The following letter to the editor ran in the Billings Gazette on March 9, 2014. It refers to Jeff Essmann and his allies such as Jason Priest and Art Wittich, and their attempts to recruit extremist Republican candidates to run against responsible Republicans in northern Montana.
Go home, Jeff, and don’t come back until you can behave yourself! Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, reminds me of the nasty neighbor kid who calls people names and then tattles to the adults when he gets it back.
I remember when Essmann and his extremist friends referred to Sen. Peterson, R-Buffalo, and Sen. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, by inference as a “chump” during the last legislative session.
To infer members of your caucus are “chumps” and then complain when you’re called “extremist” seems a bit immature.
Essmann recently paid for ads in some north central Montana newspapers, listing his business and civic accomplishments in Billings, while attacking Jones’ voting record. Essmann needs to be aware Jones has an equally laudable list of accomplishments in our area.
I contend Jones’ list of accomplishments may exceed that of Essmann since Jones was able to accomplish meaningful change by his willingness to work across the aisle during the last legislative session.
Many past north central Montana Republican and Democrat state legislators have suffered the wrath of their legislative leadership by abandoning their caucus’ position and voting the best interest of their constituents. We are an independent lot in the north country, which apparently irritates Essmann and his cronies.
I support Jones in his Senate District 9 campaign and encourage voters to shun any candidate Essmann is able to recruit. We need to realize an Essmann recruit may be beholden to him and his extremist “dark money” friends rather than the residents of this district.
Go home, Jeff, and don’t come back until you can play nice!