It’s the first Friday of October – Yippee! But it was only around 28 degrees this morning at my home. Ouch. It’s too soon to be this cold.
If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here! It’s where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile. So, get ready to head into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile.
Today I write about Unemployment, Campaigns, Ballots, Congressional Trips, Right to Know, Shrinking the Government, Unlimited Contributions, the Joker steps aside, Al’s Altitude Excuse, Fundraising, Take the Money and Run, Moneytalks, and I share some of the contents of my Political Inbox! There’s a lot more so read on…
Unemployment Rate Falls:
The U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning “The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September” which is good news for our country. That is a 44 month low.
In politics, it is a big deal. President Obama and other incumbents can say the country is slowly turning around and headed in the right direction. Ironically, this is the rate when Obama took office in 2009. Of course, the challengers can say this recovery is too slow.
If you’re working on a campaign, the bad news is there “should not be” any days off between now and Election Day, November 6. The campaign offices are running in high gear, nerves are becoming frayed, and things are tense, especially in campaigns where there are close races. So get out there and drive some rebar into the ground, hang a sign on it, and stop for a couple cheap pizzas on your way back to the office to feed the volunteers. Eat a piece of pizza and start making calls! Let’s go!
Isn’t this fun!
There are two things campaign workers and volunteers need to remember: First, don’t wake up on November 7 and wish you’d done more for your candidate because it is too late. Second, you can rest after November 6.
If you are due to receive absentee ballots in Montana, they will be mailed on Tuesday (October 9). Your phone is probably already ringing from the political parties asking you to vote for their people (mine is).
Here is a script to use when the campaigns call:
If the Republicans call you, then say, “I am voting for all the Republicans.” If the Democrats call you, then say, “I am voting for all the Democrats.”
If they mention a bunch of candidates’ names, then say (enthusiastically), “Yes! I will be voting for them.”
If the call is after October 9, add this statement, “…and I sent my ballot in today.”
Keeping Them Busy:
Senator Jon Tester’s Campaign managed to get the Associated Press to run a story about Congressman Rehberg and his trips. The story is complete with Tester “accusing” Rehberg of “abusing government travel during his tenure as a congressman to take lavish travel trips on the taxpayer dime with no good reason for doing so.” And, they managed to get the story published before the absentee ballots are mailed next week.
What’s ironic (to me) was that Rehberg apparently had his “campaign” spokesperson respond to the accusations although the trips in question were official taxpayer-funded trips. The important line between Rehberg’s campaign (donor funded) and Rehberg’s official office (taxpayer funded) should never be crossed.
But it’s all fun and games…
The ol’ “Right to Know” request…
The Montana Republican Party (and at least two other people after them) sent me a press release saying, “Records obtained through a Right to Know request and a review of Democrat Attorney General candidate Pam Bucy’s event activities have revealed several instances of her conducting political campaign work on state time.” The Montana GOP contends, “Bucy has conducted campaign work while on the clock and while using sick leave.” You can read the GOP’s press release HERE.
One time, the Montana Republican Party says, “Bucy attended a Missoula Wine, Women and Politics event” on March 22.
Maybe the wine was to help with her sickness. By the way, I love cooking with wine… sometimes I even put it in the food…
Stop Spending so much, except…
The Associated Press is reporting that “Former technology executive Steve Daines has made shrinking federal government a central theme of his campaign for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat” but that his former company “entered dozens of contracts with federal agencies over the last decade worth at least $15.1 million.”
I guess the “shrinking” the Federal Government argument does not apply to the part of the Federal Government that has lined Daines’ pockets…
Montana does not have limits on campaign contributions at this time, so let the flow of money begin. The donors’ better hurry – the court decision is being appealed. The Associated Press has the story HERE.
Little by little the middle and lower classes are being squeezed out. We need to elect fewer millionaires and more blue collar people…
Did You Hear The One about…
Did you hear the one about U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull stepping down? Cebull, you may remember, is the “judge who forwarded a racist joke involving President Barack Obama.” According to the Associated Press, he “plans to take a reduced caseload starting next year and step down as the chief federal judge for Montana.”
I think everyone agrees that Cebull is missing a few buttons on his remote control, and being allowed to take senior status (if that is his punishment) is just wrong…
Even Vice President Joe Biden would say that U.S. Senator Jon Tester raising $2.3 million this last quarter is a big F****** deal. This is for a Montana race.
At least the Tester Campaign will be able to buy what they want this last 30 days including lots of pizza for the volunteers…
Jack’s Political Inbox:
I subscribe to receive updates from candidates, elected officials, and/or groups (from all political parties). Several others just send me their info without me asking just hoping they get mentioned (in a kind and gentle way) here at The Western Word! So each week I select a few that “Caught My Eye” and share them with my readers – and sometimes poke fun at them. This week I picked five that I think you will enjoy…
-Barack Obama sent me an e-mail after the debate Wednesday night with the subject, “Hey” and he wrote, “I hope I made you proud out there explaining the vision we share for this country. Now we need to go win this election.”
I thought maybe he might say, “Damn…that Romney was high on something – he came at me and I didn’t know what to say. He was a freakin’ animal during the debate spewing lies and stuff.”
-The Rick Hill for Montana Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject, “homestretch.” Hill wrote, “Here we go. Montanans will start casting their ballots in one week. Everything we’ve done comes down to this.”
The next 30 days will be interesting…
-The campaign manager for President Obama, Jim Messina, sent me an e-mail last night with the subject, “Romney’s email this morning” in which he wrote, “Here’s the first thing Mitt Romney said to his supporters this morning: ‘Victory is in sight.’ Stand with President Obama for a second term. Chip in $5 or more today.”
That’s the old “motivate the supporters” e-mail…
-The Steve Bullock for Montana Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Not on my watch” in which he writes, “You’ve probably heard by now – a judge threw into question Montana’s campaign contribution limits. This destructive ruling could put Montana’s elections up for auction to the highest bidder. I’m writing to tell you – not on my watch. I am going to aggressively pursue all legal options available to overturn this decision- and fight for the integrity of our elections.”
This issue is a win-win for Bullock. He can play the guy in the white hat who rides in and fights for Montanans as their Attorney General and he can use it as a campaign issue for his governor’s race against Rick Hill.
-The campaign manager for U.S. House candidate Kim Gillan, Dave Hoffman, sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Scared” in which he writes, “Steve Daines is running scared. He just released a negative ad, willfully misleading Montanans about Kim’s positions on gun rights and taxes. All this in an effort to hide the fact that Steve Daines wants to ‘end Medicare as we know it’ and make it harder for Montanans to go to college by slashing Pell Grants.”
Gillan appears to be picking up steam as we get closer to November 6….
President Barack Obama lost (what I call) the Big Bird Debate Wednesday night to Mitt Romney because of the altitude – that’s according to Al Gore. You can read about it HERE.
Obama looked tired and I thought maybe the cross-country trip he had to take from the Denver Airport to the debate location wore him out (If you’ve flown to Denver, you know what I mean).
By the way Al, thanks for this internet thingy. It’s cool…
Rockers Steve Miller turns 69 and Brian Johnson of AC/DC turns 65 today.
Take a few minutes and enjoy it – it is Friday, you know.
One More Thing:
Don’t forget to stretch…