Missoula blogger seeks Executive Director post for Montana Democratic Party

Matt Singer, a prominent Democratic blogger for Left in the West and CEO of the Missoula-based political group Forward Montana, is apparently vying for the post of executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.

Sources who were at a meeting of progressive Democrats” in Missoula on Tuesday night told me that Singer showed up—on warm summer evening—donning cowboy boots and jeans and announced that he would seek the post. According to one source, “he looked just like Jon Tester or Brian Schweitzer” –wardrobe wise.

I wrote a profile of Singer a few years back when I was still at the Missoula Independent. (Back then he was donning pink bunny ears for a voter registration drive). The gist of the piece was that Singer, at the time a 24-year-old blogger and activist, was going places in Montana Democratic politics. His web-savvy approach to politics had landed him a job with then-U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester early in Tester’s campaign.

“He’s one smart dude,” Tester said of Singer. “He’s very talented. I think what he’s accomplished using Internet as a vehicle for political action speaks for itself as far as success.”

Not longer after working for Tester, Singer and a handful of young Democrats from Missoula launched Forward Montana.

I hadn’t gone back and looked at that article in a while. When I did, I noticed this reader comment posted shortly after the article ran:

By Anony Moose 11-15-07

Be interesting to see if Forward Montana stays true to its progressive roots or is co-opted by Democratic party insiders. Will stay tuned.

Interesting indeed.

Right now there’s a battle waging within the Democratic Party over health care reform. Max Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee, making Montana one of the bloodiest battlegrounds. Groups like the Montana Human Rights Network, Montanans for Single-Payer and MEA-MFT (the state’s largest labor union), have been fiercely advocating for a single-payer, or Medicare-for-all solution to the health care crisis. But Baucus and the rest of the Democratic Party establishment want a “uniquely American” health care reform package that maintains the existing for-profit insurance industry. Baucus has taken a lot of flak from the left flank of his party for his refusal to consider single-payer. So much so that he felt compelled to respond in a recent Missoulian op-ed piece.

Singer is firmly backing Baucus in his approach to health care reform both behind the scenes and on his blog. For that, Singer is also taking heat from the left.

It’ll be interesting to see how the health care debate plays out and how liberals react to Singer if he does ascend to a top post in the state party.