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Last week we learned that there were as many as nine tea partiers in Montana who's switched to the Democratic party in hopes of entering our primaries. Well...they're OUT now and here's what happened.

The Nine Montana Tea Party Republicans who had switched party affiliations to become Democrats and filed to enter state and local Democratic primaries in the state are being ousted because they failed to meet the filing deadlines.

Last week, reports emerged that there would be as many as nine Tea Partiers-turned Democrats expected to participate in Democratic primary challenges, all for state and local offices. But state representative Franke Wilmer (D-Bozeman) yesterday told Bold Blue Magazine that these new Democrats will not have an effect on the 2014 elections because although each of the potential candidates filed to enter races, their applications have been denied due to their failure to meet the filing deadline.

Oops.

Turns out Democratic incumbents Franke Wilmer, Tom Woods and Zach Brown all represent Bozeman, a significant Democratic strong hold. In Wilmer's race, Tea Partier Henry Pennington, whose Facebook page is covered with anti-Obama rhetoric, attempted to enter the Democratic primary. Tom Woods would have faced Tea Partier Dane Peeples, a subscriber to a Tea Party patriot bulletin board called the Constitution Club (click at your own risk. It's really the worst of addled-brained Obama Derangement Syndrome imaginable). Laura Springer, an associate of Dane Peeples, attempted to enter the fray against Democratic incumbent Zack Brown.

The three Tea Partiers listed above are all members of the same group and all three have openly stated that while they are changing their party designation, they have no intention of changing policy.

It seems like the Montana party, in a way, lucked out. The Tea Partiers were "calnedar challenged" and because of it, we've put out a fire. At least in this district in this state this year.

When asked in the interview for her plans to address the problem in the future, Montana Representative Wilmer said:

“One of my strongest commitments is to the United States Constitution, and part of that is the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to associate. While I personally feel that what they are doing is harmful to the political process, any attempts to prevent this legally, threaten that right. My plan is to challenge them in debate on the issues.”

In other words, primaries.

I wish I could say  this is an isolated incident. But I've been following this for about a year now and, like just about everything Republicans do, including their viral policies of “Papers Please laws”, LGBT discrimination laws, voter ID laws, nullification laws, abortion clinic laws and gun control measures, it's not.

This seeming pattern is happening with greater frequency. And of course, who can blame them? Voter knowledge and engagement is low, confusion is easy (as we have seen with the Kesha "LaRouchie" Rogers-David Alameel runoff for US Senate in TX) and the GOP brand is mud. It's simply easier to switch parties and run as a "democrat" than to swim against the tide.

Here are a few of the examples I've compiled over the last several months.

Here's one in Henrietta NY

On Friday, October 11, Henrietta Supervisor Michael Yudelson announced a move across party lines from Republican to Democratic. Citing “irreconcilable philosophical differences” with local and national republicans, Yudelson’s announcement arrived on the last day to officially change party designation prior to Election Day.

He made the announcement at the Democratic Party offices. Here's part of the statement he made that day - at OUR headquarters! We really need to rethink this "big tent" shit. Look what he said:.

“My party affiliation has changed, but my commitment to my neighbors never will, and neither will my commitment to fiscal conservatism and personal responsibility,” said Yudelson, noting his continued commitment to a “vigorous campaign.”

Here's another one in North Carolina

A Republican congressional candidate is renouncing his party and switching his affiliation to Democrat.Jason Thigpen, who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Walter Jones in the 3rd Congressional District, wrote a blistering assessment of his former party, saying his shift was precipitated by the tea party push for a government shutdown.

Here's what he had to say in his statement: “Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back..."

So, nothing they did BEFORE the fall 2013 government shutdown chapped your hide, did it? Everything with the GOP was A-OK before the shut down? Got it.

I won't bore you with more. But there are many.

Here's one in Alabama where a Democrat-Republican-Democrat is now running for Governor.

Here's one in Arizona who was active in GOP politics all her life including through 2010 when she ran (and lost) against a Tea Partier. She's "fiscally conservatives and socially moderate" (whatever that means) but voted for SB 1070 (which, now, she says was a mistake). Hm...

Funny how these epiphany Democrats always just happen to be running for office. They never switch and decide to volunteer three days a week at the local Democratic committee office doing shit work that the party needs done. And I love how they openly say they haven't changed much, just the GOP has changed. We'll guess what, Epiphany Democrats: The Democratic Party is not the the Default Party for "My own party is batshit crazy". Please make a note of it.

This is becoming a trend, in my view, and I'm deeply concerned about it. If Democrats cannot field strong primary opponents to these "epiphany" democrats, and worse, if we don't quit having a white-tie gala, complete with a red carpet welcome mat every time one of these bastards "decides" s/he's a democrat, we're going to end up with races all over the country where there is effectively NO ACTUAL DEMOCRAT running for these seats.

Meanwhile, look what the Republicans did in Alabama when they suspected some new "Republicans" of duplicity:
The Alabama Republican Party is removing four candidates from its June primary ballot after finding them ineligible. The state GOP announced the decision Friday following hearings by the party's candidate committee. The committee voted to remove Jefferson County circuit judge candidate Jim McFerrin; state auditor candidate Ray Bryan; Mobile circuit judge candidate Ginger Poynter; and party executive committee candidate Jamie Wilkins. The committee will hear challenges to other candidates on Saturday. Party Chairman Bill Armistead says challenges were filed against a total of 18 primary candidates. Armistead says challengers claimed candidates were ineligible for several reasons. Some challenges involved claims that candidates supported Democrats in past general elections or took money from the Alabama Education Association. The party isn't saying what led to the removal of the four candidates.
Fortunately, some Dems get it. Brooklyn, New York state Senator Martin Dilan has identified five Democrats that he says should all be disenrolled by the Democratic party because of their consistent habit of “teaming up” with Republicans in the Senate chamber to thwart the Democratic legislative agenda.
He says:

“They’re not Democrats, no matter what they say. They should all be disenrolled by the Democratic Party. You can’t run and get elected on the Democratic line, work with the opposing party on an agenda that goes against what we put forward, and then run in the election as a Democrat. Let them run on the Republican line and see if they get reelected.”

Dilan has promised to contact the Democratic county chairs in the five counties the wayward Democrats serve and advocate for removal proceedings to begin, which are allowed under state election law for such things as disloyalty and corruption.

I like this guy. More of this, please.

Crossposted to BoldBlueMagazine.com, the magazine that fuels progress for state and local Democratic candidates and progressive causes. Help us help them. Visit, enjoy a free issue and subscribe today!

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Originally posted to mdmslle on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group and Community Spotlight.

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