It sounds like Edmunds is pretty serious about running for U.S. Senate:HELENA – State Rep. Champ Edmunds, R-Missoula, confirmed Tuesday he is considering running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat held by longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.
He is the first Republican to publicly express interest in challenging Baucus, but a number of others are expected to surface.
Edmunds was elected in November to his second term in the Montana House.
“We’re doing some exploratory work, but right now, we need to focus on this session,” Edmunds said Tuesday. “We’re not running. We’re exploring.“
He has a campaign website under construction at champedmunds.com and has printed envelopes to solicit donations for a U.S. Senate campaign. - The Missoulan, 1/8/13
With that intimidating complexion and humorous name, I decided to look into Edmunds history. Originally from South Carolina, Edmunds was a submariner in the U.S Navy from 1984 to 1995. He moved to Montana in 1997 and is a mortgage banker for Wells Faro who received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting and finance from the University of Montana. In the State House, Edmunds sits on the House Appropriations Committee and its General Government Subcommittee and the House Rules Committee. That's the basic stuff right there. Now onto the bat shit crazy info you need to know about Edmunds. First off, he thinks arming teachers in schools is a great way to prevent more tragedies like Sandy Hook from occurring:Edmunds said he thinks it’s time for a change in Montana’s Senate seat.
“I think I’d be a fresh face over there,” he said. “Senator Baucus has been over there over 40 years. I think we need some new ideas and some fresh ideas. “
Baucus was elected to the U.S. House in 1974 and served there four years. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978 and has served there since. Baucus ranks third in seniority in the 100-member Senate.
“Even with all that seniority, he doesn’t seem to be able to use the seniority to help Montana,” Edmunds said. - the Billings Gazette, 1/8/13
Oh, and get a load of his views towards immigration:Ultimately, we need to allow our teachers to have the ability to protect themselves and our kids.
I have several ideas how to do this safely, without compromising the classroom environment for teachers or students. First, teachers should be trained to use a taser and/or pepper spray, which would be securely placed in every classroom. Second, I suggest we put at least one firearm in every school, perhaps in the principal’s office, locked up of course, with several administrators having access and trained on how to use it. Finally, teachers who wish to use their concealed carry permits on school grounds should be allowed to do so, perhaps with additional training. Concealed carry – with a permit – should also be allowed on college campuses. - State Rep. Champ Edmunds (R. MT), Lewistown News-Argus, 1/7/13
That's right, Edmunds fears Canadians coming over the border is a huge threat to our country. As a comedy writer, this guys is pure comedic gold so already, I'm looking forward to this guys campaign. But wait, there's more. Edmunds is the guy who was trying to suppress the vote in Montana:When it comes to illegal immigration in Montana, state Rep. Champ Edmunds likes to use the analogy of a burglar breaking into someone's house while the homeowner opts to feed, clothe and provide for the intruder.
"Most people would say that's crazy," says the Missoula Republican. "But when somebody gets into our country or our state illegally, we somehow feel this obligation to provide services to them. That's crazy. We need to provide a ticket to them—a ticket back to wherever the heck they came from."
Next month, Montana voters get a chance to punch that ticket. Legislative Referendum 121 seeks to deny specific state services to people who are illegally residing in the state and establish stricter procedures to determine a person's citizenship status. The referendum appears on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot.
Edmunds, a Republican who seeks re-election this year against Democratic challenger Dave Andrews, says he agrees that there is not a substantial population of unlawful citizens in Montana right now. Nevertheless, the referendum would provide a safeguard against anybody who might enter the country illegally from Canada—a border Edmunds considers more vulnerable than the Mexican border. - Missoula Independent, 10/18/12
Edmunds has led many of the efforts to make voting harder for Montana students, seniors, veterans and Native Americans. Last session he introduced a bill that would end the ability to register and vote on the same day. If he were successful, he could have kept thousands of legally eligible Montanans from casting their votes.Here's Edmunds in the state making his accusation:
Edmunds went even further when he accused University of Montana students of attempting to steal ballots to fraudulently cast votes. - dgsmith.org, 12/31/12
But wait, there's even more crazy:
Edmunds also extended his absurdity beyond the access to the ballot, when he was one of the few legislators to vote against honoring Montana’s Vietnam War veterans and he also voted against naming a stretch of road after a fallen State Trooper, because it was a “slippery slope” towards naming all roads after people. - dgsmith.org, 12/31/12And what really makes ol' Champ even more entertaining is he's a nutso conspiracy theorist who believed that a federal probe of rape cases handled by the Missoula police was all just a political act for Vice President Biden to help gain support for the Violence Against Women Act:
Oh and this statement from Edmunds is priceless:Republican state lawmaker Champ Edmunds shared on social media a KGVO story questioning whether the probe is meant to highlight vice president Joe Biden’s Violence Against Women Act since it’s the first time the DOJ has probed a county attorney’s office.
“I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of the Department of Justice,” said Edmunds, of Missoula. “I’m curious why they’re going after (County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg) the way they are. I’ll be interested to see their findings.” - Missoulan, 5/6/12
So yeah, if Edmunds ends up being the GOP nominee, and it very well could happen, he will certainly be making a lot of press and will be a great source of material for Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and the other late night talk shows.Edmunds, who said men also are victims of sexual assaults, said some accusations still need to be addressed, but he isn’t sure they need to be reviewed by an outside party: “Do we need the Department of Justice to look into those? Or could we look into those ourselves?”
He had nothing but praise for the Missoula Police Department, he said the University of Montana already has taken steps to fix its reporting problems, and he was heartened to hear Engen note the number of rapes here isn’t above average.
“Not that one case of sexual assault is good, but to know that we’re not having more in Missoula than is average for a town or university is somewhat good to hear,” Edmunds said. - Missoulan, 5/6/12
Now I really don't have a lot of care for Baucus. I don't like him either, neither do our fellow progressives and Democrats in Montana like him. But if there's one person they really don't like more than Baucus it's Champ Edmunds:
It’s one thing to be an idiot, “Champ.” It’s entirely another to be an asshole. One term is more than enough for this clown. - Intelligent Disconect, 1/29/12But sadly, Montana voters gave Edmunds a second term and now he's thinking about taking on Max Baucus. I can now see the how Baucus can argue against ol Champ, "I might be an asshole but at least I'm not an idiot. Champ's only real shot at winning this race is through guys like Karl Rove and Super PAC cash but Champ might be such an asshole that his buddies at Wells Fargo wouldn't want to be associated with him. Champs social views and anti-Obama rhetoric will motivate the Tea Party base, which is pretty big, and might be able to get back voters Denny Rehberg (R) lost in 2012 in his battle against incumbent Senator Jon Tester (D) to Libertarian candidate Dan Cox. The Tea Party Congressman turned out to be the Big Brother Congressman:
Tester ended up beating Rehberg by four after the race had been hyped up into being painted as a very tight race. Baucus won't have Rehberg to worry about in 2014 and he's been getting ready for re-election while Tester was wrapping up his election. He's well aware how disliked he is in Montana. Also unlike Rehberg, Edmunds is a member of the Constitution Caucus which is pushing the Montana GOP so far right... into a ditch:Perhaps Representative Rehberg held another 75 town hall meetings between February 9th and 10th to explain his shifting vote on reauthorization of the Patriot Act. More likely, our independent, “Montana first” Representative caved to Washington pressure and changed his vote in less than a day.
On February 9, 2011 Rehberg did not believe in reauthorization:
Among the 26 House Republicans who broke with party leaders Tuesday and voted against extending key provisions of the Patriot Act were two rumored Senate hopefuls and one lawmaker who has already jumped into a marquee race.
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont), who announced a challenge to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) over the weekend, and Reps. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Connie Mack (R-Fla.) all voted against the reauthorization.
On February 10, 2011, however, he changed his mind:
The House on Thursday voted to proceed on a measure that would extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counter-terrorism surveillance law, two days after the proposal came up short in a Republican-led effort to approve it under fast-track rules.
The four Republicans voting “no” on Thursday were Reps. Ron Paul (Texas), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Tom McClintock (Calif.). All four had opposed the measure on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 172 Democrats voted against proceeding Thursday, up from the 148 who voted “no” on Tuesday. - Intelligent Design, 2/11/11
The Constitution Caucus has failed to woo over establishment Republicans on a lot of their bills but because Champ is one of them, they'll campaign hard for Champ. So Baucus will need to be ready to campaign and get voters out for him. My word of advice to Baucus is to remind Montanans that Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit:They call it the Constitution Caucus, and its message rang clear as veteran Rep. Krayton Kerns rose in the state House Friday to oppose a bill to provide counseling for children from violent homes.
“Don’t vote your heart on this one, vote your oath,” Kerns urged his fellow legislators. “The constitutional vote on this is no because it will grow government.”
Rep. James Knox, a freshman Republican from Billings, couldn’t have agreed more. Killing the bill wasn’t the easy thing to do, he said, but it is why he and others were sent to Helena. Helping the needy is a job for communities, individuals and churches – not the government, he added.
Both men are members of what they call the Constitution Caucus, a loose affiliation of conservative legislators, some with ties to Tea Party groups. Their unifying belief is that more government means less freedom.
The “freedom bills” they espouse so far cover causes ranging from beating back federal health-care reform to expanding gun rights. - The Western News
Baucus also explained how by law, Social Security must remain separated from the rest of the Federal budget and the program cannot borrow money from the general Federal budget. He needs to stick with your words with actions if you want to be part of the next congress in 2015. It's one of the few key principals Baucus and many of the members in this community can see eye to eye on. Baucus campaigned on defending Social Security in 1996 against Rehberg when you called him for wanting to privatize Social Security when he was vulnerable then for raising taxes. It worked. Tester attacked Rehberg for advocating Social Security cuts and vowed to protect Social Security. It worked for Tester too. In fact defending Social Security and Medicare is a winning strategy for Democrats especially in rural red states with high elderly populations.“Social Security benefits are financed only through payroll taxes and the Trust Fund,” Baucus (left) said during a hearing held by his committee entitled “Perspectives on Deficit Reduction: Social Security.” Social Security, he continued, “is not responsible for the deficits we face in the general fund today. Therefore, I believe Social Security should not be part of our efforts to reduce those deficits.” - Advisor One, 5/10/11
Markos explained how Republicans can get away with voting for cuts to the safety net and still being able to win because the Republican base is bat shit crazy. Democrats can't do that so they have to stick by their promises to defend Social Security, medicare and medicaid, especially during midterm elections where base turn out is essential. Otherwise, we end up with guys like Champ.
So unless Steve King in Iowa, Virginia Foxx in North Carolina and and Joe Miller in Alaska jump in and whoever unseats Saxby Chambliss in Georgia in the primary is, I would like to give Champ Edmunds the early title of "Craziest Candidate Of 2014". You'll be helping Baucus follow the path of re-election victory Harry Reid and Claire McCaskill took in 2010 and 2012.