
On immigration, Matt said we must seal our borders. Corey said we must enforce the laws now on the books but we need to allow qualified foreigners to immigrate because they are good for our economy. Corey is absolutely right on this issue as well as other issues debated.
Reality check: Matt is a good guy but he cannot win this election. Only Ryan and Corey can capture enough mainstream Republican votes to win. And if Matt were to win the Democrats would crucify him in the final. Save Matt for another day. Corey trumps Matt in education, experience, leadership ability, economic understanding, knowledge of Montana, and ability to draw votes from mainstream Republicans.
Will this election be another Deja vu? Will this election be a replay of past elections where tea party folks backed a candidate who cannot win the nomination?
Will tea party folks who have been supporting Matt, now change and support Corey?
If they back Corey then Corey will very likely beat Ryan, and we will send a conservative to Congress.
If they do not back Corey then Ryan will most likely win the nomination and we will have lost our opportunity to elect a conservative to Congress for many years.
And if Ryan beats Corey by less than the votes that went to Matt, then Matt voters will have only themselves to blame for nominating Ryan. In other words, don’t blame the “Republicans” for electing a liberal. Blame yourselves!
I really don’t want to have to tell Matt’s voters next week that they totally blew it again and helped elect the most liberal candidate … as they have so far done in the past.
We are at the threshold of a conservative victory. We hold the ability to win in our hands. But to win, we must give up our present favorites and choose the only way to achieve a conservative victory for Montana.