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From Policy To Personal Finances, Rob Quist Can’t Keep His Story Straight

- May 22, 2017

With A History Of Misleading Statements, Flip-Flops, Questionable Business Arrangements, Liens, Unpaid Bills, And A Failure To Pay State Taxes, Rob Quist Is More Likely To Join The Swamp Than Help Drain It

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

QUIST'S CLAIM: In his financial disclosure, Rob Quist reported he earned $79,000 in 2016.

  • REALITY: After the AP pressed Quist on a discrepancy with his financial disclosure and tax return, Quist was forced to refile the disclosure revealing he actually earned $136,000.

QUIST'S CLAIM: Quist claimed that he was unable to work in 2011 due to poor health, a year he failed to fully pay his property taxes.

  • REALITY: However, in 2011 Quist played 35 shows with his band including a festival that paid his band over $12,000 for 90 minutes.

QUIST'S CLAIM: When asked why he had not reported income on a rental property, which is not listed on the state's tax rolls, that his family is tied to, Quist said "my sons live there, so that's not a rental property."

  • REALITY: Media reports found that the Quists rented the property to at least four tenants, listed the apartment units on Craigslist, and at least one tenant paid rent directly to Rob Quist's wife.

QUIST'S CLAIM: Quist claims he is from a tradition where guns are "a way of life" and that he has been on many hunts that helped feed his family.

  • REALITY: The Montana Fish, Wildlife, And Parks has no records of Quist holding a hunting or fishing license since they started keeping electronic records 16 years ago.

QUIST'S CLAIM: On policy, Quist says he supports Obamacare and "often touts his support for Second Amendment rights."

  • REALITY: On healthcare, Quist has admitted his views "evolved" after voicing support for universal healthcare as recent as this January. On Second Amendment rights, Quist has questioned the need of Americans to own "assault rifles" and proposed creating a registry for automatic weapons.

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QUIST'S LENGTHY LEGACY OF FINANCIAL DECEPTION AND ETHICAL SHORTCOMINGS

Rob Quist Underreported $57,000 Of Personal Income On Federally Required Disclosure Statements And Did Not Pay Their Debts And Property Taxes Despite Having The Means To Do So

Rob Quist Underreported His Income By $57,000 On His Federally Required Financial Disclosure Statements. "The Democratic candidate for Montana's sole U.S. House seat, a cowboy poet and musician running for public office for the first time, underreported $57,000 in income when he filed federally required financial disclosure statements two months ago." (Bob Calvan, "Montana Dem In US House Bid Underreports Income," The Associated Press , 5/2/17)

  • Quist Initially Reported Earning $79,000 In Income In 2016 And Later Revised This Number To $136,000. "His updated disclosures show Quist and his wife made about $136,000 in 2016. The original report identified about $79,000 in income, while a copy of Quist's 2016 tax return released to the AP by his campaign listed a total income of $64,805." (Bob Calvan, "Montana Dem In US House Bid Underreports Income," The Associated Press , 5/2/17)
  • Quist Filed A New Disclosure Statement After The Associated Press Sought An Explanation For The Discrepancy Between His Disclosure And Tax Returns. "Quist's campaign filed a new disclosure statement with the U.S. House last week after The Associated Press sought an explanation for discrepancies in his initial disclosure document and on his 2016 income tax returns." (Bob Calvan, "Montana Dem In US House Bid Underreports Income," The Associated Press , 5/2/17)

Billngs Gazette Headline: "Quist Has 16-Year Debt Trail, Records Show" (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

In 2001, A Local Montana Contractor Completed Nearly $6,000 Worth Of Work For Quist, But Had To File A Lien After Most Of The Bill Went Unpaid. "The oldest case involves Kraig Trippel, a Kalispell excavator who did $5,960 worth of work for Rob and Bonni Quist in the spring of 2001, but had to file a lien for payment after most of the bill went unpaid." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

In 2007, The Quists Failed To Pay All Of Their Taxes Which Resulted In The Montana Department Of Revenue Filing A Lien Against Them. "The Montana Department of Revenue filed a lien against the Quists in 2015 for $8,189.38 for unpaid taxes and fees related to the 2007 delinquency. Court records show that In May 2016, the debt was paid off." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

  • Overall, Montana Has Filed Three Tax Liens To Collect About $15,000 In Back Taxes From Quist. "Montana filed three tax liens to collect about $15,000 in back taxes against the Democrat running for the state's only congressional seat, which the political newcomer blamed on health problems that nearly led to his financial ruin." (Bobby Caina Calvan, "Montana House Hopeful Blames Tax Woes On Health," The Associated Press , 3/21/17)

In 2013, Quist Was Sued By His Bandmate For " Breach Of Contract, Negligent Misrepresentation, Deceit And Fraud." "In 2013, the Quists were sued by Mission Mountain Wood Band bassist Steve Riddle. In the lawsuit, Riddle accused the Quists and unnamed others of using a legally dissolved corporation to produce the Mission Mountain Wood Band 'Private Stash' box set collection. It was 2012, The company used to produce the box set, Wood Band Music LLC, had been dissolved in 2007 with the understanding that it was never to produce further product. Riddle, in the lawsuit, said he learned of the 'Private Stash' box set two years after its production from Mission Mountain Wood Band's mastering engineer, Jeff Ader. Riddle had received no royalties. After failing to collect, he sued Quist for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, deceit and fraud." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

Rob Quist Claimed He Couldn't Pay His Taxes Because He Was Too Sick To Work, But Reports Reveal Quist Was Not Forthright As He Was Actually Working At The Time

Quist Claimed That He Was Unable To Work In 2011 Due To Poor Health. "In court documents, Quist identifies one year, 2011, that he was unable to work because of poor health." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

  • In 2011, When A Montana Court Ordered The Quists To Pay Over $1,300 To A Collector, The Quists Didn't Event Respond To The Court's Summons. "In 2011, Flathead County Justice Court ordered the Quists to pay $1,380.17 to Collection Bureau Services Inc., a debt collector in Missoula. The Quists were summoned to court, but didn't respond, according to the lawsuit's case history. Collection Bureau Services declined to discuss the debt when contacted by The Gazette last week." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-year Debt Trail, Records Show," Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

In August Of 2011 Quist Signed A $12,500 Contract From Missoula County For His Band To Play For 90 Minutes. "Though Quist owed money to the state at the time, records show that he was able to secure a $12,500 contract for his band to perform a set lasting at least 90 minutes at the Aug. 13, 2011, festival. It is unclear how big of a portion of the payment Quist retained. Quist was listed as the main point of contact for the Mission Mountain Wood Band on the contract, which was signed by him and the Board of Missoula County Commissioners on Feb. 21 of that year." (Brent Scher, "Itching For Answers: Rob Quist Took Taxpayer Money In Same Year He Stiffed State On Property Taxes," The Washington Free Beacon , 5/19/17)

While Quist Claimed He Was Too Sick To Work And Make Mortgage Payments In 2011, He Played 35 Shows With His Band. "The Gazette also reported this week that, according to court documents, Quist said he was too sick to work and make mortgage payments in 2011, even though he played 35 shows with the Mission Mountain Wood band that year." (David Erickson, "Quist Verbally Jabs At GOP Opponent In 'Health Care Town Hall' In Missoula," Missoulian , 3/30/17)

Questions Have Also Emerged About Quist's Claim He Couldn't Work Because Of A "Botched Surgery" As A Lawsuit Revealed Quist's History Of Drug Use

Rob Quist Has Attributed His 16-Year Debt Trail To A Botched Surgery In 1996. "Quist's personal health issues have been in the media spotlight lately. The Billings Gazette has quoted Quist attributing his 16-year debt trail to 20 years of sporadic illness due to a botched gallbladder surgery in 1996." (David Erickson, "Quist Verbally Jabs At GOP Opponent In 'Health Care Town Hall' In Missoula," Missoulian , 3/30/17)

Rob Quist's 1994 Lawsuit Was To Collect Damages For Medical Expenses And Lost Wages For "Derailing" His Music Career Was Also His Primary Justification For Not Paying Over $27,000 Of Personal Debt And Taxes. "At issue in the October 1994 lawsuit filed by Quist, who is currently running for Congress, was a gallbladder operation that Quist used as recently as March to excuse more than $27,000 in debts and property taxes that were not paid off until this year. Quist and his wife sought damage relief not only for his medical expenses and lost wages during treatment but also for derailing his music career, which he now says was 'getting ready to pop' at the time." (Brant Scher, "As Quist Breaks Out, Decades Old Lawsuit Lawsuit Sheds Light On Montana Democrat's Marriage And Career," Washington Free Beacon , 5/16/17)

However, Public Court Records Emerged From The Medical Malpractice Lawsuit That Uncovered A History Of Quist's Preexisting Conditions And Drug Abuse. "An hour before the event's start at Great Burn Brewing, a national conservative media site posted and wrote about public court records from a 20-year old malpractice lawsuit Quist had filed against a doctor who cut the wrong duct during a gallbladder surgery." (Jayme Fraser, "Quist Declines To Discuss Personal Marijuana Use, Health Record," The Missoulian , 5/16/17)

Public Court Records From The Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Document A History Of Repeated Use Of Illegal Drugs By Rob Quist. ( Motion In Limine, Filed In The Montana Eleventh Judicial District, Flathead County , 2/2/96, p. 4)

Quist, Who Failed To Pay State Taxes, Also Failed To Disclose His Ties To A Private Rental Property That Is Not Listed On State Tax Rolls

Public Records Show That Rob Quist Has Ties To A Rental Property That Is Not Listed On The State Tax Rolls. "Montana's Democratic U.S. House candidate, Rob Quist has ties to a rental property not listed on state tax rolls, public records show. Quist acknowledged the apartments Tuesday in an interview with The Gazette, but denied renting out the units. Advertising records and leasing contracts suggest otherwise." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has Ties To Rental Property Not Listed On State Tax Rolls," The Billings Gazette , 5/9/17)

Quist's Failure To Disclose His Conversion Of An Old Barn Into A Commercial Property Means He May Not Have Been Paying As Much Taxes On The Property As He Should Have Been. "At issue is a 1948 barn that Rob and Bonni Quist converted into commercial property. Quist, 69, a musician by trade, explained the arrangement to The Gazette in a March 24 interview. … State property tax records don't indicate those changes, taxing it instead as a barn with no living quarters. The Flathead County Assessor's office also lists the structure as a barn. The distinction matters because the Department of Revenue generally recognizes apartment units as more valuable than barns. The tax amount owed on rental property is typically higher." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has Ties To Rental Property Not Listed On State Tax Rolls," The Billings Gazette , 5/9/17)

When Asked About The Properties, Quist Denied Renting Out The Apartment Units, Saying "My Son's Live There, So That's Not A Rental Property." "Quist acknowledged the apartments Tuesday in an interview with The Gazette, but denied renting out the units. Advertising records and leasing contracts suggest otherwise. 'My son's living there, so that's not a rental property. It's just something that's kind of family-owned,' Quist said." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has Ties To Rental Property Not Listed On State Tax Rolls," The Billings Gazette , 5/9/17)

  • But The Quists Rented The Apartments To At Least Four Tenants, And Advertised The Apartment Units On Craigslist. "The Quists have rented the apartment units, advertising them on Kalispell Craigslist as a 'Cozy Country Slice of Montana Close to Town.' Through the online classified service, Bonni Quist described the units, one with lofted ceilings, as being part of a renovated 100-year-old barn. The Gazette identified four people who have rented from Quist in recent years." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has Ties To Rental Property Not Listed On State Tax Rolls," The Billings Gazette , 5/9/17)

Bonnie Quist Collected Rent On The Property, But They Did Not Report Any Rental Income On Their Taxes In 2015 Or 2016. "While Bonni Quist collected money from the renters, the tenants' records show, she and her husband did not report rental income on their income taxes for 2015 or 2016, according to tax documents the Quist campaign gave to the Associated Press." (Tom Lutey, "'I Don't Own That Property': Quist Distances Himself From Apartments; Renter Comes Forward," The Missoulian , 5/19/17)

The Quist Campaign Refused To Show Records Of The Rental Income Being Transferred To Their Daughter. "Bonni Quist's power of attorney allows her to conduct business on behalf of her daughter, the property owner, collecting funds and paying expenses. The Gazette obtained leases and checks from renters, showing money going to and from Bonni Quist's account. But when asked for receipts or records showing rental income being transferred to Halladay Quist, the campaign declined several requests to provide them. (Tom Lutey, "'I Don't Own That Property': Quist Distances Himself From Apartments; Renter Comes Forward," The Missoulian , 5/19/17)

Quist Was Caught Lying About Paying Off A Debt From 2010-A Claim Later Proven Untrue

In 2010, The Quists Stopped Making Payments On A $10,000 Debt Which Resulted In A Debt Service Suing The Quists For Collection. "Quist said the matter involved a credit card that he charged on during episodes of poor health. The couple still owed $9,994.19 on the card when the Quists stopped paying the bill in March 2010. Wells Fargo sold the debt to Security Credit Services LLC, which sued the Quists for payment in 2014." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Has 16-Year Debt Trail, Records Show," The Billings Gazette , 3/25/17)

  • Rob Quist Is Still Under Court Order To Pay This Debt, Now Owned By Security Credit Services LLC, Which Has Sued The Quists For Payment. "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." (Tom Lutey, "Contrary To Quist Ads, Tax Liens Weren't Gianforte's, Says Company That Bought RightNow," The Billings Gazette , 5/3/17)
  • Multiple Times Quist Said His Debts Have Been Paid, But The Billings Gazette Proved This Claim To Be False. "Quist has more than once said his debts have been paid including last week, during a meeting with the Gazette Editorial board and Gianforte. The Gazette corrected Quist, noting that court records showed the Wells Fargo debt remained unpaid." (Tom Lutey, "Contrary To Quist Ads, Tax Liens Weren't Gianforte's, Says Company That Bought RightNow," The Billings Gazette , 5/3/17)

Quist Was Caught Lying To Voters About His Opponent's Finances

For The Past Two Months, Quist And The Montana Democratic Party Have Run TV And Radio Ads Accusing Quist's Opponent, Greg Gianforte, Of Having Had 22 Tax Liens Against Him. "Quist and the Montana Democratic Party have for two months made the claim, now featured in Quist's radio and television ads, that Republican House candidate 'Greg Gianforte and his business had 22 tax liens.'" (Tom Lutey, "Contrary To Quist Ads, Tax Liens Weren't Gianforte's, Says Company That Bought Right Now," The Billings Gazette , 5/3/17)

International Software Company Oracle "Debunked" Quist's Claim That 22 Tax Liens Were Filed Against His Opponent, Greg Gianforte. "International software giant Oracle Corp. has debunked U.S. House candidate Rob Quist's claim that 22 tax liens were filled against his Republican opponent and Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies from 2012 to 2015. Quist and the Montana Democratic Party have for two months made the claim." (Tom Lutey, "Contrary To Quist Ads, Tax Liens Weren't Gianforte's, Says Company That Bought RightNow," The Billings Gazette , 5/3/17)

Three Prominent Montana Newspapers All Endorsed Greg Gianforte Over Quist, Lambasting Quist's Personal Financial Complications, Insufficient Policy Knowledge, And His Failure To Demonstrate He Is Up For The Job

Three Of Montana's Most Prominent Newspapers Have Endorsed Gianforte Over Quist. "The Missoulian, the Helena Independent Record, and the Billings Gazette all endorsed Gianforte over Democrat Rob Quist in the race to fill the state's open seat in congress." (Corin Cates-Carney, "Three Of Montana's Largest Newspapers Endorse Gianforte For US House," MTPR , 5/13/17)

University Of Montana Political Science Professor: These Endorsements Show A Lack Of Confidence In Quist's Ability To Do The Job. "' What we saw in these endorsements of the editorial boards was as much a lack of confidence in Quist's ability to do the job as it was an endorsement of Gianforte,' says Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana. The newspaper editorial boards expressed doubt in Quist's knowledge of policy and his ability to be more than a Democratic placeholder in congress." (Corin Cates-Carney, "Three Of Montana's Largest Newspapers Endorse Gianforte For US House," MTPR , 5/13/17)

The Missoulian : Quist Has Never Demonstrated He Can Achieve Measurable Results. "Quist's strongest assets are his ability to connect with people from all walks of life and build networks. However, nowhere in his career has it been demonstrated that he can use these strengths to achieve measurable results." (The Missoulian Editorial Board, "Missoulian Editorial: Our Endorsement In The Special Election (With Some Reservations)," The Missoulian , 5/14/17)

The Missoulian : Due To Lack Of Policy Understanding, Quist Is "Unlikely To Be Heard By Those Writing The Bills." "He does not yet have a deep enough understanding of complex policy matters, and therefore, he offers only general ideas of how to address them. In any case, no matter how practical his suggestions, they are unlikely to be heard by those writing the bills." (The Missoulian Editorial Board, "Missoulian Editorial: Our Endorsement In The Special Election (With Some Reservations)," The Missoulian , 5/14/17)

The Billings Gazette Editorial Board Contrasted The Two Candidates As "An Entertainer Who Can't Keep Track Of His Own Finances, Or A Very Successful Businessman Who Has Given Millions To Charitable Causes." "All we have to judge is their past experience. On one hand, we have an entertainer who can't keep track of his own finances, or a very successful businessman who has given millions to charitable causes." (The Billings Gazette Editorial Board, "Gazette Opinion: In The Race For Congress, It's Gianforte," The Billings Gazette , 5/14/17)

  • The Editorial Board Said That Gianforte Was "The Best Candidate In The Race To Represent Montana's Interests In Congress." "We believe he is the best candidate in the race to represent Montana's interests in Congress. We need someone who can hit the ground running in D.C., because we've been without representation in the House. We believe Gianforte has studied the issues and knows enough about them to catch up." (The Billings Gazette Editorial Board, "Gazette Opinion: In The Race For Congress, It's Gianforte," The Billings Gazette , 5/14/17)
  • The Editorial Board Said That Quist "Lacked The Depth" To Be Much More Than A "Democratic Placeholder." "Meanwhile, Quist's answers showed a lack of depth and we simply don't believe he would be able to do much more than be a Democratic placeholder." (The Billings Gazette Editorial Board, "Gazette Opinion: In The Race For Congress, It's Gianforte," The Billings Gazette , 5/14/17)

ROB QUIST'S POLICY FLIP-FLOPS SHOW HIS INCONSISTENCY

In Regard To Gun Ownership, Quist Has Misled Followers On His Personal History

Rob Quist Stated That He Came From A Tradition Where Guns Are A "Way Of Life" For Young Men. "'I come from a ranching-farming tradition where guns are not only a way of life, but it's something every young man goes through. We learn how to operate weapons in a safe manner and with respect. We learn that bringing meat home is a time-honored tradition,' he said." (Troy Carter, "Rob Quist Touring State, Lobbying Dems Ahead Of U.S. House Election," Bozeman Daily Chronicle , 1/22/17)

  • Quist Stated He Had Personally Been On Many Hunts That Provided Meals For Himself And His Family. "I've been on many hunts myself where I've brought home an elk that fed our family and that's an important thing for Montanans." (Troy Carter, "Rob Quist Touring State, Lobbying Dems Ahead Of U.S. House Election," Bozeman Daily Chronicle , 1/22/17)

According To Montana Fish, Wildlife And Parks Records, Quist Has Not Held A Hunting Or Fishing License For At Least 16 Years. "Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks records show that Democrat Rob Quist hasn't had a hunting or fishing license for at least 16 years. Electronic records of hunting and fishing licenses begin in 2002." (Tom Lutey, "Hunting Records Of U.S. House Candidates Released," The Billings Gazette , 4/26/17)

In A Campaign Advertisement, Quist Yielded A Rifle And Said, "For Generations, This Old Rifle Has Protected My Family's Ranch." "Quist's response comes in the surprisingly robust tradition of ads that feature candidates shooting guns. In 'Defend,' Quist sets up a shot at a TV screen that's playing the ad in question. 'For generations, this old rifle has protected my family's ranch,' said Quist." (David Weigel, "To Deflect Gun Rights Criticism, Montana Democrat Shoots A TV," The Washington Post , 4/20/17)

Quist Has Questioned The Need Of Americans To Own Assault Rifles, And Has Considered Calling For Registering Guns With The Government. "But he believes that efforts to increase public safety are being derailed by gun manufacturers, questioning the need to own assault rifles. 'They're only meant to kill people,' he said. 'So maybe there should be some legislation to register those types of things. You register your car to drive, why not register guns." (Troy Carter, "Rob Quist Touring State, Lobbying Dems Ahead Of U.S. House Election," Bozeman Daily Chronicle , 1/22/17)

  • "Now On The Campaign Trail, The Candidate Often Touts His Support For Second Amendment Rights." "But Quist hasn't always been the biggest public gun advocate. In January, he proposed creating a registry for automatic weapons, according to an interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Now on the campaign trail, the candidate often touts his support for Second Amendment rights." (Caroline Kenny, "House Candidates In Montana Shoot Guns In New Ads," CNN , 4/20/17)

Quist's Healthcare Flip-Flop

In January, Rob Quist Advocated For Universal, Single-Payer Health-Care : "'The whole health care thing, it was originally setup to be a single-payer system.' 'Everybody should have a system like Medicare, where you walk in, show your card and you're covered, no questions asked.'" (Troy Carter, "Rob Quist Touring State, Lobbying Dems Ahead Of U.S. House Election," Bozeman Daily Chronicle , 1/22/17)

Quist Believes That Health Coverage Should Be "Right Of Citizenship." "I think health care should be a right of citizenship. It should be a single-payer system." (Tom Lutey, "Quist Already Striking A Chord With Democrats In Race For U.S. House," The Billings Gazette , 3/8/17)

Quist No Longer Supports Universal Healthcare And Now Supports Obamacare. "In the past, Quist has said a single-payer system is a good idea, though his thinking has evolved over time. He now believes a more effective and likely to succeed approach would be to improve the Affordable Care Act." (Holly K. Michels, "Health Care Costs Top Bernie Sanders-Rob Quist Campaign Rally In Butte," The Montana Standard , 5/20/17)


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