To the Chairman of the Montana GOP, Don “K” Kaltschmidt:
We are excited and very pleased to have you (again) as our chairman for the Montana GOP. Although we have remaining concerns about possible concessions to the Democrat-wing of the Republican Party (for example, your request that we stop using the term “RINO” in reference to them), we have no concerns about your character, your love for truth, and your honorable service to Montana’s Grand Old Party.
And, I am also pleased to have voted for you as our chairman at the convention meeting on Saturday. Although Montana Daily Gazette withheld our endorsement (for the reasons stated above and written about here), we are 100% with you and for you as our current chairman. In other words, we are at your service. We understand that at the state-level you have a concern for party unity and have a unique responsibility to bring us together in your function as chairman. Please understand that in our Eastern Montana counties we have huge conservative margins and are more concerned about party purity (ensuring our candidates follow our party platform) than party unity or growth (for example, in Richland County, we enjoy nearly an 80% majority). We will respect your unique concerns and presume charitably that you will respect ours, and we will work together to make 2022 a success for all of us.
I am sure that you appreciate and fully realize the vastness of our geographical region, and please know that we understand that election efforts are naturally focused on population centers in the west. However, as we both realize, the Republican Party cannot win statewide elections (or fund our government) without Eastern Montana, no matter how sparsely populated and spread out we may be.
This weekend, Richland County was fully represented by every official (whether in person or by proxy) that could vote at the MT GOP. We drove 8 hours to Helena to take part, a city that begged Governor Gianforte and our Republican leaders not to do the work they were elected to do in person because of “threats” of COVID-19. The mayors of Helena and East Helena and Drenda Niemann, the Lewis & Clark Health Officer, all asked Republicans not to come to Helena, and all complained to local and liberal legacy press outlets that Republicans would “kill” the community by being a “superspreader event.” They were proven wrong, of course, but these same city and county leaders did not complain when Black Lives Matter held rallies with their #DefundThePolice message in Lewis & Clark County that violated health orders (in fact, they participated). However, the Lewis & Clark Health Officer tried repeatedly to criminally charge the Steed Brothers and other freedom-loving citizens for participating in an outdoor freedom concert during the same season of COVID-19 hysteria.
Despite this, we held our MT GOP Convention in Helena, even though it’s not at the capitol. However, the night of the event, hotels lost our reservations and we had to back-track to Bozeman to find the closest hotel rooms. One Montana Republican legislator had to sleep on an air mattress for the same reason. Our committee contingent of five people spent nearly 4 thousand dollars (largely thanks to hotel prices during Western Montana tourism season) to attend in person for what was essentially a two-hour meeting.
Don, several events unfolded in Helena during the convention, of GOP officers being accosted or screamed by liberals who were very hostile toward us. Some of our contingent felt it necessary to take off our GOP badges when not in session, for fear of reprisals by Helena liberals angry at our presence.
While we love our fellow Republicans in Lewis & Clark County (and Lord have mercy on them for fighting the good fight), we would humbly ask that it be considered among GOP leadership that the GOP convention be held in Billings more frequently. Billings has ten times the hotel rooms as Helena, for nearly half or a third of the price, and ample convention center space. Additionally, Cape Air airlines can fly people into the Billings for less than $30 (depending upon the time of day), meaning that many people can fly rather than drive, pushing up the turn-out for the convention.
We do realize that the convention is in Billings already on occasion. However, not only would moving the convention from Helena more frequently make it easier for Eastern Montanans to come, but we would also happily come to Great Falls – the home of the great Cascade County Red Wave (thank you Lola Sheldon Galloway, Randy Pinocci, and others) – where Republicans are less despised and hated. Other cities should be considered as well, but we would prefer to keep our dollars away from city and county governments that go out of their way to persecute conservatives for our shared values.
No matter your decision, thank you for being inclusive of your Eastern Montanan Republican friends and allies. Please let us know how to best serve you and our party. We are positive that most Eastern Montanans would be in firm agreement with us, and such a decision would be good for the whole party.
We are behind you!
– Jordan Hall, MDG Publisher and President, Gideon Knox Group
– Co-signed Tanya Rost, Chairwoman of Richland County Central Committee