Rob Quist has had one rough week. Far from what a campaign needs less than a week out from Election Day. In short:
1- For starters, The Billings Gazette endorsed Quist’s opponent Greg Gianforte, noting that “Quist seems unable to tell the truth about his own finances and may even be ducking property taxes that most of us would have to pay.”
2- Then, amid Quist’s “health care tour,” public court documents revealed there was A LOT more to Quist’s often-mentioned “botched” surgery story, including drug use. This sent the campaign scrambling to avoid questions about his medical history and drug use, forcing them to cancel a previously confirmed interview.
3- Then, Quist told a reporter he’d never been cited for marijuana use, then his spokesperson had to backtrack his comments when it was revealed Quist was cited for possession of marijuana in 1971.
4- As if that’s not bad enough, this morning a local paper reported that Quist and his wife “did not report rental income on their income taxes for 2015 or 2016, according to tax documents the Quist campaign gave to the Associated Press.” This is serious, and could potentially go back as far as 18 years.
What an awkward time for Bernie Sanders to head out to Montana. We wonder if Bernie will talk about raising taxes and folks paying their fair share knowing Quist has failed to pay his taxes time and again, and may even be dodging some now?
Negative headlines and revelations on Quist went from bad to worse, here’s a summary:
The Billings Gazette: In the race for Congress, it’s Gianforte Quist seems unable to tell the truth about his own finances and may even be ducking property taxes that most of us would have to pay.” We don’t have a clue where Quist stands on most issues, and his criticism of Gianforte seems to be either confused or completely without merit — for example, claiming that Gianforte had “Russian ties” when really the Republican merely has stock in a mutual fund.
Washington Free Beacon: As Quist Break Out, Decades old lawsuit sheds light on Montana Democrat’s marriage and career A medical malpractice lawsuit filed over two decades ago by Montana Democrat Rob Quist invited scrutiny from the doctor’s attorney, who uncovered a history of preexisting conditions and drug use and cast doubt that Quist could have made it in the music industry, according to Flathead County District Court filings obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. At issue in the October 1994 lawsuit filed by Quist, who is currently running for Congress, was a gallbladder operation that Quist used as recently as March to excuse more than $27,000 in debts and property taxes that were not paid off until this year. Quist and his wife sought damage relief not only for his medical expenses and lost wages during treatment but also for derailing his music career, which he now says was “getting ready to pop” at the time.
Missoulian: Quist declines to discuss personal marijuana use, health record Congressional candidate Rob Quist declined Tuesday to discuss his support for decriminalizing marijuana usage after a revelation in court records that, at least at one point, he had smoked it “two or three times a month.” Quist campaign spokeswoman Tina Olechowski canceled the interview after she learned it would include questions about his marijuana platform and other health issues highlighted in the post about the court records. She insisted the reasons for the cancellation be off the record. Quist campaign spokeswoman Tina Olechowski canceled the interview after she learned it would include questions about his marijuana platform and other health issues highlighted in the post about the court records. She insisted the reasons for the cancellation be off the record.
Washington Free Beacon: Court records flare up in Montana House Race Montana Democrat Rob Quist canceled a scheduled interview with a local news outlet because of concerns that he would be asked about information contained in a Tuesday Washington Free Beacon report that revealed court documents from a 1994 medical malpractice suit he filed. Quist, running to fill a vacated Montana seat in the House of Representatives, had planned to make his own experience with health care a central part of his final push, but the court documents disclosed on Tuesday sent the campaign scrambling to avoid questions about his medical history, according to the Missoulian.
Missoulian: ‘I don’t own that property’: Quist distances himself from apartments; renter comes forward A Flathead County renter who identified her landlord as the wife of U.S. House candidate Rob Quist, said she made out her checks to Bonni Quist and is now fighting with the candidate’s wife to get her full deposit back. Stephanie Michalzik’s story contradicts assertions by Rob Quist that the structure, a converted barn, is “not a rental property. It’s just something that’s kind of family-owned.’’ It’s also something that’s kind of murky. County, state and federal records paint a complicated and incomplete picture of when the barn was converted to apartments and where money from the rentals is going. Quist and his campaign have declined to provide additional clarity. Payment records from Stephanie Michalzik and three other renters show they have been paying rent to Bonni Quist for the past three years. But property tax records make no mention of living quarters at the site, listing four outbuildings and no dwellings. While Bonni Quist collected money from the renters, the tenants’ records show, she and her husband did not report rental income on their income taxes for 2015 or 2016, according to tax documents the Quist campaign gave to the Associated Press.
Missoulian: Quist admits 1971 citation for marijuana possession After an interrupted interview, his campaign staff said Quist was cited for possession in 1971. On Thursday, a reporter had asked the Creston musician, “Have you ever been cited for marijuana use?” “No,” Quist said. The call abruptly ended. A text message to the campaign staffer traveling with Quist was not immediately returned. In an email an hour later, a different campaign staffer, spokeswoman Tina Olechowski, said it was a misunderstanding. “Sorry for the bad connection. I just talked to Rob and he said he thought you were asking whether he was recently cited and the answer is no,” she wrote. Court records from a 1994 malpractice lawsuit filed by Quist included reference to a medical intake form on which he admitted to smoking marijuana “two or three times a month.”
Washington Free Beacon: Itching for Answers: Rob Quist Took Taxpayer Money in Same Year He Stiffed State on Property Taxes An official state contract shows that Montana Democrat Rob Quist was paid $12,500 to perform at the Western Montana Fair in the same year that he fell into further tax delinquency when he failed to pay nearly $3,000 in property tax. Quist first became a debtor when he failed to pay his property taxes in full in 2007. He again failed to pay his taxes in 2011 and 2012, ultimately leading to three tax liens filed by Montana in 2015 seeking $15,724 from Quist. A copy of Quist’s 2008 property tax bill shows that the state was immediately aware of his delinquency. Though Quist owed money to the state at the time, records show that he was able to secure a $12,500 contract for his band to perform a set lasting at least 90 minutes at the Aug. 13, 2011, festival.