Helena – Judge Russell Fagg was supposed to retire today, which just so happens to be Friday the 13th. So here are 13 scary facts about Fagg as he begins a new adventure doing whatever he will do in retirement (hint – he’s announcing a run for U.S. Senate in a few hours):
- He’s unethical – he’s been running a secret campaign for Senate while he’s supposed to be an impartial, objective judge, not subject to outside influence.
- He leaves the bench with a pending FEC complaint against him for his unethical shadow campaign.
- The editor of Montana's largest newspaper lambasted Fagg for skirting the spirit of the ethics rules by effectively running for Senate as a sitting judge: "It would appear that Fagg is guilty of the same misstep for which he criticized the nation's highest judges," Billings Gazette editor Darrell Ehrlick wrote on Oct 1. "That's the troubling part. If we cannot trust what he says while he's in a job that has a strict canon of ethics and rules, what is going to make Fagg more trustworthy when and if he moves from the bench to the U.S. Senate?"
- He refuses to disclose how much money was contributed to his exploratory committee, or who contributed that money.
- He is leaving an overburdened Yellowstone County court system a year before his term is up.
- While his slogan is “Jobs First, Montana Always,” he can’t even finish the job voters elected him to, leaving his judicial seat a year early.
- He’s a hypocrite – just months after criticizing Supreme Court justices for receiving financial contributions for travel, he began to receive financial contributions for, you know, travel.
- He's been endorsed by unpopular candidates Montanans rejected, including Congressman-turned-lobbyist Dennis Rehberg and failed gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill.
- He’s in favor of a health care proposal that imposes an age tax on Montanans and drives up health care costs for Montana families.
- He’s been holding fundraisers to prop up his secret shadow campaign for Senate.
- His fellow Republican, Troy Downing, on Fagg: “He’s another lawyer—do we really want to send another lawyer to Washington?”
- He’s already being accused by his opponents of being “propped up” by the establishment.
- Even though a judge is supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Fagg has spent time bashing other GOP candidates and Sen. Tester in the news media.
This article was originally posted on the Montana Democrats website. Click on Judge Fagg to read the full article.