At a press conference in Missoula on Friday, Green Party spokesperson Danielle Breck confirmed that the Montana Republican Party has officially thrown their support for the party against the Montana Democrats who are challenging the legitimacy of petitions to place Green Party candidates on the ballot.

“We received the legal paperwork yesterday (Thursday), stating that, yes, the Republican Coordinating Legislative Campaign Committee has filed a motion to intervene as an interested party,” Breck said. “The paperwork states that they feel that the Green Party is unable to state their interest in the matter, and that the Secretary of State is also unable to represent their stake, and that therefore they should be able to intervene and defend that stake.”

Breck said she did not believe that the Republican Party’s efforts to intervene would be helpful to their case.

“The Green Party feels this matter should never have been brought in the first place,” she said. “Our signature count is solid and the signatures are valid. 10,000 Montanans signed our petitions stating their wish to see the Green Party on the ballot, and that the petty struggle between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in which they are using the Green Party as a pawn is horrible behavior, it’s the same old political game.”

Breck was asked directly if some of the signatures were gathered by a professional firm, which was the Democratic Party’s original contention.

“We don’t know,” she said. “There has been some indication that there were some paid petition gatherers, and if there were, we had no knowledge of it, we didn’t know it was happening.”

Breck was asked if the judge would care whether or not the Green Party knew about the paid signature gatherers, and would disqualify the signatures anyway.

“No, this case isn’t about how the signatures were gathered,” she said. “Anyone can gather and turn in signatures, so it’s not really relevant to the court case, it’s really more a rhetorical point on the case of the Democrats.”

The case will continue on Monday in Helena District Court, with Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades representing the Green Party. Testimony will be heard from many of the voters whose names were disallowed by the Secretary of State.

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