Like a scene out of Yellowstone, Democrats target Montana GOP Senate candidate’s cattle ranch

The combination of conservation and capitalism saw Montana leftists dig in communist heels to attack GOP Senate candidate Tim Sheehy, finding fault in “Yellowstone.”

A projection of their own obsession with the entertainment industry appeared prevalent as Democrats in Big Sky Country sought to sway voters away from former Navy SEAL and entrepreneur, Sheehy. A Monday report from NBC News keyed into the touchstones for the narrative that centered around the Minnesota-born candidate’s 2020 founding of the Little Belt Cattle Co. ranch.

Considered a success story by Sheehy, the outlet reported, “Democrats hope voters will instead view it as a threat in a state settled and developed through federal homesteading programs dating back to the 1800s.”

“More recently,” NBC News continued, “Montana has seen a rush of deep-pocketed outsiders buying up land. Democrats are trying to tie Sheehy to the trend — another outsider eager to capitalize on how the popular television series ‘Yellowstone’ has romanticized Mountain West living.”

Montana Democrats attempted to complete the alley-oop from corporate media as they dunked, “New reporting from NBC News reveals Transplant Tim Sheehy refused to provide Montanans public access to his recently-purchased ‘prime elk-hunting’ land — but was willing to charge rich tourists $12,500 for luxury hunting excursions that promised ‘private access to over 500,000 acres of National Forest.'”

Piling on the salvo against Sheehy, the outlet cited political and state policy director for Wild Montana Action Fund Noah Marion, whose group intends to back incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D), “Super wealthy folks are buying huge tracts of land and turning Montana and other Western states into a playground for the rich.”

A March survey conducted by New Bridge Strategy and FM3 Research found that 47% of voters considered “issues involving clean water, clean air, open spaces and public lands” as “a primary factor in deciding whether to support an elected public official,” while another 36% considered them “one of several issues you consider.”

With that in mind, Montana Sen. Steve Daines, the current chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had said, “Montana Democrats roll out this tired line of attack every election to falsely accuse Montana Republicans of not supporting public lands, but voters see it as nothing more than crying wolf and shameless scare tactics at this point.”

Similarly, lobbyist and executive director for United Property Owners of Montana Chuck Denowh suggested, “It’s page one of the playbook for Democratic candidates to try to create a controversy,” as he argued the left was attempting to sway blue-collar conservatives “leaning Republican” with a narrative on outdoor issues.

On that point, NBC News indicated that the left had done as much in 2016 when now-Gov. Greg Gianforte had first sought his position before they employed it again in 2020 when he secured the job. It was also used in 2018 when Rep. Matt Rosendale challenged Tester, “highlighting his past support for transferring federally owned land to the state.”

The attacks against Sheehy included a website mocking sales of Little Belt merchandise courtesy of the Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)-affiliated Last Best Place PAC, and the running of a Vanity Fair article accusing the SEAL of being the latest “to contrive a cowboy aesthetic” and use of “#yellowstone” and “#cowboys” on social media.

With the primary slated for June 4, the candidate’s campaign spokesperson Jack O’Brien told NBC News, “Those attacks against a veteran-owned and operated cattle operation are ridiculous. Tim is proud of the Little Belt Cattle Co., the team, and the work they do to preserve our ranching heritage in Montana.”

Kevin Haggerty

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