U.S. Senate candidate Dirk Adams has been loudly trumpeting his environmental platform in recent weeks. Through campaign emails and letters published by state media and Huffington Post, the banking executive turned Wilsall rancher outlined his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, his support for the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act and his opinion that "coal is dead." The Democrat believes those positions are ultimately what caught the attention of famed singer-songwriter Carole King, who will be performing at two small in-state fundraising events for Adams' campaign in early May.
"She called me on the phone, when I was driving down the highway," Adams says. "She said, 'Jeez, I really like your environmental positions. Is there something I can do to help?' I was really surprised."
King has been a staunch advocate for NREPAa bill that would designate more than 24 million acres of wilderness in the Northern Rockies—since it was first introduced in 1993. The longtime pop icon maintains strong ties to the region; she still owns a 128-acre ranch complete with recording studio and two hot springs-fed swimming pools in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains.
King voiced her support for Adams' Senate bid via Twitter on March 19, exclaiming "Yay!! Montana candidate for U.S. Senate Dirk Adams ... supports NREPA. Join us on the trail." She could not be reached for comment, but has been plugging both NREPA and Adams' website on Facebook this month.
As Adams continues to distribute releases detailing the King events, his fellow Democratic Senate contenders are, for the most part, pounding the pavement in Montana. According to his campaign, Sen. John Walsh opted to use the recent Senate recess to log more than 700 miles across the state for public appearances and gatherings. John Bohlinger, the former lieutenant governor, has made multiple stops in Missoula throughout April.
Only Republican challenger and current U.S. Rep. Steve Daines appears to have hosted a similarly high-priced campaign shindig so far. According to the Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time website, Daines was the beneficiary of an April 3 fundraising breakfast, with requested contributions ranging from $500 to $2,500.
King will be performing first in Bozeman on May 1, then in Missoula May 2 at L.A. Design, a custom framing shop and art showroom. According to the ticketing site ActBlue, ticket prices range from $100 for the performance and a general reception to $2,600 for the performance and a VIP reception.