Laura Lundquist

(Missoula Current) Montanans recently received a political mailer making counter-intuitive claims about a Green Party candidate, which again demonstrates that the Green Party sometimes becomes a catch-all for random people with political aspirations.

Last week, a Republican political action committee called “More Jobs Less Government” sent out a mailer opposing Robert Barb, a Green Party candidate running for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat.

The mailer described Barb as a “radical progressive extremist,” adding that he “wants to practice ‘ecological wisdom,’” and that he “will stop at nothing to reduce America’s carbon footprint, even if he makes enemies on both sides of the aisle.”

“Don’t vote for extremist leftwinger Robert Barb in the (sic) Green Party primary for US Senate,” the flyer read.

But Barb isn’t a “leftwinger,” and has said nothing official about climate change. On his campaign website,, he says one of the core tenets of the Green Party is ecological wisdom but goes on to explain that his minimalist philosophy comes from living “‘off the grid’ in the mountains of western Montana for decades.”

Barb, reportedly from Darby, provides no contact information on his website, but he does have an Instagram account under the name “wapitibob406.” His profile says he lives in Montana but was “born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.”

Most of his posts relate to hunting and guns, but the few political posts are anti-Biden and anti-Democrat. His only reference to climate change was a post last August, when Barb wrote on a video clip of rightwing commentator Tom Renz, “They don’t want you eating meat because it’s easier to give you the jabba juice through GMO veggies. Climate Crisis is B.S. fake narrative.”

After a multi-year court battle, the Green Party was once again approved for this year's primary election ballot in Montana. Only two candidates filed as Greens this year, both in the race for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat.

Barb’s leanings, including guns and a desire to decriminalize marijuana, would tend to fit more with the Libertarian Party platform. But Sid Daoud of Kalispell is already on the Libertarian ticket running for the Senate, and Barb has run on the Green Party ticket before.

In 2020, Barb was the Green Party candidate for governor. That same year, Gary Marbut, a Missoula gun-rights advocate, ran on the Green Party ticket for a state Senate seat. Neither exactly fit the mold of the Green Party, which for years has been led by physician and environmental activist Jill Stein.

According to the party website, the Green Party supports ensuring democracy through campaign finance reform and implementing ranked choice voting; promoting social justice, including economic equality and reproductive rights; promoting ecological sustainability, including energy conservation and renewable energy to cut back greenhouse gas emissions; and economic sustainability, including fair taxation, anti-trust enforcement and banking and insurance reform.

Montana Green Party leader Steve Kelly said he doesn’t know how to control who claims to be a Green Party candidate. Anyone can make that claim, but Kelly said that’s true of any political party, since anyone can file to run as anything with the Secretary of State.

While Kelly belongs to the Green Party, he’s also run as a Republican, an Independent and a Democrat in different elections. Marbut has done the same. Kelly said it doesn’t happen as much with the two main political parties, because they have the money to influence which candidate will win in the primary election.

“It happens all the time. You can’t tell somebody they’re not a something if they pay the (filing) fee. This is why they require minor parties to have primary elections, because we have no control over what anyone does,” Kelly said. “In our race, the Tea Party is running one guy, Robert Barb, as a “radical environmentalist,” but he’s really an outfitter. The other guy is Michael Downey, who’s a firm Democrat.”

Kelly was able to get in touch with Downey, a Helena-resident with a natural resource background, who sent what Kelly said was a vague position paper. Kelly hasn’t been able to contact Barb.

"More Jobs, Less Government, "the PAC that paid for the mailer opposing Barb due to his alleged stand on climate change, has a minimal website that says only that its aim is to ensure Republicans take back the U.S. Senate in 2024.

According to, a website that tracks political spending, the PAC came into existence in 2020 only to influence Montana politics. In 2020, it spent almost $895,000 opposing Steve Bullock in the Montana U.S. Senate race against Steve Daines.

In this year’s U.S. Senate race, based on the May 28 Federal Election Commission filing, the PAC has spent more than $5 million supporting Republican Senate candidate Tim Sheehy and another $1.5 million opposing Sen. Jon Tester. The PAC also spent more than $114,000 opposing Matt Rosendale in his short bid for the Senate.

There’s no mention of money spent on the mailer against Barb, and some question why the PAC would bother opposing an insignificant third-party candidate using hysterical claims.

Kelly said the flyer probably wouldn’t sway any Green Party members anyway.

“All these Green Party people probably won’t vote in the primary because what’s the point? Green voters are not loyal to a party, they follow a set of ideas. The Green Party just promotes those positions,” Kelly said. “I’m loyal to getting people with ideas on the ballot.”

Contact reporter Laura Lundquist at