posted on October 14, 2010 08:16 :: 1084 Views
Third party attack ads are stuffing the mailboxes against State Sen. Roy Brown (R-Billings) claiming that a vote for Brown is somehow a vote for oil development in Yellowstone National Park. That's almost as absurd as challenger Kendall Van Dyk's (D-Billings) official mailers claiming that Roy Brown "isn't even from here." Odd, considering the fact that Van Dyk truly isn't from Billings- as he moved to Billings from the Bozeman area.
The Billings Gazette's Tom Lutey adds this:
Negative ads have also targeted Van Dyk, but to a lesser degree. The Montana Republican Legislative Campaign Committee has issued fliers depicting Van Dyk as a green-caped “extreme-left-wing environmental super hero.” The committee also linked him to President Barack Obama.
Oddly enough, Lutey's piece features lengthy information on Brown's background, noting that Brown hasn't worked for Marathon Oil since 1984. Conveniently left out of Lutey's reporting, however, are the connections between Van Dyk and special interest environmental groups. All it took was a simple click on Van Dyk's resume on his campaign website to realize that he was a paid staffer for The Northern Plains Resource Council in Billings.
But, I guess what Roy Brown did for work over a quarter of a century ago is more important than what Van Dyk did three years ago. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how this race plays out, as it is certainly one of the most important races to watch for control of the state legislature. I've always enjoyed working with Roy Brown, and Kendall Van Dyk seems like a nice enough guy whenever I've talked with him. But, I doubt the "Big Oil" message will stick in this economy. Especially considering the fact that oil is propping up the state budget and has kept Montana out of a recession. One only has to compare unemployment rates between oil-rich Eastern Montana counties compared to Western Montana. Add to that, the fact that Van Dyk's allies in the green movement are blocking green equipment from making its way to the Conoco refinery in Billings and now you've got a labor problem too.
While we're at it, check out the audio coverage of this race from a student at The University of Montana School of Journalism.
As Community News Service reporter BRITTANY WOOLEY reports, energy policy is a big issue in the race.
Senate District 25 (2) by Swibold