Monday, September 27, 2010

The Naked Truth

The rumors are running wild out there. The alleged Photos of a naked member of the Montana legislator are real. They were emailed during the 2009 Legislative Session to members of the Legislator.

The member is a freshman Democrat Senator. He allegedly sent these photos to underage girls prior to the last session.

I can honestly say I would never want to see any member of the legislator naked... Yet these pictures are out there. They leave little to the imagination, or so I have heard. I have not seen them.

Members of the Montana media currently have the proof of this-or that’s the word on the street.

This isn't a Ray Steven's tribute naked. This is not one to many beers at the football game-streaking on the football field. This is not too many beers before the St. Patty's Day parade in Butte. This is not too many beers at the Buckin Horse Sale. This not too many rounds of beer pong before cat/griz. This is not too much fun at RockinTheRivers... This is disgusting, vulgar behavior by a member of the Montana Legislator.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jan Brewer and Brian Schweitzer, a crazy pair!

What do Governors Brian Schweitzer and Jan Brewer have in common? Both support writing federal law at the state level.

Case in point, Schweitzer recently announced his intentions to write federal tax laws in Helena. Just like Jan Brewer, Schweitzer says the Feds are asleep at the wheel. “Just because 49 states have failed to do it and just because the federal government and U.S. Congress appear as if they’re lying down on the job doesn’t mean that we will in Montana,” Schweitzer said.

So here is the question, the 10th Amendment says that all powers not given to the Federal Government are reserved to the states. The Constitution, however, the 16th Amendment gives the rights for income taxes and Article 1 Section 7 is dedicated to the power to levy taxes period.

Here is where the Governor runs into trouble. The constitution says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” It makes no mention of the special powers granted to Brian Schweitzer, nor the Governor of Montana.

Schweitzer maybe correct, perhaps these companies do not pay enough in taxes. That is the topic of another discussion. I hope that Judge Donald Molly, who had a nice fluff piece in the gazette today, who applied equal protection to wolves, will do the same with regards to Jan Brewer and Brian Schweitzer.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Governor Schweitzer, he is not mentioned in the constitution and Drug companies would quickly win a case making any such law unconstitutional. Additionally, one state attacking an industry will quickly kill those jobs in that state.

With 7.5% unemployment, we don’t need more jobs leaving Montana. This is a big issue, and I doubt it is going away.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What races are you interested in?

What Montana Races should we look at this week?
What are your thoughts on those races?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

KTVQ gets cozy with Montana Democrats.

As if you needed more proof that the media is pulling the weight for democrats. Tonight’s edition of the KTVQ news is proof. In the first several minutes all they did was show democrat stories.

Example one-During the budget story, they showed Republicans during the bad news. During the hopey-light at the end of the tunnel portion, they show democrats. I know this is not the strongest claim; however, it portrays Republicans in a negative light. In fact they painted a picture the Governor has been trying to paint for months. It brings to mind when Hearst cabled, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war.”

A University of Wisconsin J-School study states that, “Potential biases in valance news coverage in each election can be determined by computing the percent of total candidate coverage that favors each candidate.” The study goes on to talk about the amount of negative news for one side versus positive for the other.

Tonight’s KTVQ news has four stories dedicated to Democrats in Montana. The one mentioned above is where it started. Secondly, they dedicate a fluff piece about the Governor’s push for additional taxes and regulations of pharmaceutical companies. Then, we see the governor praising green energy in Montana. Finally, the straw that broke this camel’s back, “Montana Democrats focused on Jobs,” a total fluff piece.

Now, the Governor’s plans for more taxes and regulation of out of state “tax evaders” is a story where the Governor should speak. It is his plan; however, he doesn’t give a lot of details. Going into a shrinking budget, details would be nice. If were going to spend $1000 to collect $100 it is not worth it. If these companies are evading taxes in the millions of dollars-let’s talk. We know Nancy Pelosi’s staffers and Democrat leadership avoids taxes. Oh so does Tim Geithner.

The second story about the new transmission lines is news worthy story; however, continued use of the Governor and only the Governor is bogus. For instance let’s bring in the Jefferson County Attorney who sued the state to get local input? Where is Mr. Johnson? Or would that be a little taxing on the biggest news station in Montana?

Finally, I would have let this all go; however, we show 12 democrats, all up for election this year! This story presents no plan, no solution, and just pretty images… This was a push piece on behalf of the news company. The Democrats stood in a building for Green designs. Any guess on who that company supports?

I doubt will hear about the fairness doctrine on this one… Since it’s not really going to help the demo-rats, it won’t hurt the republicans more.

Well KTVQ, I am glad to see that fairness in media. That stuff Liar McGuire is always spewing about the station Jay Kohn works for…

To KULR8 this family will go every night for the news.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Hello! I was recently invited to start posting for this blog, and I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. I'm a Montana native and have lived here for a majority of my life, but I've also spent significant time in San Francisco, Dallas, and elsewhere. I'll be writing mostly my own thoughts on education, politics, technology, and misc. other issues and hope to spark some good debate.

Feel free to contact me privately, but be aware I will be a few days in responding.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Political Witch Hunt Over, Vogel Innocent!

Yesterday, a jury in Virginia City got it right. Randy Vogel was proven innocent of all charges stemming from an incident last hunting season. The incident in question was fairly ambiguous and obviously couldn’t stand the in the realm of public opinion or in front of a jury. In the end Mr. Vogel and his representation decided to defend themselves on the basis of the incident itself, but for five months leading up to the trial he would not give up on the idea that these charges were politically motivated. Now here in Montana we can’t imagine that a Democratic administration would waste their time to bring frivolous charges about on a prominent staff member of the only Republican in the Congressional delegation. While this hypothesis may be a little far-fetched, there are a couple of facts which need to be explored upon.

First, the day these charges were brought about, March 3, two days after Mr. Vogel took the job as Congressman Rehberg’s State Director. Is it not curious that these charges stemming from an incident which took place two or three months before were just served on March 3, in coincidence with the job announcement? It was a classic moment when Rehberg challenger Dennis McDonald spoke about the case on the morning of March 3 BEFORE the citations were filed; basically admitting that he had prior knowledge of the political release.

Secondly, we need to remember the amount of Democratic Party officials who have been put into prominent positions in state government. Some of the most notable include Sen. Mike Cooney as Labor and Industry Department Administrator, Rep. Dave McAlpin as State Crime Lab Administrator, Sen. Jesse Laslovich as an attorney in the State Auditor’s office, and finally, Rep. Art Noonan as Deputy Director of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Oddly enough, Rep. Noonan was appointed, not elected to the legislature in place of Rep. Groesbeck, who passed away suddenly before the 2009 Legislative Session. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party under Chairman Dennis McDonald.

This isn’t the only incident where political motivations have come into play, remember also in March, a 37-year well respected state worker at the Department of Commerce was forced to retire early (a mere 20 days early) because he answered the questions of a Republican state legislator about questionable delays in grants to local governments. This type of politicizing people’s lives is not strange to the Democrats under Dennis McDonald – last year after The Night of the Boat Wreck, Mr. McDonald began issuing press releases almost daily attacking Rehberg, without any sympathy for other passengers still in critical condition.

After its coming end in November, the McDonald reign over the Democratic Party in Montana will be remembered as one without regard for facts and one without any thought but political gain in mind. It is the people of Montana who are currently paying for absurd poaching charges and a policy that everyone is expendable in the realm of political posturing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Murky Swamp

Maxine “In Hot” Waters and Charles “Been Charged” Rangel are just the latest is a string of ethically plagued members of Congress. William “Cold Hard Cash” Jefferson and Mark “Creepy Perv” Foley also come to mind.

So, I have to ask myself, what Maxine Waters would say about ethics… As luck would have it, here is the video!

Waters and Rangel are both in a lot of trouble. The most ethical congress in history has two ethics cases at the same time. Nancy’s Congress did make one first. Never have two ethics cases been heard at the same time, and right before an election.

Waters for her part is calling this racism. Considering the Ethics committee is bipartisan, this is highly unlikely. It looks like two members may walk out of congress, possibly on the way to prison. This wouldn’t be a first for a house member; for that matter, two other House Ways-and-Means Committee chairs left congress shame.

Here is the deal for Democrats in Congress; they have been able to individualize this in the past. 2010 will probably be different. Two hearings at the same time, and one about interference regarding TARP, all has big potential. This is seen in the number of Democrats calling for Rangel to leave Congress now!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Vulture vs. the Pig

The race for the lone seat to the US House of Representatives from Montana is an anomaly in the animal kingdom. Montana voters have a Democrat who made his fortune feasting off the illegal activity of mob bosses in California (i.e. the “Vulture”) and we have a “Pig” in Denny Rehberg, or so labeled by our colleague in words – Montana Cowgirl. She makes this accusation because of the multitude of earmarks he has sponsored and brought back to Montana over the years he has been in Washington. It is easy to criticize the Congressman for this, but it is only easy because of the negative connotation given to earmarks by the national media and political campaigns to distract us from real wasteful spending. Earmarks are not a bad thing, a conclusion is based on three premises: (1) Earmarks in themselves, are the most transparent form of appropriation; (2) Earmarks actually get things done; and (3) Let’s look at the big picture!

First of all, earmarks themselves are very transparent. An earmark is not a general appropriation to a government agency to fund the director’s agenda and the bureaucracy that comes with it; it is a funding mechanism for a specific task or project. Some examples of earmarks brought forth by the Congressman in recent years – $1.5 million for the new interchange in Belgrade, $3.6 million for animal research in Bozeman, more than $30 million for water rights and water improvements on Indian Reservations in Montana, $200,000 to the Rocky Mountain Development Council for affordable housing, and $250,000 for a sexual assault examination nurse at the Billings Clinic. I think these are all things we need here in Montana and I don’t think Cowgirl would disagree with me. Congressman Rehberg understands that here in Montana there are problems we cannot solve without raising state property or income taxes – why not use that 30% of our income we send to Washington every year to help out the folks at home?

Secondly, without earmarks we would be missing out on a lot of essential projects here in Montana. The BIA and other agencies would not have moved forward on water compacts with the Indian Tribes, conservation initiatives like the Blackfoot Challenge, Rocky Mountain Front Coalition, and Montana Legacy Project would receive no funding, and local governments would have no chance of bringing infrastructure to rural towns. Earmarks aren’t intrinsically bad, they fund many good projects. Problems arise when the dollar amounts garnered by Congress are directly proportional to seniority and political capital and not the merits of a specific project.

Finally, what really doesn’t make sense about Cowgirl’s post is that she fails to mention the total amount of the national budget earmarks actually amount to in a fiscal year. 2006 had the highest dollar amount ever of earmarks at $29 billion which amounts to about ONE PERCENT of the total budget. In 2010, the Pig Book reports that there are $16.5 billion in earmarks – the budget is $3.6 trillion – so about .5% of our money is going to designated projects. Remember the stimulus bill cost $800 billion and healthcare will cost $1 trillion; can’t we find a better place to cut spending?

I am not saying that all earmarks are good, but here in Montana we see what earmarks can do for us everyday – infrastructure, conservation, and education. In the current times of soaring national deficits, why don’t we cut some real pork that won’t hurt progress in our state? Before we end, we shouldn’t forget about our Senator Tester, in the ’06 Burns/Tester debate the Senator said something to the effect of, “I will not support one earmark, period.” Since 2008 he has supported over $300 million in earmarks. Come on Cowgirl, before you go making a petty political attack because Denny tried to make a point about out of control spending, do a little research.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Max Baucus' Amendments

Max Baucus, our illustrious Senior Senator, is proposing a Constitutional Amendment. His amendment is in response to the Citizens United Supreme Court Ruling. The recent change of heart by the left amuses me. For years, the left has defended the Court. Praising their all knowing power, they were the end all solution. Now that the shoes on the other foot, it’s hard for them to understand.

The left has never seen money as free speech. The Supreme Court from Buckley (v. Valeo) to Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (v. FEC) and now with the Citizens’ United. The left just cannot accept the Supreme Court’s opinion in this area.

The AP in the Gazette Article said, “The proposal is an obvious long shot…” It will take 2/3rds of both chambers of Congress, and 3/4th of the State Legislatures (and no Governor Vetoes) to pass such an amendment.

“The Disclosure Act” failed to break a Senate Filibuster. Chuck Schumer is promising to hold cloture votes until this passes.

A long line of democrats defended the bill. Franken compared it to Financial Reform, and Wyden thinks it should be passed before the fall midterms.

Republican Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said it was a blatant attempt “to rig an election.”

This all comes from someone making a movie about Hillary Clinton. Only this group was attacked. Seniore Fat-So, er… Michael Moore… makes many political movies. Will he too be censored? He makes a lot of money on those movies, and they go to political causes. After a large cut is taken for Moore’s excessive daily eating.

Long story short, Baucus won’t get his Constitutional Amendment. If you don’t like the Supreme Court take that up with Marbury and Madison or John Marshall.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Do What I Say, Not What I Do!

John Kerry, flip-flopping John, you’re always good for a laugh.

The Boston Herald is reporting he has bought a new boat.

The Herald reports that Kerry "who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern."

Kerry, who paid 7 million for Isabel, would have had to pay over 400,000 in taxes. So, Rhode Island who no longer taxes boats/yachts is where many Massachusetts residents moor their yachts, boats, and sail boats.

One has to wonder, is Kerry having a change of heart? No, he just doesn’t want to pay the piper.

With news like this, it is no wonder that Republican Scott Brown has the highest approval in the Bay State. That truck is looking pretty good, aye John?

(Read the story, including a nice political statement, here:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Talk, No Walk

Governor Brian Schweitzer talks big on natural resource development, but when it comes down to it little action has taken place. At a time when state revenue is falling drastically short of supporting the bloated government in Helena, the governor travels the country touting oil, coal, natural gas, and of course wind. While his speeches talk of grandiose progress in our state, the folks are struggling to make ends meet, jobs are in short supply, and the legislature is talking about raising taxes.

When a Montanan steps back and looks at our next door neighbors to the south and east we see two states that are developing their natural resources for the betterment of the citizens. Wyoming has coal, of course, and North Dakota is in the midst of one of the biggest oil booms in the country. North Dakota recently brought in $158 million in revenue from oil and gas leases on state lands and cities in the western part of the state are booming.

Here in Montana we might expect to be having a boom of our own, but that is not the case. The Governor’s statements about increasing energy production and decreasing our national reliance on foreign oil at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, don’t really add up: The Energy Information Administration states that Montana has gone from producing 2.4 million barrels of crude in January 2005, to a high of 3.1 million barrels in August 2006, to a dismal 1.3 million barrels in February 2010; compared to North Dakota’s production of 2.8, 3.5, and an astonishing 7.3 million barrels in the same months. Montanans have to ask ourselves, how did we get left out of the game? The Bakken Formation is in our state too! That answer is two-fold, first, the formation may hold more accessible oil in North Dakota, but we should still expect to see more exploration than we currently do. Secondly, Republicans in North Dakota control the governor’s office as well as both houses of the legislature. Taxes on oil production in North Dakota are 5% of the gross production value, here in Montana, we have a variety of different rates depending on what stage of the process and the type of well is producing the oil. While some of the rates are meant to encourage exploration and production, after a certain period of time the rate is increased to about 9% on most wells. The problem is in more than just the tax structure, because of the influence of the environmental lobby, Montana is generally perceived to be closed for business.

A perfect example of this occurred during the 2009 Legislative Session. Rep. Kendall van Dyk of Billings, with the support of Governor Schweitzer, proposed a $1 tax on every barrel of oil produced in Montana. This tax came on the heels of the price of Montana crude going from an all-time-high of $126.80 per barrel in June of 2008 to $26.76 per barrel in January 2009 (when the bill was introduced). What kind of company would come here when our governor and elected officials turn their back on jobs for hard-working Montanans in the midst of a recession for a political stunt to grab the headlines. Our governor can talk the talk to his coastal friends with deep pockets all he wants, but the numbers prove he hasn’t walked the walk.
Just as a side note – Kendall van Dyk is running against Sen. Roy Brown for Roy’s Senate District 25 seat, Roy needs our continued support to make sure the anti-development and anti-business van Dyk is not elected.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2012 Races Start Taking Shape...

So far, we have had two Republicans declare they're running for Governor:

1st-Ken Miller, a former State Senator from Laurel, MT. He came in 3rd in a four way race in 2004.

2nd-Corey Stapleton, a former State Senator (from Billings). He served as the Minority Leader in the 2007 session.

Charles Johnson reports that others are looking at the race as well.

On the Democratic side, they include: Attorney General Steve Bullock, of Helena; state Sen. Larry Jent, of Bozeman; state Transportation Director Jim Lynch, of Kalispell; and state Sen. Dave Wanzenried, of Missoula.

Republicans include: state Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley; former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill, of Helena; Dean Folkvord, of Three Forks, CEO of Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery; former state GOP Chairman Erik Iverson, of Missoula; national security and terrorism expert Neil Livingstone, of Helena and Washington, D.C., state Senate Majority Leader Jim Peterson, of Buffalo; state Senate President Bob Story, of Park City; and state Sen. Ryan Zinke, of Whitefish.

So, what are my thoughts...?

Let’s Start with the Democrats. One would have to assume that Bullock could clear the field of most other Democrats. Bullock is the heir-apparent to the throne of Schweitzer. (At least for now, I can’t think of anyone else though.)The AG is often seen as the best stepping stone for Governor (i.e. Marc Racicot 1992).

Jim Lynch is a failed Montana Senate Candidate-No Chance. Larry Jent has a military record, and might have an edge in Gallatin County. He would be the first out state born Governor in a long time (My research shows since Sam C. Ford in the 1940s). Expect that to be a hurdle.

The wild card: Dave Wanzenried. He is an anchor of his' party's left flank. He is popular in Missoula, where the Democrat primary is often decided. He might do well in a primary; however, his far left politics wouldn't play to well in a general. Dave came as close to the Governor's Mansion in the 80's when he worked for Schweinden. A hand's reach must exceed its grasp, or what’s a campaign for...

The Republicans... This one is a little harder. I don't know who I support out of this, yet, unrealized field. Let’s eliminate a few off right away. Taylor Brown has said no, several times. Ryan Zinke is a freshman with little name ID. Dean Folkvord told the Bozeman Chronicle that his run "isn’t likely at this moment."

Neil Livingstone is new to the scene. Word out of the GOP Convention, he gave a serious talk about threats to National Security. Everyone got a good, "Long" look at the topic. Secondly you have Sen. Robert Story, a smart man, who would be a good governor. It remains to be seen if he would have the passion to make a long race for Governor. He will also be out of office, which cuts both ways.

Then we have the return of a few Republicans. Ken Miller is a former Party Chair, and Senator. His tenure as party chair receives mixed reviews, as does his 2004 campaign. Then we have Corey Stapleton, who left the Montana Senate after the 2007 session. He was his party’s leader, and never shied away from a fight. He might have the passion for the contest. He has declared he will run, but, was a name Chuck Johnson missed. Finally Rick Hill re-enters stage right. Rick won two state-wide campaigns. Is still connected, and would no doubt be one of the smart bets in a primary. I am told that the notion of his return was received well at the GOP convention.

And the last two names, Senator Jim Peterson and Erik Iverson. The two men both play roles in the party. Jim is the majority leader in the Senate, and Iverson advises many of the campaigns in Montana. Not to mention, he is a trust confident of our lone Congressman. These two men would also carry a lot of support. They just have to declare. Of all the excuses from the Johnson story, Iverson's excuse was the best. We're planning our son's Birthday party. Made me laugh, and think Johnson should have called back later.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Always a Governor, Never a Senator...

This past weekend, Brian Schweitzer ruled out a Senate run. One has to wonder, if this is the final straw. It is this blogger’s belief that it is not.

Check out the article:

Schweitzer gives us the ‘toke’ “never say never” line. That line is tradition, nothing new.

So, do I believe the Good Guv… Nope! Brian likes the spot light, and he likes attention. Not to mention, he is a juggernaut of sorts. His entrance into Democrat politics, correlate with the Democratic Comeback of the last decade.

Will Brian run for Senate, the answer depends on the hand he is dealt. Brian is the ultimate opportunist. Brian wont challenge his friend and legacy candidate-Jon Tester. He does, however, have an option. Many know there has never been any love lost between Schweitzer and Max Baucus.

The question is this, will Max Baucus be vulnerable in 2014. Max in typical fashion-dumped all his dirty laundry right after his 2008 re-election. His divorce, new girlfriend, her attempt to get a plush DOJ job, and his involvement in HealthCare reform all may weaken Baucus, who has been un-touchable. Baucus has only been in trouble once-1996.

If Max is weak, Brian will make a go at our Senior Senator. Jay Stevens, at LeftInTheWest, points out that Brian’s coal letter, the attacks over funding for the North Fork efforts, single payer plans. What does it mean? A Montana Governor wont challenge a sitting President-no matter his popularity; perhaps there is soon to be an opening in the Obama cabinet. Certainly Jay is a better source for inner circle Democrat information.

I think Brian is waiting for a chink in the Baucus chain…

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Return

After some time in the field we’re back at blogging.

We are welcoming a few new faces to the blog. Will Selph, a UM Alumni and Former State Chair of the College Republicans.

Emma Ingalls, a mother of two. She is a full time mom and loves it. She has done anything political, until now. She use to do stuff for the kids and family. Now she ready to suit up and make her opinions heard. A certain Senator should have answered her question, instead of ignoring her.

As always I will keep posting. There may still be a few more new additions to our little blogging family. Until then, just use your common sense.

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