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FACT CHECK: Montana Democrat’s Attack Ads Backfire

For months, Rob Quist has been running ads about his opponent’s tax liens; turns out “a simple search” refuted that claim, according to the Billings Gazette…

Rob Quist Poll

Montana Democrat Rob Quist has a tax problem. Well two, actually.

Quist is currently running radio and television ads in which he alleges his Republican opponent “Greg Gianforte and his business had 22 tax liens.”

The liens were filed between against RightNow Technologies, a Bozeman-based tech firm, between 2012 and 2015. The only problem? RightNow had sold to software giant Oracle before the tax issue arose.

“Greg had left the company by then,” Oracles’ Deborah Hellinger told the Billings Gazette.

Gianforte moved to Montana 24 years ago from New Jersey. He started RightNow Technologies in his Bozeman home. The company grew to employ several hundred people before it was sold to Oracle in January 2012.

The tax warrants cited by Quist and the Montana Democratic Party begin 10 months after Orcale’s purchase of RightNow became final. The warrants continue into 2015.

The Quist campaign first approached The Gazette with the tax warrant claim in March. A simple search of Oracle’s website confirmed the Oracle owned RightNow during the time the warrants were issued.

Oops? The irony is that Quist ran the ad in an effort to deflect from his own tax problem. In the ad, in which he falsely attacks Gianforte, Quist discusses his own tax and debt issues:

Quist had three years for which he didn’t pay his property taxes, and was taken to court by the state and private plaintiffs for unpaid debts spread across 16 years. He did pay his property taxes for all three years in 2016, at which point the earliest unpaid tax bill was nine years old.

The candidate is still under court order to pay a $10,301.69 debt stemming from a Wells Fargo line of credit that Quist and his wife, Bonni, quit making payments on in 2010. The debt now belongs to Security Credit Services LLC, which has successfully sued the Quists for payment.

In all likelihood, Quist made his own tax problems worse by falsely trying to bring his Republican opponent down with him.