John Walsh Hires Former Planned Parenthood Field Director to Run Montana Senate Campaign

Montana Lieutenant Gov. and 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate John Walsh has hired a former field director for Planned Parenthood to run his Senate campaign to replace outgoing Sen. Max Baucus.

Michelle Mayorga, Walsh’s pick to run his Senate campaign, is a long-time Washington, D.C.-based liberal activist. Mayorga previously worked as a national field director for Planned Parenthood Action and as western political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She also worked for the allegedly non-partisan, but clearly liberal Rock the Vote organization in D.C.

“My name is Michelle Mayorga, and I just joined John’s campaign as his campaign manager, and boy what a time to be joining the campaign,” Mayorga wrote in a campaign fundraising e-mail on Friday.

Michelle Mayorga discusses her role with Rock the Vote in 2008 (photo courtesy of C-SPAN).
Michelle Mayorga discusses her role with Rock the Vote in 2008 (photo courtesy of C-SPAN).

Walsh launched his campaign earlier this month, and — in another left-wing D.C. connection — it was announced that the controversial D.C.-based left-wing political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions would be running his campaign.

In addition to her work for Planned Parenthood and the DCCC, Mayorga also served as Mobile Program Manager for the left-wing voter registration group Rock the Vote during the 2008 election. Mayorga has also run campaigns in New Mexico, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. Mayorga worked on the 2008 Presidential campaigns of former Democratic Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Tom Vilsack of Iowa. She is a native of Miami and a graduate of Yale University according to Democracy in Action.

In the fundraising e-mail, Mayorga took direct aim at Montana’s Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines — presumed to be Walsh’s likely GOP opponent — blaming the congressman for the recent government shutdown due to his vote to strip funding for Obamacare from the continuing resolution to fund the government.

“The government shutdown took our nation to the brink of economic disaster because too many lawmakers — including Montana’s only member of the U.S. House, Steve Daines — didn’t have the courage, responsibility, and sense of selfless service it takes to lead this nation,” writes Mayorga. She did not note that the U.S. Senate, in which Montanans are represented by two Democrats, has refused since 2009 to pass any regular appropriations bills. On-time passage of regular spending bills prevents government shutdowns.

Mayorga also accused Daines, “radical” Tea-Party conservatives, and Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas of “holding the economy hostage,” and said that Cruz doesn’t need another ally in the U.S. Senate.

Lt. Gov. Walsh’s entrance into the U.S. Sen. race came as a relief to Montana Democrats who were left scrambling to find a viable nominee after multiple high-profile state Democrats — most notably former Gov. Brian Schweitzer — opted not to run. The only other Democrat to enter the Senate race is Wilsall rancher Dirk Adams, a political unknown.

Daines is still refusing to say for sure whether he will run for Senate, continuing to emphasize that he is “evaluating” a run. However, the general consensus amongst the media and political pundits is that Daines will seek the Senate seat.