Monday Morning Politics

While you were out and about enjoying the warm September weather, the staffers here at The Western Word were watching the news for political stories (we were also watching football and eating BBQ, but we’ll talk about that later).

We’ve selected a few stories that we think you might enjoy!  This week we talk about the Montana Governor’s race, a streaker, land, Montana DOT, jobs, 9-11, and much much more so read on…

Still Looking?

The Associated Press did a story called, “Crowded Governors Race Taking Shape” in which they contend the Democrats finally have someone to rally around and the GOP is still looking for the candidate who can win (although they already have several candidates running).

What will separate the GOP candidates from each other and give us a clearer picture of what type of Governor they will be is whom they select to run with them as their Lieutenant Governor.  This selection will be the defining moment for most of the candidates – if you hear any rumors of people being considered, please e-mail me…

This Land is Your Land…

The Great Falls Tribune published a story titled “Committee to look at Rehberg’s monument act” in which they tell us that a “U.S. House subcommittee on Tuesday will hold a hearing on a bill by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., that would prevent the president from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate new national monuments in Montana without congressional approval.”

The Tribune also asked in their daily question, “Should Congress limit the administration’s ability to designate national monuments?”

The results were posted Sunday with 62% saying “Yes” and 38% saying “No.”   There were 285 votes cast.  The results are not scientific.

By the way, I am not a scientist…

If this bill makes it through the House, it will die in the Senate. Then it becomes another tool for the Rehberg campaign to use against Sen. Jon Tester in the 2012 election.

More Smoke:

Lee Newspapers is reporting that “In violation of state government policy, the Montana Department of Transportation last year paid out nearly $42,000 in unused vacation time to five top employees working under former director Jim Lynch.”

Lynch resigned last month after over six years in the job, then the agency’s Human Resources Officer resigned.  Lynch’s daughter was hired by the agency in 2008.

It’s been a soap opera. Most folks are wondering what we’ll find out next…

The Jobs Plan:

The Associated Press reported that “The Obama administration rolled out state-by-state benefits of the president’s jobs plan on Friday, saying 30,000 Montana businesses would see a cut in payroll taxes under the proposal and the average household in the state would see a tax cut of $1,240.”

The AP also reported that the bill “would provide more than $200 million for Montana transportation projects, and $90 million for Montana local governments to support about 1,400 educator and first responder jobs. Another $77 million would go to Montana for school infrastructure, $20 million to refurbish homes and $5.7 million for community colleges.”

Sadly, this seems like another stimulus plan – (or a press release from someone on the Appropriations Committee).  Can we afford to go down this road again?  Readers?

Baucus Comments on 9-11:

Politicians never let a chance of getting their name in the news slip by, so it was not that weird that Montana Sen. Max Baucus would pen a guest opinion about 9-11.  You can read it HERE.

The sentences, “Again it’s time for Americans to rediscover our sense of unity and step up to tackle the threats before us” and “Our challenges are great, and the stakes are high” does hit the right note.  His closing with “But Americans and Montanans have proven time and time again that when we work together, there is nothing we can’t overcome” was very well written – even for the Baucus staff.

I remember after 9-11 members of Congress holding hands and hugging each other while singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the capitol.  We all knew that would not last, but we hoped it would…

Rehberg Comments on 9-11:

Rep. Denny Rehberg posted a video called, “A Special Message on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.”  You can watch it HERE.  It’s about five minutes.

Tester Comments on 9-11:

Sen. Jon Tester issued a press release and spoke about 9-11 from the senate floor. You can read that HERE.

Turn Around:

Sen. Jon Tester says “The country’s housing market needs to turn around or the economy will continue to flounder” during a speech to his admirers at a Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Friday. You can read the story HERE.

Besides thinking of the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with the lyrics “Turn Around,” I cannot think of much to comment about.  Things pretty much suck all over –”every now and then I fall apart…” I’m glad I could leave this song in your mind on Monday…

The Streaker:

If you were listening or watching the Montana Grizzlies football game on Saturday, you probably heard about the streaker disrupting the game around the beginning of the second quarter.   It was very hot on Saturday, too.

University of Montana Executive Vice President Jim Foley was quoted in a Missoulian article saying, “We’re not going to tolerate that at all” and “I assure you, that won’t happen again.”

Watch out Jim-bo – that seems like a challenge that some enterprising person just might take you up on.  The Griz play at home next Saturday and the temps are supposed to be in the 70s.  I’ll be watching.  Maybe the Griz can play this song when it happens again…

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