Friday has arrived and you made it – Congratulations! You can now read “Caught My Eye” and slide into your weekend armed with knowledge and maybe a smile!
If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here! Here is where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write or comment about during the week – and I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to keep it lively.
ADVISORY: Everyone and everything is fair game…
Today I write about an ethics audit, a Republican Caucus Chair, robo-calls, a bully, Glacier National Park, Best, Lugar, and I peek inside my political inbox and share, plus there’s a lot more!Ethics Audit:
In what is becoming hilariously fun to watch, U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s campaign just completed an ethics audit on Congressman Denny Rehberg. Yes, you read that correctly.
Tester found nothing wrong.
Just kiddin…Tester’s campaign found five things they consider unethical about Rehberg:
1. Rehberg exploited Congressional loopholes to fly his helicopter on the taxpayer dime.
2. Rehberg’s office is a revolving door for K-Street lobbyists.
3. Rehberg engaged in a questionable relationship with at least one associate of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
4. Rehberg hid $25,000 in campaign contributions from registered lobbyists.
5. Rehberg has spent $320,000 in taxpayer money to promote his political agenda.
Tester’s campaign has an explanation for all five “findings” in PDF format HERE.
We are not even through the Primary Election and we’ve not seen any debates yet, but the Rehberg/Tester matchup is quickly becoming the most amusing thing to watch in 2012 – and best of all it’s free!
MEA-MFT Republican Caucus Chair:
This week I wrote about U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s new campaign television ad that featured former Congressman Pat Williams, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana Sherry Matteucci, and teacher Cathy Kuntz.
One thing I failed to talk too much about was the teacher and the possibility that the teacher named Cathy Kuntz in Democrat Jon Tester’s video is the same Cathy Kuntz who is listed as the Chair of MEA-MFT Republican Caucus. I also wonder if she is the same Cathy Kuntz who, just today (May 11, 2012), penned a letter to the editor in the Great Falls Tribune supporting Republican State House Representative Jesse O’Hara – a Republican who faces a contested primary.
If this is the same person and if Tester’s folks knew her title, I’m sure they would have placed that information on his campaign video…it’s always great to show voters you have support from members of the other political party…
Montana GOP Candidate for Governor Ken Miller wanted the Commissioner of Political Practices to dismiss a complaint filed against him by a former campaign worker. The Commissioner “rejected” the request. The Associated Press reported that the Commissioner said the investigation was “proceeding expeditiously.”
If past performance is any indication “proceeding expeditiously” means Miller may have an answer by 2014, maybe 2015…that is if the Political Practices office can find some carbon paper to use in their IBM Selectric III typewriter so they can complete their final report.
Speaking of Ken Miller, I came home on Thursday morning from my walk and had a voicemail on my home phone that was left at 10:40 a.m. I checked it and it was a robo-call from GOP Governor Candidate Ken Miller.
I’ve written about these types of calls several times. They are against the law. Both political parties and groups do it. Nobody ever does much about it.
In 2005, Senate candidates Jon Tester and John Morrison both conducted robo-calls. The following is from a 2005 Helena Independent Record article:
Both Morrison and Tester admitted to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle last week they are soliciting donations for their respective campaigns through prerecorded telephone messages, despite a 1991 state law specifically forbidding the practice.
“It’s a free speech issue,” Tester told the Chronicle.
“How can you tell people they can’t communicate with voters about issues in the democratic process?” asked Morrison.
It would be great if those who are in position to enforce the law would do that instead of giving press interviews each election season just talking about it and telling us what we already know: robo-calls are illegal.
Romney the Bully:
According to this story, GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a rich egotistical high school kid who bullied his classmates, like John Lauber, who Romney and several schoolmates held down and cut his hair. Lauber was “perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality.”
I was bullied when I was in middle school – not because I was a rich kid going to a private “prestigious” school, but because I was the new kid in school.
We are starting to get a clearer picture of the real Mitt Romney.
Glacier National Park:
On this date in 1910 Glacier National Park (in Montana) was established.
Montana tourism plug – If you have not visited Glacier National Park, you really should. The views are breathtaking!
Jack’s Political Inbox:
Each and every day I receive several e-mails from candidates, elected officials, and/or groups promoting a cause, many just hoping they get mentioned (in a kind, gentle way) on The Western Word website! I select a few each week that “Caught My Eye” and share them with my readers. This week I picked five that I think you will enjoy…
-The Montana Democratic Party sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Register for Our Conventions” in which they said “Join Montana Democrats as they gather in Helena in June to participate in the Montana Democratic Party Platform & National Delegate Selection Conventions.”
The Montana Democrats convention is June 8-9. The Montana Republicans hold their convention June 14-16 in Missoula. Conventions held after a primary election are where everyone tries to kiss and make-up and unite for the general election.
-President Barack Obama sent me an e-mail with the subject “Marriage.” He writes, “Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer: I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality.”
With that issue in the news, the Great Falls Tribune asked, “Do you support same-sex marriage” in their Daily Question section on Thursdays. There were 908 votes and the results are not scientific. Today the Tribune revealed that 39% voted YES and 61% voted NO.
It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out in the political world…
-The Rehberg for Senate campaign sent an e-mail with the subject, “Our New TV Ad” where campaign manager Erik Iverson writes, “I wanted to make sure you saw our first television ad of the campaign — which tells Montanans about the real Jon Tester record: voting in favor of higher taxes, to raise his own pay, and to spend your hard-earned taxpayer dollars on bonuses for Wall Street executives, all while rubber-stamping President Obama’s liberal, tax-and-spend agenda 95% of the time, with your money.”
Yes, I saw it and so did Jon Tester. Read on…
-U.S. Senator Jon Tester sent me an e-mail from his campaign with the subject, “We just got attacked on TV.” He writes, “You saw Preston’s email — my opponent just launched an attack ad against me that’s full of phony headlines and false accusations. I have no problem comparing my (real) record to my opponent’s. The problem is that, if we don’t have the resources to keep up with him and his special interest pals like Karl Rove, we won’t get the chance for an honest comparison.”
He also asks me to “Please click here and help us fight back.”
-U.S. Senator Max Baucus sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Numbers.” At first I thought he was sending me an e-mail to tell me how much he loved my “Thursday Numbers” column each week, but no. He writes, “That’s why your participation in this election is so important. Everything you invest now — every hour of time you volunteer and especially every dollar you can afford to contribute — will make a difference for years to come.”
He then asks me to give a donation. Heartbreaker…
Best for Montana:
Elizabeth Best is a military veteran – which is always a plus with me!
Lugar – He Got Things Done:
If you get a chance, former Montana Secretary of State and State Senate President Bob Brown (Republican) has shared his thoughts about Sen. Richard Lugar losing in the Indiana GOP primary this week. It’s a good read and Brown (no relation to me in case you were wondering) writes about the days when people actually worked together:
“By his record Lugar was a conservative, but he followed the old Senate custom of sometimes reaching across the center aisle to work with members of the opposition party. In the past, notably in the era of Senate Democratic leader Mike Mansfield and Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen, that is how things in Congress got done.”
Sadly we may never ever get back to those days…
Keenan to Step Down:
The Associated Press reported yesterday, “Nancy Keenan, a former Montana legislator who has chaired the board of directors for NARAL Pro-Choice America for eight years, will leave the nation’s oldest abortion rights group after the November elections.”
President Barack Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said Keenan, “would always tell you the truth…She was very loud and willing to use the ‘f’ word. That’s why I like her.”
That’s pretty funny…
Are You Mom Enough?
The cover for Time’s May 21 issue has caused some controversy. See it HERE. The story behind the cover can be found HERE. In case you are wondering what it’s all about, it shows Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her three-year-old son.
I wonder how her son will feel about this photo when he’s, let’s say, about 16?
Former MTV VJ Martha Quinn turns 53 today!
You can still catch Martha on SIRIUS/XM Big 80’s on 8.
In case you missed it, Victoria’s Secret released “The 2012 What is Sexy? list.” Click HERE to enjoy!
Is this a great country or what? By the way, you can thank me later…
Caught My Eye:
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One More Thing:
Don’t forget to stretch…