Monday Morning Politics

This past Sunday (Feb. 12) was the first Sunday since September 4 that a football game was not played.  I know I know it depressed me, too.  Watching basketball and the Grammys did not help much, either.

Politics is kind of a sport, so watching the back and forth between the candidates and political groups can be fun!  That’s why I started “Monday Morning Politics.”  This is where you can find many political stories from the past weekend – and I add some commentary!

Today I write about Rehberg’s counter offer, millionaires, Chamber ads, Gallik speaking, a Montana accent, severe conservatism, good reporting, and much more!

Tester/Rehberg Part II:

U.S. Congressman and Senate challenger Denny Rehberg sent U.S. Senator Jon Tester a letter on Friday afternoon basically calling for a ban in all out of state money and refund all out of state money received.  Politico has the story HERE.  (Unfortunately, the Rehberg campaign did not provide a copy of the letter to The Western Word).

Tester had previously sent Rehberg a letter asking him to agree to reject all third-party radio and television ads.  Tester gave Rehberg until 5:00 p.m. (to add some western drama to this circus, Tester should have said you have until sundown) on Friday to respond.

Prediction:  Tester will probably agree to this pledge right after he becomes a vegetarian…

Millionaire Politicians:

Lee Newspapers did a report about Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester both being millionaires.

Voters are probably wondering how these two millionaire politicians can connect with the regular person who has a mortgage, student loans, credit card bills, etc.  Maybe a non-millionaire or two should run for U.S. Senate?  Click HERE to read the story.

Chamber Political Ad:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a new political ad last week that says to “Tell Jon Tester the Washington way is not the right solution.”

You can watch the ad HERE.

No wonder Tester wants to do away with third-party ads…

Gallik Speaks:

Former Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Dave Gallik, is telling his side of the story via an opinion piece that was published in several newspapers over the weekend.

He wrote about “…workers wasting too much time talking about non-work related matters and using their computers to watch TV, shop online and research recipes…”

Shame on them for not sharing recipes with him…

He also talks about the office being in the “dark ages” in regards to technology.  I think he fails to realize that most of Montana’s state government is in the “dark ages.”

It’s pretty much a given that the Political Practices office is broken – not by the way the staff operates – but by the system they operate under.  Until the legislature (working with the Governor) changes the system, it will continue to be broken and be in the “dark ages.”

Long-Term Unemployed:

If you visit this blog very often then you’ve seen me write about many folks being unemployed for a year or more (long-term).  It was nice to see the Associated Press take notice.  They published a story over the weekend about the long-term unemployed.  Since I am one of them, a couple people mentioned in the story had comments that I know hits the nail on the head:

The struggle is the unknown.  You’ve worked your way up the ladder and you get to a point in life and a position in work where you’re comfortable … then all of a sudden everything goes away.  It’s like being thrown into a hole and you’re climbing to get up, but it’s greased.  There’s no way of getting out.

Another person said:

It’s very hard to see people leave and go to work in the morning and come home every night.  It’s hard to see people spending money, going out and having fun and you can’t.  It’s very stressing.

Most people only look at the 8% unemployment rate, but fail to realize there are millions of people who are not counted because they stopped applying for or ran out of benefits.  There are thousands more who are underemployed.

Keynote with an Accent:

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer was the keynote speaker at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner over the weekend.

He received just a few mentions in the press, but one reporter wrote about Schweitzer’s “Montana accent.”  It makes me wonder if Schweitzer was acting like Larry the Cable Guy again (I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there).

Winter Kickoff:

The Montana Republican Party held their “Winter Kickoff” this past weekend in Billings.

In case you were wondering, winter officially started on December 21.  Democrats are probably hoping the Republicans hold their “election kickoff” a month and a half late, too.

Mitt Romney – Severely Conservative:

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday and reportedly tried so hard to convince those in attendance he was a conservative that his prepared speech (according to the Washington Post) contained the words conservative or conservatism “two dozen times.”  FOX News reported that Romney said those words about 30 times.

He also said, “I was a severely conservative governor of Massachusetts.”

The fact is that conservatives are “severely” worried that Mitt Romney does not have what it takes to beat President Obama.  We know he will say anything to get the GOP nomination.

Battleground Montana:

It’s always nice to see local Montana reporters do a good job on a political story without the partisan spin.  Jill Valley of KPAX in Missoula did a story about “Battleground Montana” taking a look at the differences in the eastern and western parts of Montana in regards to the political landscape.  There were interviews with former Senator Conrad Burns and former Congressman Pat Williams.

Check out the story HERE.

Follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord.

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