Dark Money Globalists Posing as Montana “Hunters and Anglers” Attacking Republicans in Ads Across the State


Montana voters have a reason to be wary about alleged ‘Montana sportsmen’ endorsing U.S. House candidate, Kathleen Williams. As in William’s previous campaigns, fringe leftist groups are conducting an advertising blitz on behalf of the Democrat candidate, claiming to be outdoorsmen in Montana. The shady groups consisting of leftwing activists are known by the term, Green Decoys, and they’re submitting op-eds and advertising in Montana newspapers projecting themselves to be hunters and anglers focused on sportsmen’s rights. In reality, they’re Dark Money saboteurs funded by out-of-state special interests.

The Montana Gazette reported on February 29, “According to [our research], these dark money liberal-financing groups include the Winter Wildlands Alliance, Public Land Water Access Alliance, Montana Wildlife Federation, Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Sportsmen Alliance, Montana Mountain Mamas, Montana Hunters and Anglers, Montana Conservation Voters, Headwater Economics, Forward Montana, Enhancing Montana Wildlife and Habitat, and Business for Montana Outdoors…Montana voters should beware any endorsement given by these groups, which are not founded by Montanans, are largely not supported by Montanans, and which serve no actual purpose on behalf of Montana outdoorsmen.”

In recent days, a number of these groups have again become active and are placing material in local newspapers against Republican candidate and actual outdoorsman, Matt Rosendale.

The death-spiraling Billings Gazette recently published political advertising masqueraded as a genuine op-ed, written by Ryan Busse. The Billings Paper, owned by failing Lee Enterprises, made no attempt to inform their readers that Busse is a leftwing activist associated with several Green Decoy groups. The article first ran in the Montana Standard a day before. As we will demonstrate, Busse’s activism is aligned with extreme elements far removed from the sentiment of Montana sportsmen. Nonetheless, Busse has repeatedly spearheaded numerous Green Decoy groups under various names, jumping from election to election in a game of activism whack-a-mole, changing organizational names as soon as the public catches on that they are not what they advertise to be.

Ryan Busse

In his op-ed, the Green Decoy spokesman wrote, “a multimillionaire developer from Maryland [is] trying to sell our hunting and fishing spots so that he and his buddies can turn a quick profit. Maryland Matt Rosendale is back for another try at elected office — his sixth in nine years — but the poor guy still can’t help himself from bragging to his friends about his extreme anti-public-lands beliefs.”

The accusation is an oft-repeated one; Montanans who want our public lands overseen by the state of Montana and not the federal government want to somehow “sell our hunting and fishing spots.” In reality, Rosendale and most other sportsmen merely want to avoid Washington D.C. maintaining oversight of our public lands when they are far better managed within the Big Sky State as without. One would think that even most Democrats would agree with this common-sense approach to land management, considering Governor Steve Bullock has recently been having a very public feud with the Trump Administration over disagreements with the Bureau of Land Management.

The Billings Gazette and Montana Standard published the conspiracy theory which impugns Rosendale with the attempt to grift our public lands. Busse cited Rosendale, “I have long been an advocate for the transfer of Federal Public Land,” and then added that Rosendale “dreamt aloud of all the money he could make if he is elected to office.”

Of course, Rosendale has not promoted the transfer of Federal Public Land to the private sector, but to the State of Montana, where it can be managed from Helena instead of the Washington beltway.

The accusations from Busse that Rosendale is somehow against the use of public lands for hunting and fishing should fall on deaf ears, if Busse was honest about his role as a Dark Money agitator and sportsman impersonator.

Busse is associated with Back Country Hunters and Anglers (see below), a Green Decoy group that masquerades as a sportsman advocacy organization.

However, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) has been marked as a shadow group whose only real purpose is not sportsman advocacy, but electing Democrats to office.

Green Decoys, which exposes these groups, writes of the organization, “[BHA] represents itself as good-ole-boy outdoorsmen who simply want to hunt and fish and be left alone. But don’t be fooled. As evidenced by both its sources of funding and current leadership, BHA is nothing more than a big green activist organization pushing a radical environmentalist agenda.”

They continue, “When looking at BHA’s funding sources, it’s easy to forget they have anything to do with hunting and fishing at all. All of its primary donors have extensive ties to environmental activist organizations.”

The donors include the Western Conservation Foundation, which gave $278,423 to BHA in 2011 and 2012 alone. WCF has given handsomely over the years to notorious environmentalists and animal rights activists, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Audubon Society, Earthjustice (the self-proclaimed “law firm of the environment”), and Climate Solutions, a major proponent of “global warming.” It has also contributed large sums to the Tides Center, funder of all things leftist. It’s hard to imagine Western Conservation Foundation would donate over a quarter of a million dollars to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers if it wasn’t an organization that shared those same ideological beliefs.

The next largest donor to BHA is the Wilburforce Foundation. From 2009 to 2013, Wilburforce gave a total of $110,000 to BHA for a variety of purposes. As with the Western Conservation Foundation, Wilburforce gives heavily to other notorious environmentalists, including the Environmental Law Institute, the Sierra Foundation, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Wilburforce’s executive director, Tim Greyhavens, previously worked for the Humane Society of the United States, a vegan activist organization with a PETA-like agenda. BHA also received a $69,000 donation in 2012 from Pew Charitable Trusts, which is famous for its ideological tilt. Other donors include the New Venture Fund ($30,000 total), Conservation Lands Foundation ($26,000 total), Lazar Foundation ($25,000 total), and The Brainerd Foundation ($8,000 total), whose mission is “to safeguard the environment and build broad citizen support for environmental protection.” As with WCF and Wilburforce, each of these organizations have deep connections with the environmental movement, which raises suspicions as to what BHA’s motivations truly are.

Busse was also the leader of Montana Conservation Voters, another Green Decoy Group that activates each election cycle to support Democrats (see below).

According to Green Decoys, “MCV’s education fund has received over $3 million in foundation money. Almost none of this money came from Montana groups. The largest donor is the Brainerd Foundation ($1.5 million) in Seattle. Other donors include the Wyss Foundation, funded by foreign billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and the Tides Foundation.”

Busse’s Twitter feed seems exclusively dedicated to bashing Republican candidates, and shows support for kneeling during the National Anthem (see below).

See his remarks on Greg Gianforte, the self-made tech millionaire who leveraged computer science to make a fortune and become a humanitarian philanthropist (see below).

His Twitter feed is basically a parade of tweets against Republicans.

And supporting Democratic candidates like Mike Cooney (see below).

While some of those recruited by outside special interest groups, radical environmentalists, and globalist land-grabbers may have at one point or another held a firearm or fishing pole, it is clear that they intend on misleading the public about their organization purpose. Green Decoy groups, like those represented by Ryan Busse, are not interested in hunting or fishing; they are interested solely in getting Democrats elected to public office.


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  1. […] We covered the fake groups’ support for anti-gun candidate, Kathleen Williams. We covered their 2020 campaign blitz for Montana Democrats. We covered their use of Washington D.C. Democrats posing as Montana hunters for a Bullock campaign video. We covered their claims that Montana Republicans are trying to “steal” our public lands. We covered their attempt to pose as hunters and anglers, when in fact they’re tree-hugging hippies. […]


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