U.S. Sen. John Tester (D-MT), listens to testimony during a Senate Homeland Security hearing on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee...
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In Montana race, Green Party candidate was on GOP’s payroll

There are more than a few Senate Democrats running in red states this year, including Sen. Jon Tester (D) in Montana, whom Republicans are eager to beat.

How eager? The Associated Press ran an interesting report late yesterday.

A man who registered as a Green Party candidate for Montana’s U.S. Senate race was on the state Republican Party’s payroll and heads a newly formed anti-tax group, according to a review of election documents.

Timothy Adams filed as a challenger Monday against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who faces a tough re-election campaign, in a race where a Green Party candidate could siphon votes from the Democrat.

Now, I suppose it’s possible that this guy, who was paid by the Montana Republican State Central Committee as recently as 2015, underwent a dramatic reevaluation of his political beliefs, and somehow went from the far-right to the far-left quite quickly.

But it seems more likely that the GOP is engaged in some unfortunate electoral mischief.

In the hopes of preempting angry emails, let me acknowledge that the Green Party is an actual entity, with plenty of sincere activists who care about the party’s platform and vision.

That said, we’re occasionally reminded that while the Republican Party rejects everything the Green Party stands for, the GOP nevertheless sees the Green Party as incredibly useful in moving the country to the right. Indeed, we know just as a matter of arithmetic that if Green Party voters had backed the Democratic ticket in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin in 2016, Donald Trump would not be president today.

With this in mind, is it any wonder apparent schemes like this one in Montana pop up?

The Associated Press’ report added that Montana’s Green Party, which only qualified as a state party this week, will have more than one candidate prepared to run against Tester. As a result, Timothy Adams – the guy who was on the Republicans’ payroll – will have Green Party primary rivals, if he remains on the ballot.